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Recently, former camper and board member, Kate Schutt, reached out to update us on what she has been up to and where life has taken her beyond the Ranch. Today, Kate is an Americana artist and released an album titled Bright Nowhere this year. In her email, Kate put it best when she challenged us to, “just think of where a summer at camp can take you.” For Kate, time spent at TVRC was a foundational element in her journey to pursuing music in the first place, and she spent precious time at the Kelly Ranch with a guitar in her hands.

After receiving Kate’s update we wanted to share our reflections on her words and all the places, people, and things that time at camp can lead us to even after we leave the gates at the bottom of the driveway. Some find a passion for the natural world in our valley and others find the people who they will walk through the next season of life with while many also learn new skills both material and immaterial that set a trajectory for the rest of their lives. And this phenomenon is just as true for summer staff as it is for campers. While our summer staff are working behind the scenes, the infectious nature of the TVRC community and the lessons that living on the Ranch offers are undeniable parts of the staff experience.

Teton Valley Ranch Camp often becomes a basecamp for the people who reside in its cabins. From time spent on the Ranch, we, the people of TVRC both staff and campers, learn grit, empathy, our own burgeoning talents, and a myriad of other things. As we know, the greater story of TVRC is not the place but the people, and when those people step out into the world, they find their ways to many wonderful places informed by their time at camp. Sometimes the inspiration is in time spent playing music by the campfire or during rest time, yet for others, that inspiration is found through persevering on the trail to the next summit or in the people around you. No matter what, there is a wild element of the TVRC experience born in our valley that whispers of possibility. This possibility is the gift of camp.

If you have a story to share about where camp has taken you, big or small, we want to hear it! Share your reflections with us at mailbag@tvrcamp.org.