White Memorial Camp – Council Grove, KS

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I got a new job at the beginning of this summer – the start of my life as a college graduate – at a bookstore. I am involved in the actual printing process of the books and other paper products, as well as the marketing and selling of them. It is an amazing job, right up my alley as an English major. I am very blessed to have found work so quickly after graduation; however, this year, I really missed my “summer vacation.”

Maybe some of you will relate to this, but if I go too long without getting outside and spending some quality time with nature, I get very antsy. I can only handle fluorescent lighting for so long before I get stir crazy. This weekend, I remedied that with a three-day adventure out to White Memorial Camp in Council Grove, Kansas.

As quoted on their Facebook page:

White Memorial Camp and Conference Center of the Kansas-Oklahoma Conference is located north of Council Grove, Kansas, on approximately 180 acres of land that forms a peninsula surrounded by the Council Grove Reservoir. Our mission is to build Christian character and develop Christian community in a camp setting that is ecologically attuned to the unique natural setting of the Kansas Flint Hills.

To summarize: Camp White is surrounded on three sides by a gorgeous lake, and the rest of it is made up of beautiful, rolling hills that somehow stay green even after the killer Kansas summer heat. It is likely the most beautiful area in Kansas.

This weekend, a group of friends and I stayed in one of the smaller cabins on the premises. It had hot showers, a stove, refrigerator, and plenty of bunk beds and seating. It also had air conditioning, though we did not need it. We weren’t exactly “roughin’ it,” but we spent 95% of our time outside, so I don’t feel too guilty about it.

Behind our cabin was a circular fire pit, complete with smooth stone benches that were arranged to encourage conversation. Walk a little further and a down a hill, and there was a private cove on the lake with the camp’s supply of kayaks, canoes, and a water trampoline – all of which are worth trying at least once in your life (especially if you want a good core workout!).

There are also courts for tetherball and volleyball, a small baseball field, a playground, an amphitheater, an archery range, high and low rope courses, multiple look-out points, and an outdoor chapel – known as Vespers – which is set up perfectly for viewing the sun set across the lake. Since autumn is here, there is also currently a hay bale maze, which we used for after-dark laser tag. Basically, there is plenty to do and see, so if you ever get the chance visit, take advantage of the opportunity. You won’t regret it.

I feel refreshed and once again at-ease since our trip. The cabins are fairly decked out for comfort, yet I still felt removed enough from technology and civilization to re-center myself and get my temporary fill of sunshine, campfire smoke, and, thanks to the incredibly generous staff, French toast, pesto, and s’mores.

I know this update is a break from my usual animal fact-packed posts, but I figure people who love animals also tend to love the environment, and Camp White is the perfect place to go if you are feeling a little too closed in by parking lots and smart phones, and need a little extra nature in your life.

Check out a video for the summer camps held at Camp White here.

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Get to know me!

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I made this video over two years ago for a class assignment. Geez, louise — that feels like such a long time ago. Anyway, I was just reminiscing (read that as, “I was just procrastinating”) and came across this. What better way to get to know me than with a shameless video plug? And you get to see my darling Biscuit (who turns 15 this year!) when she was just a pup, and Desmond the cat before his eye surgery! And gosh, those celebs are just so sweet…

Heart in Oregon

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Hello, readers! Have you been following my Twitter feed (@kyrieosityblog)? If you have been, then you know that I spent the last week in the truly stunning Portland, Oregon. It is fascinating to be in a bustling urban environment, full of trains and pubs and shiny skyscrapers, that is still as connected to and surrounded by nature as Portland is. The streets are full of bikers with yellow flowers tied to their handlebars, , stern-faced evangelists, guide dogs in the final steps of their training, hikers with ratted khaki packs and bandana-ed foreheads, and homeless men and women who will stop you to ask, “Do you have a cigarette? Maybe a couple nickels?”

I bought a sticker from HeartInOregon.com of a bold outline of the state of Oregon with a green heart in the middle. The website promotes phrases like, “Feels like home,” and “I love it here.” All I can say to that is, “Yes. Exactly.” If I ever end up living in Oregon, I will consider myself very blessed. I can’t wait to go back. I hope it is soon.

Here are a few snapshots from my trip. I sure did love those brave pigeons! Got to meet some sweet puppy dogs and visit some amazing little local shops and restaurants, too. Getting out in the morning light and “getting lost” in a new city is one of my favorite things to do.

Where have you traveled? I would love to see your pictures – especially if you made any animal friends along the way!

Let’s Go!

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Hi, everyone!

I am so excited to be getting started on this blog. Here, you will find excited news stories about animals around the globe, personal anecdotes about all of the amazing creatures I have the pleasure of meeting, and more! Stay tuned for photos, fur, and facts.