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No Boys Allowed. . .

. . .Or at least – that’s what they told me. 

But they made an exception – on this day, just for me. 

A firm disclosure followed by the warmest welcome – that’s how I started my day at Tanglewood Nature Center.  (OK, I'm not really that special.  In actuality - boys are allowed - just not in a particular program.)

I entered a class full of at-risk girls – all of whom applied to be a part of the Meg Lowman Treetops camp for the week. That's right - they applied.  Encouraged by some mentors in their lives - they all wrote essays explaining why they wanted to participate.

And here they sat.  Bright-eyed.  Bushy-tailed.  

The goal of the program – simple:  help them build confidence, character, and STEM skills.  Well, no sooner than I sat down – did I find myself following the class out the door and into the field – where I, too, would be challenged in the scientific realm. 

Notice that my hands aren't in there with the snake?

Notice that my hands aren't in there with the snake?

We were led by Elaine (a charming woman and fervent Director), Bridget (the enthusiastic, scholarly Community Manager), and Laine the Educator (her joyfulness is trumped only by her compassion). 

I kept to the back of the pack on this adventure. . .not for lack of interest, but - in utter astonishment.  (And besides – I didn’t want to trounce all over the inclusion they’d so graciously granted me earlier.  Now – I ask a lot of questions. . .and I tend to sidetrack.  Little did they know that this boy – can be a troublemaker.) 

Chasin' butterflies is for the boys; these girls came here to learn!

Chasin' butterflies is for the boys; these girls came here to learn!

So as the class learned from the staff – I kept my mouth shut (mostly) and learned from the class.  Never before have I been around such a passionate, engaged group of women – both younger and a tiny bit older. (Tiny-Bit-Older Ladies – is that an OK way to put it?) 

After a quick lunch – I spent the afternoon helping care for rescued wildlife and pets.  And as a fast day there drew to a close – I began reflecting upon what was so notable about a space like this.     

It didn’t take long to realize that everywhere - I was watching the future unfold before my very eyes.  See - not only is Tanglewood a beautiful place to be and just exist – it is an experience which plants and cultivates seeds; the fruits of which may be harvested in future generations.

Tiny-Bit-Older Ladies.  Planters.  Cultivators.  

Tiny-Bit-Older Ladies.  Planters.  Cultivators.  

It's a symbol of what is all too often lost in our world of concrete and cable wire.

Where GREAT people go. . .

. . .and GREAT people are born.

An opportunity to connect with who we really are. . .

. . .in our beautiful surroundings.

For Girls. 

For Boys. 

For Anyone. 

Hopefully for everyone.