The most important physical asset of the Camping & Education Foundation is the surrounding environs of its three sites—Kooch-i-ching, Ogichi Daa Kwe and Owakonze—over which the Foundation adheres to a comprehensive sustainability policy, herein defined.
The conservation of our environment emphasizes the ethical use and protection of valuable resources, such as trees, minerals, wildlife, water and others, focusing on maintaining the natural world in order to protect the sources of resources. Upon the Foundation’s lands, natural processes should be allowed to occur in an uninterrupted manner. Unless human life and property are endangered, little perturbation should be made to forestall these events. In future years, various environmental factors (fire, climate change, invasive species) may present unique challenges. Nevertheless, in addressing these challenges, the overarching criterion should be how best to perpetuate the natural succession of events that is unfolding. In some instances, the best course of action may be to not interfere.
Coupled with, and indeed complementary to, our conservation is our “stewardship”—working with and attending to the interdependent relationships of humans to their environment in a way that takes a full and balanced account of all interests. Stewardship thus particularly pertains to how lands currently occupied by the three camps should be administered. While the original nature of the forests upon which these camps now reside will not return, this should not prohibit the exercising of prudent actions that demonstrate, especially to our campers, respect for the surrounding environment. This may extend to sanitary sewage disposal, prompt trash collection, recycling activities, rain gardens and to various outdoor educational efforts.
At all times, whether in camp or on the trail, staff should attempt to acclimate campers with their natural world and to impress upon them that seemingly inconsequential actions may have profound impacts. Our three camps have a responsibility to address these matters. To not do so would be a dereliction of the Law of Woods, upon which we have been founded.