Week in the Woods Participant Quotes

We live directly in the city of Seattle and consequently with our busy lives and many distractions, we often don’t take long trips into nature. There are day trips to lovely parks and day hikes, or even car camping that puts us away from the city, but it is still near a road or car or maintained path. There’re also the other people in the Seattle who like to enjoy the outdoors. Very often you are close to them or come across very many of them.

Week in the woods was the first time my daughter and myself had truly been in nature for a significant amount of time. 5 days of meeting, learning, working, eating, sleeping in the woods. It wasn’t roughing it, due to the many amenities provided by the program, but there were no maintained trails, no people other than the camp guests, and no sense that civilization was right around the corner. While immersed in nature, we absorbed it and didn’t really notice or comment on it to each other, but after we left the site and returned to the city of Fairbanks, things seemed so urban (yes, Fairbanks!). While walking on the sidewalk from one business to another, we both commented on how hard the sidewalk was, how few plants or trees were nearby, and how we felt kind of exposed.

It was then that I realized what a special experience Week in the Woods is. We had reset our perception of environment, gained a special appreciation for nature, and learned both mentally and viscerally about how things can be made… in the woods.

Eric Tseo, A participant from the Seattle area