I type these words on my laptop, lying on a raised mattress inside the building we have come to call “Cabin 1.” Outside, I hear a few noises — some bird sounds and the patter of rain on the roof. Considering the seemingly unending stream of training sessions, meals, and social activities that I have been a part of for these six days (and counting!) at Camp Wilmot, this is a uniquely calm time to collect my thoughts.
On the chance that you are someone who knows not who I am, I can give you a brief introduction. I’m Iona, I live in Brookline, Massachusetts, and I have just finished my freshman year at Brandeis University. I am an active member of the fossil fuel divestment campaign there and am spending these coming weeks on Climate Summer, a climate justice organizing program in which we will be traveling in teams, on bikes, to support the resistance against natural gas and all fossil fuel infrastructure in Massachusetts. I’m sure I’ll have much more to say about this in the future, but let me dedicate the rest of this post to telling you a bit my time, so far, at Camp Wilmot.
This place normally operates as a Presbyterian youth retreat, but Climate Summer has been able to use the place as a home for our training for over a week. To those who have made this possible: Thank you!
And so, since Sunday, June 8th, 22 Climate Summer riders and several staff members, as well as some additional friends who have come to lead training sessions, have lived, eaten, bonded, and learned from each other in preparation for our upcoming trips.
In the short time that we have been here, much has happened. There have been moments of true enjoyment: playing Settlers of Catan (a strategic and fun board game) in the barn, participating in some particularly interesting training sessions (planning a referendum in King’s Landing on Joffrey’s succession? I kid you not), and playing music on our assorted instruments by the pond. We have a banjo, a mandolin, a ukulele — I brought my recorder!
There have also been less exciting moments: long debriefs before dinner, scraping paint off of “the hideaway,” and trying to figure out how best to operate on a limited amount of spare clothes. But, overall, I feel quite excited for the weeks ahead. My team members and I will be traveling along the route of a gas pipeline stretching from the metro Boston Area to Rhode Island, and it seems like we have a great group of people! My primary role in all this will be shooting videos of our journey, and you can expect to see some of that eventually. But, for now, enjoy the pictures!