The Most Hippie-ish Summer Camp I Ever Did See. And I Love It.

Alana Karsch

I really wanna know — what happens when you take kids who only know the sky without stars, the ground covered in concrete, and the air full of car exhaust and put them in front of streams, dirt paths, and tall trees? How do people cope without access to nature? Seems like these kids needed just what this camp provided.

Feels kind of good to wake up in the wilderness without having to worry because still like I'm the kind of person who has fear. Like I fear things. Like a lot of things. Like most the times if I am getting bullied and anything I keep my feelings bottled up inside. That's why I came here to, like, change.

It's called Fly By Light.  Have you ever been camping?

No.

Do you like nature? Do you like being out?

Sure.

What's your name, brother?

Mark.

Mark. Cool, man. I am Hawa . What's your name, brother?

Carter.

Carter, we're doing this retreat into West Virginia. We're taking students and young people from D.C. for an eight-day, all expenses paid, kind of vacation you can say. There's going to be drumming, there's going to music, therapy. So, basically, hearing about the issues that you deal with growing up in the city. Like what are the biggest things that you got to face, the hardest obstacles that you have? What are your goals and what do you find important in life?

I know what it feels like to be broke, poor, homeless, and everything and that's probably the main problem.  Everyone says that I don't talk enough, so that's probably why I don't talk enough about my feelings and that is because I am just not that emotional. I try to be emotionless for some reason.  But everybody knows the reason, it's always because of the past and everything.

Yeah, I like to write poetry, songs for me and my little sister to sing. Anything that keeps me calm and not angry.

My father died when I was three years old. When he died my mother went through a lot of stuff, so we went to a foster home.

I've had guns pulled out on me, I have been kicked out and forced into adulthood. And right about these days of moving around I need self-fulfillment.

There are rattlesnakes. Like I said if you hear the rattler stop and look around you and see where you are going. They like to come out and lay on the rocks near the edges of the banks.

We are going to be having our Native American sweat lodges and inside there it is pitch dark, you go in and you sweat it out. You just have to come face to face with your demons. 

I am somebody.

I am somebody.

I am a writer.

I am a writer.

I am someone who knows no limits to their dreams.

She is doing it. You go, girl.

Anger is one of the hardest things to let go of because it always resides in the heart.

A lot of times we feel like if we get angry we're bad, we are wrong, we are doing something incorrectly, and we have to repress it ... I am a going to punch you because I am mad. That's not going to do anything. We can channel that anger in a way that it moves mountains.

Write down on the outside of the balloon what it is that you do or that you present to other people so that nobody can see the things that are hidden on the inside, inside of your heart.

I'm in control.  I don't need to hide. I want my heart back.

All right, everyone, let's start the ...

Everyone has a talent. They sing, they dance, they write, they speak, they draw, they paint, anything, whatever it is. If we could get all of them together and show the adults that we have this, you don't always have to tell us that we can't do something because we can and we will.

Like I said to Hawa, "Eight days is not going to do it exactly. Eight days, a tree is not going to form. Even though you sit there and you water it and you look at it and say yes. Even though you sit there
and watch it eight days is not going to do it to some.

But a seed can be planted in one minute.

And, yes, right now we have the opportunity to change, we have the opportunity to make a transition within ourselves. But where do you start?

Everything has been good so far, I am happy. This is going to be a good trip. Let's see how it ends.

Aw, so why did you really blow it out? That's our only light..

There may be small errors in this transcript.

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