Thursday, June 30, 2016

Interview With Maggie Israel

Maggie Israel is our Sustainability Intern.  In her words, what she does is "bridge the gap between the farm and the camp."  She works with the Farm Director (Doug Knight) to integrate the farm with the everyday activities of the campers.  Specifically, she helps run free choice and special skill activities by participating in them, and by coming up for ideas for activities that the campers would enjoy.  Outside of that, she does farm chores and oversees Food Life.

Food Life is an hour every morning in which one boy's cabin and one girl's cabin  learn about the farm and the importance of sustainable food, and to help with chores on the farm.  It ensures all of the campers learn about and interact with the farm whether or not they choose to go there with their time.  Campers, Ms. Israel says, "take an hour to feed the food before it feeds us."

It is foundational for her to bridge the gap between people and nature, so that people can interact with it in a new way and realize its importance.  She has always loved the environment even though she thought the idea of farming was "gross" in the past.  Her love of the environment drives her to foster respect for nature in her internship, her extracurricular activities, and her studies.
 "It's important for them to realize that it should come from a healthy and sustainable place," she said.  " I foster a respect for nature."

Ms. Israel definitely believes she needs creativity to do her job well.  The needs of the camp and the farm change, and so do the interests of the campers.  She has to come up with new activities that keep the campers engaged, while also educating them and helping the farm.

She is a Little Rock native who is currently a sophomore at Barnard College in New York, which is an undergraduate school of Columbia University.  She believes she will graduate with an Environmental Policy major.  Currently, she is a member of the Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign in Barnard, which she believes is moving the school administration to withdraw its investments (or divest) in fossil fuel companies She has been going to Camp Mitchell consistently since childhood, says she enjoys the camp because of its simplicity and focus on community.

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