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August 01, 2013



By Izzy Weisz, Sierra Club Youth Ambassador

Sprog whaaa? Those were the exact words that I said on Monday, July 15, upon arriving in Bradford Woods, Indiana. It was then explained to me that a "SPROG" is a summer grassroots leadership training program put on by the Sierra Student Coalition. Basically a week-long summer camp for people who want to learn how to make a difference in the world and eat s'mores while they do it. To that, I give a big thumbs up.


Let me set the scene for you: trees galore, cabins for sleeping and one main rec room with about 25 people milling about. Milling about with purpose of course; the sproggers, or campers, were there to be trained on community organizing and leadership on environmental issues. The trainers were there to train. The cooks were there to cook. We were there to film. The mosquitos were there to bite. Everyone had a purpose.


Highlights of our three days spent investigating and kickin' it with the Midwest Sprog crew include: sittin' on the dock of the bay (or manmade lake in this case) and swapping stories, slacklining in true tree-hugging fashion, and feeling the tangible dedication that these young people have toward saving the enviro. When I picture an "environmentalist," my mind does not immediately conjure up someone my age, but that's exactly what we found. The oldest person anywhere in the vicinity was 27. Time to partay... wholesome, campfire style.


I was warned from the beginning that I might come across some "sprog magic" i.e., exceptionally good vibes. I think I found it somewhere between the vegetarian cuisine and hours-long card games. All those sproggers would probably include the training and applicable knowlegde they picked up there too. I was a little preoccupied scarfing gluten-free zucchini bread. There would be gluten-free zucchini bread there. I'm definitely not complaining, though.


Once again, it was the people we met who really stood out. Daniel and I had to peace out after a few days in order to catch an eco-concert tour in Philly, but we had enough time to meet some cool cats and see what the Sierra Student Coalition was all about. Ya'll rock. Special shout out to Brock, who was repping the John Muir beard -- way to go the extra mile.


Hasta luego, when I catch everyone up on all those 90s bands you haven't thought of in years. Spoiler
alert: Barenaked Ladies. There are some particularly Sierra Club-pertinent lyrics I'll put on the table:

If I had a million dollars, I'd build a tree-fort
If I had a million dollars, I'd buy you a fur coat,
but not a real fur coat, that's cruel

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