“The years of early childhood are the time to prepare the soil.” (Rachel Carson) Soil has always been an important part of Lydia’s life. When she was five years old, her grandparents emigrated from Ukraine to live with her family in Pittsburgh. They transformed a section of the backyard into a vegetable garden, which became a staple part of daily life. Sunday mornings were spent digging up potatoes for the main meal, and much care was taken to weed the carrots, beets, beans and radishes. Through this early exposure to our connection with the earth – of both giving and receiving – Lydia has come to recognize the importance of early interactions with nature. Her favorite age groups are the preschoolers who come to camp with openness, curiosity, joy and potential. Lydia also loves birds.