Hi, I’m Missy Schenck. In March, I attended the Tumbleweed Tiny House Workshop in Asheville North Carolina. After we talked at the workshop, the Tumbleweed folks invited me to introduce myself and share my tiny house story with you.
My husband, Sandy, and I own and operate a summer camp, Green River Preserve, located in the Blue Ridge mountains of Western North Carolina just south of Asheville, N.C. Our camp is very unique in that it is located on a 3,400 acre wildlife preserve and the focus of our camp is to connect children with nature. This extraordinary natural setting has inspired sustainability leadership since 1988. Our program offers quality, intentional, experiential learning opportunities that spark diversity of thought and creativity. Our hallmark is to teach children to be better stewards of the land.
In December of 2011, my husband and I went to visit our daughter and her husband in Silverton, Colorado. Our son-in-law, Stephen Mead, is an Ambassador for Outdoor Research. OR was in Silverton that Christmas to film him skiing in the back country. We met OR’s Alex who built a Tiny House to travel for OR in search of big snow and skiing ambassadors and his girlfriend Molly, the writer behind their adventures. They all spent Christmas with our family and we felt we had adopted a new set of children. We fell in love with all of the OR crew and their Tiny House. I knew the moment I set foot in their little house, I had to build one at camp.
When we returned from Silverton, I immediately searched the web for Tumbleweed and joined your blog. I also began a Pinterest board for our camp and have a board for Tiny Houses and have Tumbleweed as a like on our camp Facebook page. When they announced the workshop in Asheville, I decided to give it to myself for my 60th birthday which was the Tuesday following the workshop. It was a great present – thank you Tumbleweed! I posted a photo of me on the porch of the Lusby at the workshop and within 24 hours, we had over 7,000 people see it from our camp Facebook page. It was a hit.
This winter there was a big ice storm in our area. Many trees either fell or died from the storm. Yesterday, we began the tough task of the storm clean up on our 3,400 acres. Every building on our campus has been built from wood from the Preserve, so when we do harvest trees, we put aside the wood for future building. We began the harvest yesterday of the storm trees which include pine, oak, hemlock, and maple trees. We will be using some of them to build our Tiny House.
We also began our Tiny House Documentary. We are very fortunate to have both a professional photographer and a film maker on our staff, so we are in great hopes of making many small videos as well as a documentary of the entire Green River Preserve Tiny House. Posts on all of our social media networks will include the GRP Tiny House Journey or as we have nicknamed it at our office, “Camp to Go!” – a mobile Environmental Education Classroom. Having the campers participate in the building of it this summer is a key objective, but we also plan to use the project to connect kids with nature, teach sustainability, and inspire a sense of wonder and curiosity. Our goal is to have the trailer and framework completed by the opening of camp in June and to allow campers to help with some of the building this summer. We are going to have our artist in residence design and paint with the children an interior mural of the map of the Preserve and on the exterior of the house we will also have a mural.
I’m so glad I stumbled upon this amazing movement, and I hope sharing our story will spark something in others as well. We’ll be updating our story as it progresses and we look forward to sharing the magic that grows from this project with the enthusiasts out there, as well as people who haven’t yet heard of tiny houses.
Green River Preserve