Meet Wild Keeper, Jamie! Jamie is based in Detroit, Michigan and has been a Wild Keeper since 2018 (that's three years of taking care of the planet with us)!
From a very early age, Jamie was introduced to the outdoors, with her most vivid memories being from visits the Great Smoky Mountains with her family. They returned to their favorite family hike summer after summer: Grotto Falls, a beautiful waterfall hike that lets you walk behind that falls. Although hiking with her family was a great part of growing up, Jamie shares it's hard to pick her favorite way to spend time outside. Whether it's hiking, camping, going to the beach, or just hanging up her hammock at a city park, she loves it all!
Jamie opened up with us about feelings of imposter syndrome in the outdoors — a feeling that a lot of us can probably relate to around the pressure to feel "outdoorsy" enough, especially when getting outside can look like anything from reading a book in the park to climbing Mount Everest.
She expanded on this by sharing, "I don't feel "outdoorsy" enough because I love camping but I've never been backpacking, I love hiking but I've never summited a 14er or anything close to it, and I have lots of fun climbing with seniors at the community center but would I feel very intimidated walking into a "real" climbing gym. So, when I compare myself to other people who are clearly more "outdoorsy" than I am, calling myself outdoorsy can come with a feeling of imposter syndrome." This vulnerable share resonated with us a lot and we wanted to take this time to say, any way of adventuring outside is getting outside, and it is always good and "outdoorsy" enough!
We learned a little more about Jamie and her expereince being a Wild Keeper. Read on for more!
Keep Nature Wild: Which would you pick: forests, mountains or desert?
KNW: What is your favorite thing about being a Wild Keeper?
J: The other wild keepers! It is so inspiring to be a part of a community so passionate about caring for the Earth! Every time I go out and pick up trash I know there's a wild keeper somewhere cheering me on!
KNW: What has picking up trash outdoors done for you? (shifted perspective, opened your eyes to, etc?)
J: It has brought a heightened awareness to me of how much single use plastic there is! I couldn't give you an accurate percentage but a LOT of the litter I find is single use plastic and it has really caused me to think of ways I can decrease my plastic use.
KNW: Roughly how many pounds do you think you've picked up since you became a Wild Keeper?
J: I would guess somewhere around 250-300lbs
KNW: What goals do you have for this year? (or beyond?)
J: My most pressing goal right now is to make it through PT school!