From Campus to Camps: A Journey of Sustainability and Empowerment

Meet Katie Grubbs, an inspiring individual who embarked on a transformative journey with Green Camps after an enriching student project at North Carolina State University in the Spring of 2023. As an intern, Katie’s passion for sustainability took center stage, propelling her to spearhead a groundbreaking initiative known as “Campus to Camps.” Today, we delve into the remarkable story of how one student’s dedication has blossomed into a remarkable program, fostering change and empowerment. Join us as we discover the extraordinary path that Katie Grubbs has paved toward a greener, more sustainable future.

For more information about the “Campus to Camps” program, head over to Let’s embark on this inspirational journey together!

Katie’s Journey to Green Camps

By Katie Grubbs

As a senior at North Carolina State University studying Environmental Science, my deep passion for the environment has driven me throughout my academic journey. From exploring various aspects of ecology and conservation to understanding environmental policies and sustainable practices, I have gained a comprehensive understanding of the field. My most transformative experience came through an invigorating project in class that led to my internship with Green Camps, where I applied classroom knowledge to real-world challenges. I am eager to showcase the invaluable lessons learned during my internship. As I near the end of my undergraduate studies, I am filled with enthusiasm to make a positive impact on the environment and inspire others to join in the pursuit of a greener and more sustainable future.

Keystone Project

My university’s environmental science program offered an innovative initiative aiming to bridge the gap between academia and the local community. The mission was clear: establish a partnership with a nearby camp, wherein selected students from my class would collaboratively create sustainability plans for these camps. These plans would guide the camps towards becoming more eco-friendly and adopting sustainable practices. My group was partnered with Camp Kanata, and we were excited to get to know the camp and give them the tools they needed to create a more sustainable business.

I was eager yet slightly apprehensive at the beginning of the project. Engaging with the camp to forge a lasting connection required a mix of networking skills and a passion for sustainability.  Coordinating meetings with camp representatives and university mentors, I learned the art of effective communication.

Designing sustainability plans is a rewarding yet intricate task. The plans had to be tailored to the camps’ individual requirements while adhering to environmental best practices. Our team brainstormed eco-friendly initiatives, encompassing waste reduction, energy efficiency, water conservation, and environmental education programs.

As one of the team, we faced numerous leadership opportunities. Balancing diverse opinions, ensuring everyone’s voices were heard, and maintaining project timelines required adept program management skills. Through these experiences, I have grown as a leader, learning the value of collaboration and adaptability in achieving a common goal.

After months of dedicated effort and collaboration, we presented our sustainability plans to the camp in our area. Witnessing the enthusiasm and commitment of the camp staff was incredibly gratifying. Camp Kanata readily adopted our proposals, initiating steps toward a greener and more sustainable future.

Green Camps Internship

After the project, I was inspired to reach out to Green Camps to continue my journey of helping camps become as sustainable as possible while giving them the information necessary to educate the next generation on the importance of taking care of the environment. Simultaneously, giving college students the opportunity to hone their skills in a real-world experience that can better prepare them for their future in the world of sustainability, and gain the confidence they’ve earned throughout their studies.

After speaking with Green Camps Executive Director, Danny Sudman, we came up with the idea to expand the project from my senior year at North Carolina State University to more colleges across the country. We created the Campus to Camps initiative to expand our reach and try to give college students and camps the opportunity to have a symbiotic relationship of growth that would benefit not only the parties involved but the world around us and generations to come.

Undertaking this internship has proven to be a transformative experience. It allows me to apply my theoretical knowledge to real-world scenarios, discovering that the journey toward sustainability requires creative thinking and practical application. The experience continues to hone my problem-solving abilities, critical thinking, and adaptability, all vital skills in the field of environmental science.

Lessons Learned

My internship journey in environmental science taught me that change starts with fostering relationships and inspiring action. Bridging the gap between universities and camps to promote sustainability not only benefits the environment but also enriches my personal growth and professional readiness. As I graduate from my university program, I carry with me a profound sense of accomplishment and gratitude for the unforgettable experiences that have prepared me for a fulfilling career in sustainability.

Together, let us embark on a mission to create a greener, more sustainable world for generations to come.

Please feel free to reach out and contact Green Camps at or feel free to check out our website for more information on our program!