Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Remembering the Philosopher of the Forest

"Animals are individuals to me, and I think of them not only as serving man with flesh and hide, but also as co-partners in the revelation of eternal life."

"Love that is bestowed in compensation for some favor has selfishness mixed in. Nothing is fully possessed until gratitude is expressed."

These are the words of Sam Campbell (1895-1962). During the late '40s and early '50s, this genial "philosopher of the forest" spent his winter months visiting schools and colleges across the nation to speak on conservation and narrate his often hilarious home movies of north woods animal life. Hundreds of schools invited him back year after year, until he was better known to young people than any other author-lecturer. He and his wife Giny lived near Chicago, but also owned a small island in a Wisconsin lake, where they built a summer cabin and helped many abandoned animals mature safely. They describe their animal friends in 12 books for children of all ages called The Forest Life Series. Out of print for many years, the series is again available! One reader recalls:

My teacher read these books to us, in a one-room schoolhouse in the Green Swamp in North Carolina. Though my swamp was far from the northern woods of Sam Campbell country, I was instantly transported there by his lively prose, sharing canoe rides with Mr. Campbell and his beloved Giny. He managed to convey a respect and responsibility toward the environment and a strong belief in God without preaching any specific religion or politics. His rapport with the creatures of his forest was unique, and we are blessed that he possessed a command of the written word so that we could know their stories. Sam Campbell was one the great storytellers of my childhood.

If your children or grandchildren dream of backpacking and canoe trips, and are ready to learn life lessons from moose, beaver, river otters, raccoons, red squirrels, porcupines and even a skunk, please watch the short video linked here.  http://philosopheroftheforest.com/media  Then order the books online from Amazon.com.

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