In June 2019, a group met at the BROWN BEARS Wildlife Camp in Orsa, Sweden, right in the heart of the Scandinavian brown bear habitat. One week we lived in the camp in immediate vicinity of a bear den. A participant reports how she experienced the events.
” In his inimitable way, Gunther gave us insights on the bears from a scientific perspective right at the beginning of the week. He works as a researcher at the Scandinavian Brown Bear Research Project. Andrea, who also does research there, let us participate in the spring investigations of the bear dens. The two gave us sound knowledge that made it easy for us to go deeper later on. Because then we headed out to camp near the bear den, which Sællga and her cubs had left shortly before. The more time we spent there, the more tracks we found. And the more we discovered, the more lively this place became. Inconspicuous traces turned into stories. Stories of Sællga and the cubs, of blueberries, ants, mooses, pine trees and the vast forest land.
People who had differing interests in the beginning, formed an intimate group in the course of the week in camp. And as a group we discovered more and more questions. With Thoralf’s appreciative facilitation through many processes, we literally felt how we got more and more familiar with the bears. Some of us could even discover the bear within themselves. The bright nights intensified this experience, making me feel like in a timeless and completely different world.
‘Did you see a bear?’ I’ve been asked a lot since coming back from BROTHER BEAR. With relief, I can answer this question with a plain no. I’m not relieved because I might have been scared. But as deeply connected as we were with the bears during this week, we could almost feel, how much an encounter would have affected the bears.
I would like to sincerely thank each and every one of the group for this experience. Especially Thoralf, who made this experience possible. Then Gunther and Andrea, who shared some of their valuable time with us and who practically opened the gateway to the world of bears for us. And of course Sællga, with whom we allowed ourselves to share a place – even if it was not the same time. “
And many thanks to the author of these wonderful lines!