B Session Opening Day!

With one session of Main Camp under our belts we had a great opening day for B Session.  Lots of returners as well as many new faces here at Gwynn Valley.  Many of you told us that you were ready to come in 2020 and as we all know that one is in the history books.  I told the Mountainside crew tonight that it was so nice to have them here.  Anne and I were up on Mountainside to present blankets and plaques to those who have attended camp for four and five years.  That’s a milestone, but a greater blessing is the fact that we all are here and can once again gather under Blue Ridge skies in our “Gwynn” valley.  

Drop off, while different, went very well thanks to many months of planning and thinking through how it should run. Thank you parents for going with the flow and supporting our quick passing off of the campers into the capable hands of our staff.  After a good lunch we presented activities  for our morning “Discovery” programs to help campers decide what they wanted to take over the days ahead for their morning activities with their cabin groups.  This is important because there is so much offered in the morning and in the afternoon.  Over the course of 6 days of Discovery they have 4 activities in the morning and two different ones each afternoon.  For those new to GV, morning sign-ups are for building skills and afternoons more for the experience, possibly adding to those skills and trying new things.  Swim assessments were scheduled this afternoon along with activities.  After sign-ups our major activities in Main Camp were open and running as follows: Pottery, Sports, Fine Arts, Mill, Horseback Riding, Crafts, Mill, Camping Skills and Nature, Climbing, and Farm.  Activities just for today were pre-assigned and get children right into the flow of camp and fun.

Dinner tonight was pasta bolognese with green beans from the farm, homemade bread and Caprese Salad.  After dinner was our traditional after supper activities and then a short campfire with some time in the cabin to allow each cabin group their first “friendship circle”.  

I roamed the activities this afternoon and witnessed groups taking part in their first GV activities.  It’s always good to see our program in action where classes are small and there’s lots of individual attention to those who are new to an activity or skill set.  We were all beginners at some point and it’s important that our talented staff remember that.

As mentioned above, Mountainside had their closing ceremony tonight.  You will all greet them on the Gatehouse Green tomorrow morning and I’m sure they will have stories and good times to share.  Riverside will continue on their paddling adventure tomorrow and what a great group they are.  I’ve been fortunate to work with them on the lake with their pre-river paddling strokes.  We had fun and learned a lot.  Tomorrow through Wednesday they will continue to put those skills to work as they progress in river levels. 

As morning activities kick off tomorrow know that your children are learning and “living the GV dream” as we say here.  This is our 86th year of providing a camp experience for children.  Camp takes children to a new level of community, life experiences and new things that can’t be repeated in other situations.  Campers have a chance to make choices and become independent in their time with us.  Camp creates a sense of confidence and resilience.  Camp also offers a sense of belonging to something that is greater than one’s self where we still practice the GV values of simplicity, acceptance, a strong connection to the natural world and in a non-competitive setting.  We’re looking forward to B Session and all it’s good times.  Stay Tuned!