Welcome to Gwynn Valley’s new and improved website. I hope you’ll find that it really speaks to our reputation as a great camp for boys and girls located here in Brevard, NC. Change is good and we’re very excited about the changes to this new addition that reaches out across the globe to families and children everywhere. We hope you will find it more in line with our brochure as well as more interactive. Please take a look at the many new photos that are there and most of those are from last summer ’08! Also check out the new map of camp. It’s a great rendering of the main part of camp that actually encompasses “The Rock” and other favorite aspects of our 300+ acres. You can get to it by clicking on About Us and then Map of Camp. Also look for more news updates on our News page in the coming months and certainly check in at the beginning of the summer to see all the great photos and daily blogs that will be coming from camp. You’ll of course need a log in username and password for that. Your parents can assist you in that task.
Camp is only a few short weeks away and we’re pretty darn busy getting ready for you. We’re ordering new gear, finishing up renovations, and crops at the farm are busting up through the soil. We’ve had a lot of rain this Spring so vegatables are doing well. The grass has never been greener and our dogwoods are in all their glory. Carson Creek that runs through the center of camp is pumping lots of water. I was on a walk yesterday with folks that monitor our land conservation easement (see Conservation Easement under About Us on the website). We walked to The Rock and then bushwacked down the mountain to the Outpost Campsite and followed the creek all the way up Connestee Falls. In the process we discovered a new cascade coming off the southern side of the property that I hadn’t seen before. I’m sure it’s been pretty small with our lack of rain over the past couple of years but yesterday it was really running. Yet another great place to explore once all our campers get here. We’re planning lots of outings this summer that will take us to new and exciting places.
The year round team met today to plan Staff Training which is probably the most important week of our summer. A lot of work goes into preparing our staff for a summer at Gwynn Valley. We’ve attended conferences and workshops this winter to add to our knowledge and experience in creating the best possible environment for our campers and the staff mentoring them. If this is your first year at camp we hire creative, fun, inspiring individuals who demonstrate a desire to work with children and who have strong character, leadership skills, and experience to teach in our program areas. The heart and soul of Gwynn Valley is it’s staff and this summer we’ve got just over 70% of our staff who are returning. You will recognize some old faces as well as some new ones from all over the world. Countries such as Scotland, England, Ireland, France, Canada, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Brazil, Korea, Australia, and New Zealand are represented this coming summer. In addition, we have staff from many US states. All of the staff are at least 19 and our overall camper/staff ratio is 3 to 1. We’re also excited to welcome a great bunch of SIT’s (the most we’ve ever had) this summer. Once you reach the age of 16 and 17 you’re eligible to be a Staff-in-Training and it’s a great way to continue your camp experience on a whole different level. It’s also a stepping stone and training ground for those interested and qualified SIT’s to make the leap into the staff ranks once you complete your freshman year of college. Just a few years ago some of these folks were in Peter Pan and Raccoon Ridge. This summer you’ll see them working hard in many aspects of camp and learning the ropes.
It’s getting toward sun down here and those mountains are turning blue as they usually do this time of day when it’s clear and beautiful. Look for more updates as we count down the days until camp starts. Looking forward to seeing you all here at Gwynn Valley where the simple joys abound!