B Session


Dear Parents & Friends,

It’s been a great day at camp and we just finished campfire with Brookside.   We’ve finished up our Discovery week today.  Tomorrow is “special day” and we’ll keep you posted on that.  Tomorrow is also a free day from program when our activity heads take time off.  Tonight at campfire we did a switch a roo with our campfire on Thurs. when half the camp went to the pool after supper and the other half danced and heard stories.  The dances and stories were appropriate to the age each evening.  Tonight we danced the Paddy Cake Polka, a Virginia Reel, and the Gay Gordon.  We then settled back for a couple of Tajar Tales and the story of Jumping Mouse.  I really believe that “children of all ages” love to be read to.  I was quite surprised to see how attentive Brookside was to the stories we read.  It was a nice way to end the evening.

Great food today at camp starting with breakfast all the way through dinner.  Breakfast was eggs and sausage, fruit, cereal, biscuits and of course all the trimmings.  Lunch was mac and cheese with fresh green beans from the farm, cabbage from the farm, and fruit.  Dinner was meat loaf, salad, roasted potatoes, and brownies.  A very child friendly day at the table.

Next week we’ll go to full “sign ups” all week long and campers will be able to do a variety of activities each day.  The farm is in full production with lots of fresh vegetables that are being picked each day.  From farm to table is just the norm around here.  I ask you what grocer can make that claim and guarantee such a fresh product.  If you’ve ever read Barbara Kingssolver’s book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle I think she would like Gwynn Valley’s farm and mill program.  I eat most any kind of food and I realize how healthy our diet is during the summer when camp is going on.  There are always fresh vegetables on the table with almost no pesticides or herbicides.  Our beef is all free range and even though we don’t eat our chickens or pigs they have a pretty good life with all the attention they receive.  We don’t produce enough eggs in the summer to consume those but you can bet we do in the off season.  My kids love to collect eggs at the hen house.  The Farm is a special place and Dale our site manager has done an outstanding job there through the years.  Cindy at the Mill, has taken that program area to a whole different level and does an incredible job each summer.  Besides creating the program at the Mill, she has literally taken the campers back in time with all the accoutrements from that 1890’s era.  Cindy is a teacher in Spartanburg, SC during the school year.  It’s staff like these that make Gwynn Valley.

Mountainside and Riverside will soon be departing for their adventures.  The children on MS chose their adventures tonight and staff will meet tomorrow morning to hash out all the choices and go over the groups.  Riverside leaves tomorrow morning for their Backpacking adventure.  They are heading up into Pisgah and will be on the Art Loeb Trail headed toward the Parkway gradually climbing as they go upward to and end of just over 6000 feet in the Shining Rock Wilderness Area.  If you’ve never been up to this area, there is an easy hike you can do even with small children that located just off the Parkway.  You walk up a portion of the Mountains to Sea / Art Loeb Trail and on a clear day can view a good bit of southern Pisgah National Forest and see as far east and north as Mt. Mitchell, highest point in the east.  There are so many wonderful places just nearby.

Don’t hesitate to call us if you’re up this way during the off season.  We’d love to recommend a hike or bike trail for your family.  Stay tuned for more on their adventures tomorrow!



Camp Starts on Friday June 12th!

Our first day of camp is two days away.  If you are a new camper family we welcome you. If you are a returning camper family welcome back and hope you enjoy the pictures and day to day updates from Gwynn Valley.  To log on and look at photos just click log in on the homepage and follow the instructions.

Our summer officially starts on Friday when our first campers arrive.  We’ve been preparing for this day all year long and most intensively over the past couple of weeks in our many days of staff training.  All staff training began last week but not before a flurry of activity and days with our adventure staff, Lifeguards, Wilderness/First Aid/CPR and driving sessions.  We’ve had a great week with our staff and they finally have some time off this evening before campers arrive on the 12th.

Our 2009 Staff just before finishing up a week of training!

Our 2009 Staff just before finishing up a week of training!

When your family arrives you’ll be greeted by directors and head counselors and then taken to the Health Care Center to meet our nurses and doctor.  From there our SIT’s will show you to your cabin to meet your counselors.  Your family will be with you the whole time and will see where you will be living as well as meet other children and their families who are arriving at the same time.  Hopefully by the time you arrive in your cabin, your luggage will be there waiting for you. Our super team maintenance crew will whisk away your luggage so you and family can focus on your arrival and upcoming camp experience with us.

Our first day is a lot of fun as we begin our time together.  Lots of activities will unfold on that first Friday afternoon and you’ll jump right into program and all the wonderful aspects of Gwynn Valley.  Your family will be able to view pictures and updates that evening back home to help them adjust to not having you at home.

It should be a nice day for arrival on Friday.  We look forward to seeing you and please call us if you have any questions.  Stay tuned!



Staff Arriving and We’re Rolling


Everywhere you look staff are working and getting ready for the coming summer.  We’ve had a core group of staff here for the past couple of weeks to assist as we wind the Gwynn Valley Wheel to start things up.  It’s ironic that we have the waterwheel as our symbol and just the other day when our first pre-camp staff were arriving, Dale cranked up the wheel to get it ready.  The sound of the wheel turning and water rushing over blades was a welcome sound.  We’ve no lack of water this Spring as it’s been raining pretty steady for a week.  We are officially out of drought conditions even though the western NC groundwater levels are not quite there.  Today is a gorgeous day with more staff arriving and worker bees everywhere pulling gear out, reworking looms, setting up activity areas and of course just trying to stay ahead keeping the grass mown.  Hang in there Jeff!

Mountainside/Riverside staff on Black Balsam

Mountainside/Riverside staff on Black Balsam

We’re also in the midst of some of our specialized training courses.  Mountainside and Riverside training started on the 31st. We had a total group hike yesterday up to Black Balsam which is just over 6000′.  Today was paddling, climbing, pioneering and mountain biking day for the staff in those respective areas.  We’re also teaching a Life Guard Training Course which ends on the 3rd.  About 10 folks took our Wilderness First Aid course that just ended.  More First Aid to follow.Things are shaping up nicely for the summer and we’re looking forward to having you campers join us.img_0264Pictured here are some of those 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.  See you all soon!