Happy New Year!

It’s another very cold day here at camp but compared to other parts of the nation we might even be having a heat wave. I love the cold weather and all of our leftover snow here at camp (see pics from earlier news). The weekend before the holidays brought 8 inches of snow that has lingered in the form of hard packed snow and ice. We celebrated a Gwynn Valley white Christmas this year and it’s been a while since that has happened. Our family just returned from a short vacation to visit with relatives near and far over the Holiday week. Our travels took us to central NC and then up to Summit, NJ where Anne’s sister lives. They are just a short distance from NYC which is always filled with a different kind of adventure than we’re used to living here in our small town environment. It’s always so fascinating to spend time in the city after our rural existence here in Brevard. While I don’t care for the city and its crowds and traffic, I do feel a draw when I’m that close to such a cultural center and that window to so many different aspects of life. We took in a Broadway play and sampled some of NYCs finest ethnic foods. My girls were into the shopping scene so the boys just sort of waited and watched in the wings. Our time in the city was brief but full, as we took in so much of that side of life. Even though we have the farm here at camp, there is something primitive and even educational about watching a truck unload its contents of pig carcasses with heads intact in the midst of Chinatown. That scene was ironic based on listening to Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle book on tape as we drove up and back on our trip.

After our Big Apple experience, we then went with our relatives out to a small house they have in western NJ near the Delaware Water Gap and the Appalachian Trail. The cold weather up north had frozen their pond next to the house with foot thick ice, which offered the chance to ice skate. There were only 2 sets of small skates but we spent the better part of that evening and the next day clearing snow off the ice and watching the children glide across our outdoor rink. For me that was the best part of the trip, being outdoors and sampling all the aspects of holiday magic with family.

It’s an adventure for us to venture into the city and have all the aspects of humanity right at your fingertips just like it’s an adventure for our campers to come to Gwynn Valley and have all the aspects of our outdoor life at your disposal. Both add value and appreciation to the lives we live and I’m so thankful to be able to have those city experiences. It’s always nice to come home as well. For me, sharing these kind of experiences with my family is what truly makes it memorable. That is one of the finest aspects of our just passed Holiday Season. Whatever your faith and whether you celebrate the observance of Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, celebrating with family is the best.

We’ll soon be out promoting camp and hope to see you at one our home shows.  Check our travel schedule on the “News Page” to see where we’ll be coming over the weeks ahead.

We here at camp wish the best for you and your family for the coming year and hope to have you join us this summer where the simple joys of childhood come first at Gwynn Valley.

Happy New Year to you and yours!