Dear Parents & Friends,
It’s been a cooler day here after a hot one yesterday. Sorry for not blogging, as I was on a day off. Spending a day away from camp is like spending a week away in our regular lives. So much goes on here each day and a good bit of energy is released. If I could harness it we could solve all the world’s evergy issues. Tonight Hillside came with me to the Lodge for a little dancing. We performed, Circle Round the Zero, Going to Kentucky, If you Want to Dance, and a Virginia Reel. We didn’t have time for a story but will at some point. They were a lively group and full of some of that energy that I wish I could harness.
Riverside is back and I started the day off working with them on the lake to prepare them for their river component beginning on Monday. I got to the lake early and was just about to get on the water when several campers from Main Camp begged me to go off the zip line with them before the Riverside campers arrived. I had just put on my sunscreen but what the heck, I knew I would start the morning off in cooler fashion if I was wet so I jumped on that idea. If you zip you have to do it spider man style which means that you pull your legs up with your back to the water like you’re upside down as you zip across the lake. You literally ski in the water on your back. Smaller campers go farther on the zip because they weigh less. Bigger people like me plane out earlier.
Riversiders arrived and we spent about 2 hours working on strokes preparing for the river. They too got wet because any instructor knows you can’t spend 2 hours of teaching without some breaks and a swim or two. Everyone jumped out of their boat and the coolest way to get back in is the “Groucho Marx” which I learned many years ago. You literally do a backward somersault into the boat from being in the water. We’ll try and video it tomorrow when I’m working with them again and put it up on the web. You’ll also see some pics from their climbing trip in Linville Gorge which was over last week.
There are some very cool things that go on in the Owl’s Nest where weaving takes place. You should go by there when you pick your children up on closing day to see the array of looms and all the possibilities for weaving. Next to the Owls Nest is our wonderful Mill where Cindy Kay takes you back in time to the 1890’s when the Mill was established on this property. She has collected many of the artifacts that you would have found at a Mill from that era. As you check out some of the pictures notice that there are some pics of children catching fish. The circle of life happens at the Mill as we catch those fish. They are caught and hooks are removed and we stun them so they dont’ suffer in the cooler of ice. Some campers still have a hard time with this and it’s OK. Camp does eat those fish and they do come back to us via the dining room. Everyone wants to catch a fish but to have its life ended is another story. It’s all in the way it’s done and discussed here and that’s where Cindy does such a good job. Many children don’t know or think about our baby calves or where our beef comes from but again it’s that circle of life situation here at GV. Those cows get a lot of wonderful attention all summer long from our campers and then after about 2-3 years here on the farm they come back and we get to enjoy them again.
Mountainside had sign-ups today but not with Main Camp. They had a variety of things to do, one of which was tomahawk throwing. Mark, one of our senior staff members and a teacher from Mayodan brought his tomahawks and target to camp to demo and let campers throw them. It’s been a popular activity this summer and has filled everytime for sign-ups.
This afternoon I went on a kayaking (sit on tops) trip with girls from Rose Bay and Moey our lone boy camper, besides me and Taylor. The girls and Moey did a great job and cruised down the river with no problems. At the takeout we practiced our river swim technique and learned what it’s like and what to do if you turn over on any river and land in the water out of your boat. Universally it’s feet up and pointed downstream and on your back. When you get to calm shallow water you can stand up. We also practiced our rope throwing like they’ve been doing in GV rescue which is our version of Junior Lifeguarding on our lake. Today was yet another day when lots of learning, good fun and the simple joys of Gwynn Valley shine through. Stay tuned! Tomorrow is Special Day!