Dear Parents & Friends,
This week is flying by and I can’t believe we’re just a few days away from the end of the session. It’s been a great day here, in fact, it was Australia Day. G-day Mate and all the other idioms that go along with that part of the world. We just had our evening campfire and our 5 Awesome Aussie staff did a superb job in telling about their country and many interesting facts about it. I never knew that Australia had some many dangerous animals and it sounded like a lowly jelly fish, called the box jellyfish, is the deadliest. We had a typical Ozzie breakfast this morning with beans, eggs, fruit, toast and of course if you wanted it, Vegemite on your toast. It’s very high in Vitamin B and Folic acid. If you like anchovies you’ll like Vegemite. I personally do but maybe I’ve eaten too much campfire food in my life. We sang lots of Ozzie songs throughout the day and learned about the history of the country this evening through skit form. It was a day of no worries mate!
Many of our campers are camping out tonight and it’s a beautiful night here. There are some storms off to the east which are providing some good light shows but nothing threatening the campouts. There are 12 campout shelters at camp and some have a variety of amenities such as running water (a creek next to your campsite), easy to find firewood, and others offer you an exquisite view, while others are just around the corner from Main Camp like Hidden Stall which has running water (a creek), close to camp but no view. It’s kind of like renting a cottage for the night. You get to choose where you want to go unless it’s already taken. All shelters are built up off the ground and three sided with a roof and a campfire circle. After all one only needs a place to sleep and cook dinner and breakfast.
We’ve volunteered to participate in a reading program this summer and you may hear that your child’s counselor may have read to them at night. Part of being involved in the program which was sponsored by the American Camp Association was that we get a number of books and publications geared toward children to enhance summer reading. With a good deal of talk about year round school, why not keep those reading and listening skills on par by reading and being read to at camp. The program is called Explore 30 Camp Reading Program and addresses summer learning loss by providing youth with at least 30 minutes of reading time per day. Explore 30 is a free program involving a variety of camps and other youth development organizations interested in starting either a formal or informal reading program. Camps that sign up have the opportunity to join in advocacy efforts to increase the recognition of and support for the value of the camp experience as a vital component in the development and education of the whole child. Camps like Gwynn Valley have agreed to encourage daily reading to support building literacy. It‘s a good program and just started this summer. You as a family may receive an online questionnaire about it in the weeks ahead.
We received a sprinkle of rain today but nothing to compare to a couple of weeks ago. It was a beautiful sunny day here. It was perfect for all activities in every part of camp. Our tomato population is growing around our dining room and we bring them up from the Farm and place them on window sills of the room. It’s a nice thing to see, all those beautiful tomatoes ripening up just waiting for a salad or sandwich. It was a good day for all water activities and there were several tubing trips out today. What a great day for a hike to Conesstee Falls which is Carson Creek and flows the length of camp. It’s a magical place and magic happens each and every day here. I overheard one little girl talking about a loose tooth and wondering if the tooth fairy would visit GV. I told her not to try and force it out but if it did come out then, yes, the tooth fairy does do GV calls. Magic happens all the time and yes parents, the tooth fairy does come to camp. Stay tuned!