Closing Day of B and Happy Trails!

Dear Parents & Friends,

By now, many of you are winging your way toward home and perhaps already there.  We had a great session and wonderful campers made it so.  Thank you for sharing your children with us this past 13 days.  Even 13 days goes much too quickly.  It was a beautiful morning here and a perfect day to end another Gwynn Valley session.  Not only did Main Camp finish a session but so did Mountainside and Riverside.

Soon you will receive an evaluation via email and we hope you will take the time to fill it out and send it back.  This provides us with feed back to help make our program better.  The eval will come through a service called Constant Contact.  They will not solicit you in any way and you get only one correspondence from them.  We use their services and design the form here at camp.  We appreciate you taking the time to help us keep Gwynn Valley an outstanding program.

I’m working on getting some video up by the end of the day so check back in tonight or tomorrow for an update.

We hope that your child’s experience has captured all the magic of what camp can be.  We hope you will hear stories and songs as the weeks go by and camp becomes a great memory.  Placed in the hands of a mature staff a camper really gains a good bit from “playing outside which produces growing inside”.  From all of us, thanks again for a great session.  Wonderful children, great staff and the Simple Joys of Childhood at Gwynn Valley!  Hope to see you next year.

Last Full Day of B Session

Dear Parents & Friends,

The last full day of Session B was spectacular.  It was another beautiful day as far as the weather.  Everyone soaked up the sunshine and enjoyed the moderate mountain temperatures. We’re up late tonight getting ready for you all to arrive and greet your children.  We haven’t loaded all the pics from today but they will be up no later than tomorrow morning. When Mountainside and Riverside came in yesterday we had a bunch of photos to upload from their adventures.

I apologize for not blogging the past couple of nights.  I got into a tussle with a swing on our ropes course and came out with a black eye and a few stitches.  I was photographing some of the campers participating in the Swing by Choice component and my camera perspective was different from my real perspective.  I got a little behind over the past couple of nights.

Morning program today was sign-ups and everyone got to choose two activities that they maybe hadn’t done and wanted to try.  There was a huge variety of things offered, plus there were several off camp trips including mountain biking, hiking and kayaking.  Main camp bikers visited Dupont State Forest which has over a hundred miles of trails in the 12,000 acres encompassed there.  This session has produced some great bikers.  I asked one little guy today if he bikes at home and he said he didn’t.  His parents should get him a mountain bike because he’s got a knack for it given his age.  The kayakers visited a tougher section of the French Broad this morning a worked on their peel outs, eddy turns and ferrying.  The FB has the Davidson running into it about halfway down and the water coming out of Pisgah is cold and clear.  The hikers went to one of my favorite places today called Black Balsam.  The altitude is just over 6000’ and the views on a clear day cannot be beat.  You can the highest point in the east, Mt. Mitchell from that vantage point looking east and looking west the Smokies seem to just over the next ridgeline.  Activities at camp this morning included zip lining, corn shucking, candle making, and tomahawk throwing ( I know it sounds dangerous, but it was a great session), weaving, swimming, and the list goes on.  Our corn is finally coming in at the farm and it accompanied tonight’s meal.

We had pizza for dinner tonight which is traditional on the last night of camp.  After dinner we took the rest of the cabin photos and then went on to friendship campfire.  Lots of people sang and talked about what the past couple of weeks had meant to them. One of the best groups to chime in were our SIT’s.  They’ve been just extraordinary and outstanding this session.  They stay for three weeks and spend a lot of time working and watching and being sponges.  Let me say that again, they spend a lot of time WORKING!  We hope one day this group all comes back to be counselors.  What a great bunch and if your camper had one in their cabin be sure to introduce yourself and thank them.

Friendship campfire tonight was also about honoring those who have attended camp for a long time. We had our blanket ceremony and also the 5 year plaque ceremony for the “old timers”. Camp creates memories or as I call it camp DNA.  Gwynn Valley is all about the “simple joys” of childhood and we celebrate that each and every day.

Tomorrow when you arrive your children will be waiting for you in the cabins.  At 10:30 there will be a cabin friendship circle where all can join in.  We do these each night and check in with campers to find out how their day has been.  It allows staff to see how the children are doing since they only see them at morning wake-up and just before and after meals.  A lot happens in our day here at camp and it’s a good way to learn about the children’s experiences.  After the friendship circle, we hope you will join us in the Lodge for our final campfire for the session.  There will songs, stories and skits from the session.  Lunch is just after and most of the food will be from our farm.  We look forward to seeing you all tomorrow but will miss our campers from this session.  Stay tuned!

Hot and Sunny with Cool Coming on at Night!

Dear Parents and Friends,

A day without rain has been really nice.  It’s good to dry out and it was hot here today.  We had sign-ups this morning and also after lunch.  The lake was a very active place to be for a number of reasons.  Just to cool off was number one and then to partake in some GV skills and thrills was next in line.  Water Polo was a big hit at the swimming pool this morning.  Our Main Camp Kayakers are headed out tomorrow to a section of the French Broad and our Mountain Bikers are going over to Dupont State Forest to ride the many trails there.  I will be taking them to their destination and will also meet up with Mountainside Bikers where I’m dropping Main Camp.  I will hook up with the Main Campers after I take some time with Mountainside.  All of Mountainside left today for their adventures.  Climbers went to Cedar Rock, Paddlers headed to a part of the French Broad that’s a great intro to paddlers, and Pioneers are hiking starting at Daniel Ridge over to Farlow Gap and then deep into Pisgah where it’s streams and coves aplenty.  It’s pretty country and good hiking with lots of water.  I helped get everyone off this morning which is a chore getting 40 campers and 8 staff going in 4 different directions.  Everyone meets behind the kitchen and then off.  There are packs and food in piles everywhere and it’s always an exciting time of the session.  The campers will return confident, assured in their outdoor skills, and a stronger group as they tackle their individual outdoor components.  Their friendships will grow stronger as well.   Our Riverside groups number only 12 and it’s amazing how they bond as a small group in the three weeks they are here.  This has been a great group of campers on Riverside and we look forward to having many of them back as SIT’s and staff in later years.

RB at the Mill had just a few fish left in the Mill Pond today so they lowered the water level and caught all the remaining trout with nets.  Everyone had a blast and fish were flying everywhere but eventually landing in the coolers.  I went to the Farm this morning with a group of campers who did a variety of things down on the lower 40.  They milked the cow by hand and with our automatic milker.  It’s certainly faster that way.  Then they visited with the baby goats and chicks, collected eggs, fed the baby calves and last but not least pulled some of the best carrots I’ve seen in a long time.  We had carrots and other assorted vegis at lunch today with lasagna, garlic bread, peaches, and salad.  You’d be surprised what you can do at the farm in a two hour period.  There’s always work to be done and campers really take part in the hands aspects of the farm.

There were some beautiful things coming out of weaving today and I stopped in later this afternoon to check out a beading class as well as some wall pockets being made in pottery.  Archery is a camp favorite and one camper said today that we didn’t have Archery open in the afternoon.  There are so many things to choose from at camp but Archery is usually in the top 5 or so.  Another favorite is our tree and arborist climbing program.  Both utilize trees but in different ways.  Traditional tree climbing uses the limbs to ascend and arborist climbing ascends the rope connected to the trees.  Both can take you up to the land of Transylvania White Squirrels and birds but they’re very different.  I personally like the arborist climbing and think it’s a bit harder as you pull and step up the rope to near the inner sanctum of the tree where not many humans go.  We been doing tree climbing since Anne and I took over camp 15 years ago and it’s always a hit with the campers.

We also had several campers sign up for the Tri-Trail Challenge today.  You run / walk up three trails here at camp that are all challenging in their own way.  One starts with the Wall property and peaks out at a wonderful view, and then up to The Rock and back down and then off to Connesstee Fall for a swim.  It’s got to be close to 5 miles and mostly uphill getting to all those places.  Tonight at campfire the Fine Arts group put on a puppet show that was really great.  It was all camper written and acted out and was a funny story about a very bored queen.  It did have a fairy tale ending but not without some curve balls and surprises along the way.

There’s never a dull moment here for any camper who is up for learning new skills and stepping out of their comfort zones. Miss Mary Gwynn believed that we should challenge ourselves everyday.  I concur and stay tuned!

Special Day & More!

Dear Parents & Friends,

A great day at GV for our first “Special Day” of the summer.  We started the day with a sleep in till 8:30 and a 9:00 breakfast which everyone was thankful for.  It’s appropriate on this thankful day and we just finished up our Vespers Service about 10 minutes ago.  More on that later…..  Special Day’s theme was Board Games and we had about every board game you can imagine.  Battleships where counselors were bombarded by wet sponges and campers were subs that could torpedo their boats.  There was also giant Tic-Tac-Toe played with real people and of course Pictionary where you draw or act out your word or words.  The most unusual game of Beachball Volleyball I’ve ever seen and thought up by one of our creative staff.  There was Chutes and Ladders which was very interesting that I had never seen  before.  Campers could go to any game they wanted and had about 20 minutes at each game.  You could go to a possible 6 games in the time frame that we had.  Some rotated to as many as possible and some gravitated back to their favorites.

Lunch was chicken pot pie with vegis from the garden and then we had singing in the Lodge and an extended rest hour.  Everyone enjoyed that and just after our Lodge time just before rest hour ended we had a pretty good shower.  As always at camp we had plan B in case of rain so we extended rest hour a bit more for campers to change their sheets and take showers in anticipation of tonight’s Vespers.  With thunder on the horizon we showed a quick movie called “The Secret World of Arrietty” which many campers have seen.  Everyone enjoyed the leisurely atmosphere in the Lodge and a chance to catch up on some rest.  It’s a full week here and Sunday’s are perfect for this activity level.  Everyone needed some good rest and a chance to do a little cabin bonding.  Usually in the evenings we’re back at the cabin and off to bed so it was good to spend some “unstructured free play” with our cabins.  Dinner tonight was burgers and dogs and all the trimmings.

After supper we took cabin photos and that is always a challenge and fun at the same time.  I’ve often thought what it would be like to be a professional photographer and take children’s pictures, trying to get them to be still, smile, stand in the right place, no bunny ears or funny faces.  We want the cabin photos to be something that can last a lifetime.  We do have a funny picture that we take of the group for each cabin and that helps.   When you’re reeling off one cabin after another and keeping all those boys and girls still it takes a team.  Everyone wants to hold the sign and no one wants to be on the first row and everyone else wants to stand next to their counselor.  It’s quite comical and actually I love it.  Most of the time our camp photographer takes the photos but she was off tonight and I’ve done it for many years.

Vespers tonight was great with guitars, songs and poems relating to our theme of thankfulness and simplicity.  I talked at the end about one of my favorite characters from the Toy Story movies – Buzz Lightyear.  I think there are some great lessons that we can take from Buzz that will help us succeed in real life.

High Self-Worth – a lengthy part of the first movie is Woody trying to convince Buzz that he is not the “real” Buzz Lightyear, but a child toy. I love a positive attitude in the camp setting!  Buzz has a great can-do attitude and belief in himself. Focus on what you can do and do it great!  Limitless Thinking – “To infinity and beyond!” Now here is a guy who is not bound by what others think. In fact, not only is he going to the end (infinity) he is going beyond. In reality this statement makes no sense, but this positive attitude toward what ever challenges he may face is contagious. What is it that might be in the way of your limitless thinking? If you aren’t a Buzz thinker, be sure to find one and hope that it is contagious.  Falling With Style – when Buzz is first introduced in the first movie he gets into an argument with Woody over whether or not he can fly. Of course with Buzz’s high self worth and limitless thinking the thought that he can’t fly never enters his mind. He attempts and after many acrobatic flips, jumps and gliding he lands perfectly letting everyone around him know that he can fly. Woody tells him that this wasn’t flying, but merely falling with style. I don’t know if you can fly or not in your present place in life, but I do know the next best thing is falling with style! The only way to know if you can fly or fall with style is to take risks, to get out there and make attempts at something. You could say this blog is my attempt at flying (I’m okay if I’m just falling with style).

My prayer to end the Vespers was, God grant us the confidence to try new things and in the process reach for the stars and along the way if we do fail or fall help us to fall with style.  Guide us and direct us in all things as we go about our daily lives.  Amen and stay tuned!

Saturday, but then everyday feels like Saturday at camp!

Dear Parents & Friends,

Tonight is a bit cooler and that means good sleeping weather up here.  We had a shower earlier this afternoon just after rest hour and right at the beginning of afternoon activities.  Four cabins are camping out tonight and the spring peepers are putting those children to sleep.  I can hear them just outside my office window as I write.  I didn’t put out a blog yesterday because I had a day off.  First full one of the summer.  I miss camp when I’m not there but it runs very smoothly because we have great leadership staff to step in and an overall great staff.

Water polo has been a favorite this summer and we play at the pool.  If you’re a shallow swimmer, this really helps with your swimming skills.  You can start off with a swimming noodle which makes you a little more buoyant.  Swimming with the ball in front of you is such good exercise and also provides stamina.  Cindy who runs our waterfront told me that many of the children had really improved their strokes and were so much more confident in the water because of water polo.  I saw some confidence gained today in our mountain biking program.  The first hour had some beginning riders  who did well with our varying terrain and its features that are quite different from the yard/street/sidewalk at home.  Learning how to ride in the attack position and being able to shift your weight around was the first thing they took on.   The attack position is when your pedals are even at the 9/3 or 3/9 position depending on which foot you want to place forward.  You’re also standing up out of the saddle with your weight evenly distributed over the entire bike depending on the terrain which we teach in a later lesson.  We keep a couple of fingers on the brake levers ready to use those if you need them.  We start them off in that position riding down a slight incline and then went to maneuvering the bike around a few obstacles in that position and then finally going off several small drops about 4 to 6 inches high.  Everyone did great which led into a ride around camp utilizing our terrain with its many features.  We got on the single track bike trail at the end our session and went about a ¼ of the way up our trail and rode back down because we were running out of time.  Big improvements with this group!

Mountainside learned what their adventures were going to be today and will be heading out on Monday.  I have two Mountainsiders at my table and they were very excited about the upcoming adventures.   We have a great staff up there with super leadership.  I wish my own children hadn’t aged out of that program because I’d love to have the staff as their mentors and role models.  It’s all about the staff and the role they play while your children are here at camp.  I briefly mentioned our table above and we’ll change tables tomorrow.  I have such a great table this session and we all really want to stay together for the remainder of the session.  You’ll see a picture of our table as we all wore bread bags on our heads for the afternoon meal.  We were of course bread heads.  Camp is all about having fun, and it’s also about learning and trying new things.  Our GV Rescue group went to the French Broad this morning and participated in rescue scenarios in moving water.  They learned how to cross a moving river, throw a rope to a victim and utilize a rescue tube (the devices we use on the river and our waterfront).  You all might remember the old “reach, row, throw and go” that was promoted by the Red Cross.  Much of that has changed but still applies in many situations.  Swift Water Rescue is the equivalent river course for instructors and I was just updated this year before camp started.  These campers are learning foundation principals that could very well save a life or their own in a crisis situation.

As far as learning new things, Arborist Climbing was in full swing this morning at our huge Poplar Trees in front of the office.  You’ll see pics from that activity.  I helped a bit with that activity this afternoon.  It’s very different from tree climbing and takes a fair amount strength to ascend the rope utilizing what’s called a Blake’s Hitch.  It’s basically a complicated version of the prusick knot.  As long as it’s not under tension, it’s easily moved.  Once there is weight on it, it stays put in the vertical position.  Campers love this activity and we’ve had fun with it through the years.  It’s one of those that pushes the comfort zone and allows the camper to step out there on their own.  Camp is a great place to take those steps and then on your own step back into that comfort area.  Stay tuned as we take on new and exciting things each day!

Summer Solstice and Free Play!

Dear Parents and Friends,

We started off with another beautiful day here and it was fitting since it’s the longest day of the year.   Mountainside was out on the lake, at the climbing wall, Bikers were on the single track across the road and Pioneers were at the Rock.   Riverside had a giant game of kickball on the soccer field and I watched from the climbing wall while doing a little maintenance there.  You’re never too old to play kickball.   At lunch today RB challenged everyone to come to the Mill and catch lots of fish so we can have our totally GV produced meal.  Trout from the pond, coleslaw from the garden and cornbread from the Mill.

Gummie Worms covered in Dirt Pudding!

Lunch today was spaghetti and this evening we had pizza.  Everyone was so quiet because we were all just eating and enjoying the good GV food.  For desert tonight we had Dirt Pudding with Gummie Worms mixed in.  It didn’t stay quiet very long with they brought that out into the dining room.  Hopefully I’ll get a photo up of some of chocolate covered worms.  It doesn’t look that appetizing but it’s delicious.  Our traditional activity after supper each evening is as you guessed it “After Supper Activities”.  There’s always a variety of things going on from arts and crafts to listening to someone read aloud on the front porch to several athletic endeavors on one of the fields.  Games on the Green (the giant yard area in front of the Lodge) is happening with all kinds of games each night.  I went around to several activities including Thunderball, Knockout, Tetherball, Volleyball and Soccer. Everyone in each group was having a blast.  Each activity depending on what it is, is supervised by at least one counselor.  It’s about a 45 minute play time that offers a variety of different activities each night.  We also have one evening where that period of time goes into what we call Twilight Play and add another 45 minutes or so.  It really allows extra time and it’s great for children after such a structured day.  Tonight several more cabins were camping out and eating dinner over an open fire at one of the many campout shelters we have on the property.  For those that stayed behind we celebrated the Summer Solstice with the whole camp including Mountainside.  Web of Life, Fine Arts and Outdoor Living Skills took charge and acted out several stories from the Native American culture that were great.  We also listened to The Lorax by Dr. Seuss.  Debbie led some songs and some of female SIT’s performed a song.  You had to be here for the sunset and the great view we have in front of our office.  I have this view each day as I work.

Listening to a Native American story

At the end of the program we allowed cabins to just to hang out in the field and have what we now call in the camping business Supervised Free Play or just plain having fun.  I’ve been to several conference workshops over the past several years that stressed the importance of Free Play.  Well, duh, isn’t that what all children need at some point during their day.  Of course the key to that is the “supervised” aspect of it all.  Allowing the children to create, move through their own desires and allow them the time and freedom to feel like they are just doing and being what comes next.  It was a marvelous time and the different approaches to free play was wonderful.  There were cabins rolling down the hill, some quiet and listening to counselors play guitars, others playing tag, some talking about their day, some imitating their counselors trying to do hand stands, and much more.  No balls or props were there, just their imaginations and one another.  In our structured camp world these are the times when friendships are built and bonds are created.  Camp is all about relationships and getting on with all those around you.  It’s just such a mish mash of personalities and it’s really the way the real world is.  It’s so important that we all learn to live with one another and in the process learn about ourselves and others as we take on new found skills.  No fancy words here, just plain camp!

Children teach us so much and each summer I revel in watching them play, relate, grow and become new little beings.  I put up a video earlier this evening from our Riverside 1 group during their river component.  It was amazing how far they took their skills from Day 1 on the lake to Day 4 on the river.  The scenes were from the Tuckaseegee River over near Dillsboro.  It’s a great teaching river and we only scratched the surface with some of GoPro video I shot.  Hope you enjoy it and stay tuned!

Why Am I Sitting On the Floor, When I Can Dance?

Dear Parents and Friends,

Our title tonight comes from the name of a dance that was done by all of Brookside this evening.  More on that later.  It’s been another great day at camp.  We had 6 cabins out tonight for campouts and it couldn’t be a better night for sitting around the fire cooking dinner and having smores around the fire. The day started off with a strong group of mountain bikers heading to the Hunt Farm to test their metal on the trail over there.  This is the newer of our two single track trails.  For those of you that don’t know what single track is it’s a trail that’s anywhere from 3 to 4 feet wide and is completely dirt.  A well built trail needs little maintenance because it has a lot of areas and undulations so water can run off and not erode down the middle.  It’s also cambered the correct way so that you feel like the trail is hugging you and you’re not going to fall off the edge.  Our trail across the road is a good beginner/intermediate trail.  The faster you ride it the more of a workout you get.  It’s rolling with no steep hills but several sharp turns that require fast reflexes.  Mountain biking is one of the untethered sports where the camper has a great deal of independence and can really feel a sense of freedom within the confines of two counselors at either end of the group.  In this case it’s Thomas and Laurel.  Thomas goes to Elon and is on the biking team and Laurel is at Vanderbilt and was a camper for many years.

Our kayakers are getting ready for a river trip which will happen next week.  Those who feel comfortable with their wet exits and have learned to handle their boats on the lake will be going off site for a trip.  There is someone almost always on the zip line when the waterfront is open.  It’s a great ride and everyone’s challenge is to perform a spiderman (hanging upside down) while zipping.  Harder than it looks!  We’ll try and get some photos.  A recent addition to our lake is the Tension Traverse.  It’s just a few inches over the water and you walk the cable holding on to a long rope that is attached to a nearby tree.  The farther out you get the more difficult it is and very few staff have done it.  A few campers have gotten close but no campers yet.  There is always a line to take a shot at the Traverse.

Remaining in the water world, we’re catching lots of fish down at the Mill.  We should be having a fish fry soon.  Soccer and archery rounded out the morning on the sports pitch.  There’s at least one soccer game every day at camp and more often there’s more than one.  After all it is the world’s #1 sport (behind ACC Basketball).  Pottery, while not a sport does take a fair amount of coordination.  I’ve been in camping a long time and haven’t yet been able to master the proper throwing of a pot.  I suppose it takes practice just like everything else.

The Riversiders came home today after 4 days of climbing.  We also welcomed a new batch of Mountainsider’s today and they had their intro skits tonight.  Tonight’s campfire was dancing for Brookside and Tajar Tales for Hillside.  I just came back from the dance to take a few photos of the Hillside group as the sun was going down.  Our sunsets are incredible here and it was quite a site with those layers of ridges in the background.  Brookside danced with Winnie our Head Counselor for Hillside.  He has taught folk dancing for many years and was doing some very active (exhausting, they’ll sleep good tonight) dances with the campers.  He taught dances from Russia, Holland, Denmark, the US and Italy while I was there.  Winnie has an incredible amount of energy and is a Montessori principal in his real life.  He makes learning and practicing the dance so much fun that everyone wants to dance more by the time it ends.

At camp, some kids practice sports, some practice instruments, and some practice their belly flops. But one thing that ALL campers practice is independence!  Gwynn Valley provides a nurturing environment for kids to face challenges on their own, and that can be incredibly constructive to a child’s character. In a recent Washington Post interview, author and psychologist Michael Thompson, PhD, put it this way: “I think camp is the best emotional preparation for a successful college experience, because you practice being on your own, keeping track of your clothes; you practice living in a community and getting along with roommates you don’t love — all of the skills you need for true independence.”

And when kids have had the experience of overcoming a challenge on their own, it gives them a positive memory to draw from when facing future obstacles; say, preparing for that really big math test or interviewing for that first job.  This summer, campers will certainly have an experience that lasts a lifetime — discovering their own strength!  Stay tuned!

Australia Day!

Dear Parents & Friends,

If you’ve been trying to reach us today our phones and electricity have been off.  Just before 1:00 today our main power transmission line went down and it took until right before dinner to get things rolling.  The line went down in a part of camp that is rarely visited in our upper 40 so no campers or staff were in that area.  Luckily, lunch was just about to be served and dinner tonight allowed us depend on our gas appliances in the kitchen.  The power came back on just as dinner started.  We apologize if you tried to reach us today.  We’re answering messages and checking emails to make sure that everyone gets the attention they need.

As usual when things don’t go as planned we have a plan B and everything went very smooth today.  Perhaps it was because it was Australia Day here at camp.  Those Australians have the motto, “no worries mate” and that certainly rang true today.  We started off our morning with Jacob from the Farm playing the didgeridoo.  It takes a great deal of breath control to play one of those.  I’ve tried many times but can’t quite get it.  Our Australian staff which number 8 did a super job with international day today.  We learned lots of Ozzie songs, heard some of their folk tales (acted out by campers) and saw a bit of their country through their descriptions and stories.  I think the most interesting part of the day and this evening was learning about many of native species of animals that live down under.  They have many of the most dangerous snakes and spiders in the world and seem quite proud of it.  I will be sure to watch my step should I ever visit their country.

All activities were going strong today and I stopped by the Mill and Yanderside this morning to check out the marble paper the campers were making and at the Mill they were grinding corn and sifting it to get corn meal and grits.  If you don’t like grits you have to try them with some cheddar cheese and hot sauce.  RB made some Johnny Cakes just after I left today and I could smell them being cooked over the open fire outside the Mill.  I know that a group of campers this afternoon tried the new Swing by Choice which is a part of our new Ropes Course that has been developed adjacent to the climbing wall.   One element or component of the Wall is a long pendulum swing that a camper is clipped to.  That is attached to a long rope that other campers pull on and the participant can choose to quick release the Swing at any point which puts them in a giant arch out and away from the climbing wall.  It’s quite a thrill and allows the “rider” to choose the height that want to be pulled to.  In reality one can only be pulled to a 45 degree angle before the quick release is engaged and they control that.  The choice aspect comes in to play for those that don’t want to be pulled up to the max.  There are three other elements to the course which are mainly for Mountainside and Riverside.

Speaking of Riverside, they will return tomorrow from their climbing trip and we hope to see them by dinner.  We will also have a new batch of Mountainsider’s arriving tomorrow and will kick start their session tomorrow afternoon.  It should be another great day at Gwynn Valley. Hope you enjoyed the video from the climbing wall.  Stay tuned!