Dear Parents & Friends,
Our last full day for C-1 Session was a good one. The big news today at lunch was that our first corn came in and everyone helped shuck close to 500 ears just after lunch. It took all of about 8 minutes (many hands make light work). Many children have been involved with the farm since they got here and if your child is leaving tomorrow be sure to visit the farm and see the baby piglets and visit with our staff there. This session campers have fed calves, milked Bessie the cow, gathered eggs, picked all kinds of fresh vegetables, dug potatoes, mothered baby chicks, visited with mama pig and her babies and played in the goat pen with the “kids” there. No matter the weather the animals must be cared for and fed and crops must be harvested. The farm life goes on and one has to think how hard some farmers work. We have an army that helps out down at the farm. Thanks to the children harvesting and feeding, we can afford extra time to teach and talk about all the aspects of living on a farm and working the land. You can’t just go on vacation and not milk the cow for a week. My uncle was a dairy farmer and it truly was one of the most demanding lifestyles I’ve ever witnessed. He loved it and was very good at what he did. Our farm crew is great and each day they lead us in bearing the fruits of our labor.
Our Main Camp climbers went out to Looking Glass Rock today and climbed around the Nose area and scaled some climbs that we called the “Apron of the Nose”. The campers did a great job as they scaled this part of Pisgah. You get fantastic views of the national forest once you get about halfway up and above the trees. We also have a new climbing tree at camp that Dylan and put up over the past week. It’s behind the Lodge and at present we have 4 climbing trees and two Arborist trees with a total of 9 climbs on them.
To beat the heat of our first sunny day in a while, the zip line, pool and lake were in full action today. Everyone flocked to the water for a refreshing dip. No matter the heat and weather, there’s always a game of Knockout and Thunderball going on at the B-ball court. It’s an everyday favorite and one where the girls take on the boys and win about half the time.
Earlier in the morning I had stopped by the Mill to see what was going on there. Some campers were fishing and 5 fish were caught by one young man. Campers were also making corn husk dolls, which was a two hour sign up. It’s a delicate process and I don’t know if Erin got any shots of the crew making them but they were fantastic. This would have been how girls would have acquired dolls in the era that the Mill was built. After dinner we had after supper activities and lacrosse was going on the soccer field along with Thunderball , basketball, and a wide assortment of games and things to do. Unstructured play during this time is also important for our campers to have. This is supervised play but it gives them a chance to run around, roll in the grass, play tag and go for the simple joys of just being a child.
At campfire tonight, Anne and I took some time to honor those who have attended camp for a long time. We had our blanket ceremony for those who have attended camp for 4 years. After the brief ceremony our drama/dance group performed a dance and play they had written with Debbie’s help. Sophie, Lindsay and Louisa have done a great job with the group and it turned out to be a superb performance. Camp creates memories or as I call it “camp DNA”. Whether it’s your first play or your first fish caught or topping out on a rock climb in Pisgah, Gwynn Valley is all about the “simple joys” of childhood and we celebrate that each and every day.
Tomorrow when you arrive your children from C-1 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, bedtime 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 welcome you to visit a while and maybe walk around camp to see the some of the activity areas. Thank you for sharing your children and hope to see you next year. Stay tuned!