Dear Parent and Friends,
Today was another beautiful day at camp and then around 5:00 we got a nice shower. I can almost count the number of days we’ve not had rain on two hands this summer. As I stated in a recent blog, we haven’t been able to creek hike or tube until just recently. The river went back up yesterday so we couldn’t tube today as we hoped to. And this is purely for safety reasons. Tubing or not there was still fun to be had a camp. WEB hit the jackpot this morning by finding a baby snapping turtle in one of our creeks. These do live at camp and in our lake and they are very shy, but do show themselves in the lake from time to time. We leave them alone and they do the same with us. WEB is one of my favorite activities in camp and you never know what mysteries are about just waiting to be discovered and explored. When we are quiet we sometimes can scare up a deer in the daylight hours. Most animals come out at night and of course after the season when children are gone. In the off season we see about everything that Western NC has to offer.
With sunny trails available the bikers and horse riders were all about camp today. Bikers went over to the Hunt Farm trail where we host a young folks mountain bike race in the fall. It’s part of the CYMBL races that are held each year in the area. It will be held here at camp on Sept. 7th. Last year folks came from as far away as Virginia and Tennessee to compete. It’s a fun day.
Archery always draws a crowd and today was no exception. We love target sports where we can zero on the bulls eye. We have a variety of bows that some of our youngest campers can shoot to some that are of the compound variety that take a bit more skill. Most of our activities have appropriate sized equipment for as many people as possible. I think sometimes our staff would like to have that same equipment that would fit them. Our little 1 ½ Jackson kayaks are so tiny and they’re made just like an adult boat but just a lot smaller. They are perfect for our program.
I went out with Mountainside this afternoon and ran Section 0 of the French Broad. We then drove up to a pool on the North Fork where’s there’s a great rope swing and a good teaching spot. I worked with half the group while the other half made plunge after plunge into the cool FB. It was a great afternoon and culminated MS’s training days. They will spend a bit more lake time with me over the weekend and will be leaving next Tues. on their final adventures. Next week, one of our regular instructors will be with them for their 4 days of paddling. Climbers, Pioneers, and Bikers were all out today. Each group came back to a great dinner of homemade pizza and salad. Riverside returned today as well and spent the last two days of their paddling adventure on the Tuck. Water in our rivers is up everywhere so it’s been a fun season for paddling. The climbers have had a wet summer but Dylan, Jamie and Chris have done a great job in finding those sunny dry spots on the rock to make scaling our NC granite a challenge and fun despite the rain.
The last afternoon of a session is always pillowcase day and almost all the cabins made it to the pool before the rain and thunder arrived late today. You can do amazing things with your pillowcase after it gets wet. Fill it air and it will keep you afloat for quite a while. It’s fun to go down the slide at the pool to see if you can fill it up before you hit the water.
We held our Friendship Campfire tonight and many children received their blankets and plaques for coming to camp for 4 or 5 years. It’s always fun to recognize these children as well as our staff and SIT’s who have attended even longer. Each year we see more of our campers coming back as staff. Seeing campers come back as staff is one of the best parts of my job. The reward of having them here brings me a lot of joy.
Speaking of joy, I’m sure you’ll be joyful as you arrive tomorrow to pick up your children. They 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 cabin friendship circle, we welcome you to join us in the Lodge for our end of session campfire. After that feel free to have lunch with us and maybe walk around camp to see some of the activity areas. Thank you for sharing your children and hope to see you next year. Stay tuned!