Singing in the Lodge 3

Thank you for everyone who called and videoed in to our third virtual Singing in the Lodge! It was so exciting seeing campers, staff, and alumni, especially those who wore costumes. Here is a link where you can find our video and sing along at home to some new songs and some classics: We hope to see you all next time.

Tajar Tales with Daniel and Lauren

Today we are sharing two Tajar Tales read to you by our friends Lauren and Daniel who have worked at Gwynn Valley for many years and grew up as campers here before that. You might recognize them as the 2019 Head Counselors of Hillside and Brookside.

For those who haven’t met the Tajar, well he’s a little hard to pin down…. “The Tajar looks a little something like a tiger and something like a jaguar and something like a badger, but he is different from all those animals. The Tajar is a very nice fellow. He is always willing to listen to a story or help carry firewood or do anything you ask. But every now and then something strange happens. When the moon is just right and the wind blows very slightly through the trees, the Tajar can become full of folly!”

These stories were written by Rick Brown, who worked at Gwynn Valley for many years, and they’re published in a book of stories in conjunction with the American Camp Association. This collection of stories is called The Tajar Tales!

Farm Friday and Baby Calves

Happy Friday everyone! Our maintenance team has been hard at work mowing grass, taking care of cabin repairs, building benches for our dining room, and much much more around camp. Last week they got another task added onto their long list of things to do to get ready for the summer. Can anyone guess what it could be? If you guessed calves, you got it right! We got our first round of calves. So now our Farm is really feeling like it’s almost ready for summer. We’ve got the tunnel house full of cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, basil, and chives and fields with rows of carrots, potatoes, sweet corn, broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage. The calves are being fed three times a day to make them big and strong. 

When we started the Farm program we wanted to use it as an additional tool to help educate our campers and even our staff about where their food comes from and sustainability, while also giving them the opportunity to play with some baby animals. Besides, who can say no to some baby calves that suck on your fingers, or some goat yoga? What are your favorite things about the Farm? Do any of you have a garden at home? What sort of plants are you planning on having this summer?

Happy Earth Day

Happy Earth Day from GV! Today marks the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day, celebrated April 22, 1970. Spending time immersed in the natural world is part of what makes Gwynn Valley so special; we hope that everyone can find a moment to appreciate the natural world today!

Stargazing is a quintessential summer camp experience. The same way that a sunrise or a mountain top view can bring a sense of awe and wonder, looking up at the stars or watching a meteor shower can instantly remind us of the beauty and value of the natural world around us.

Did you know we have a space enthusiast on our year round team? Zeke studied astrophysics at UNC Chapel Hill and loves to share his knowledge with any keen learners. Zeke told us that the Lyrid meteor shower peaked this morning. Viewing conditions were ideal because the moon is currently in it’s “New” phase, making it easier to see faint objects in the night sky. If you’re curious to try out star gazing at home, the new moon phase means ideal conditions for that too! Below are some easy to use resources for appreciating Earth’s beautiful night sky.

Wondering where the best dark-sky view spot is near you? This map shows the level of light pollution across the US.

Want to know which constellations are viewable at a given time/date? Stellarium can take a little fiddling around with but is a great tool.

See what photo the Hubble Space Telescope took on your birthday!

Have you been following our Camp Connections updates in the time of quarantine? Check out this section of the blog for great resources and fun activities that families and kids can do while at home!

Gwynn Valley Coloring Pages

Do any of our camper families out there have a case of the Mondays? I don’t know about ya’ll, but one of the simple joys that never fails to brighten up our day is… coloring! Attached are some photos taken from iconic locations around camp and then rendered into color-ins with a free to use app called Colorscape!

How many of them do you recognize?

Tajar Times special edition April 2020

We are excited to share with you a special edition of our camper newspaper, the Tajar Times! Click here for a PDF version to share with your camper.

Singing in the Lodge 2

Happy Monday everyone! We hope you all had a relaxing weekend. For those of you who weren’t able to make the virtual Singing in the Lodge 2 last Thursday and those who were able to make it, here is the link where you can listen and sing along at home:…/uOVfErfN_H9OUpHM8k7ndrQ4MIDZT6a8gyMXq6Zfy…

A huge thank you to Maggie for running and organizing it, Katie for keeping track of the technical side, and an even bigger thank you to Sol Driven Train and Debbie Debord for their gift of music in Tajar Tracks 2. We are also attaching photos of all who joined in. We hope to see everyone again soon.

COVID-19 Camp Update (April 10, 2020)

Dear Gwynn Valley Families,

We are thinking about all our camper families and staff who live in so many different places both near and far and the challenges we are all facing as we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope you are well, focusing on taking good care of yourselves and your community, and enjoying the time with your family during this difficult situation. As humans, we weren’t made to social distance and not be able to hug our friends and family, but this virus calls us all to do our part. In these uncertain times, we are called to show courage, kindness, resilience, and patience – all character traits that we strive to help our campers develop. 

Will camp run this summer? When can you expect to know more? 

Two very stressful issues for people to deal with are unpredictability and the lack of control which COVID-19 has brought to all of our lives. We, like you, are grappling with these challenges daily. As April rolls on, we are practicing patience and learning to wait. As we move into May, we hope to know more about this disease and whether the social distancing and Stay-at-Home mandates from this spring will allow us to have a semi-normal summer. 

While we remain eager and committed to preparing for a full summer, we will do what is necessary to protect the health and safety of our campers and staff as this has always been our top priority. We will rely on those closer to the knowledge base of this pandemic to assist us in our decision making. We expect that the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, along with the CDC, will provide guidance as we move closer to summer. Gwynn Valley is an accredited  member of the American Camp Association; the ACA is also providing camps with expert advice and resources for the months ahead. In the absence of clear guidance for the whole summer, we hope to make any cancellation decisions on a session by session basis. We will continue to communicate with our families about any changes or modifications as soon as we have information to share. 

Covid-19 Modified Refund Policy

In the event we have to cancel your child’s session due to COVID-19, or if you have to cancel your child’s session due to required school attendance or illness related to COVID-19, our refund policy will be as follows:

  1. We will refund 50% of your paid tuition and roll the other 50% into the 2021 season OR you may elect to roll 100% of your tuition to 2021. 
  2. If your child will have “aged out” of camp for our 2021 season or they are unable to attend camp in 2021, we will refund 100% of your tuition. 

Our preference would be for our families to roll over all or part of their tuition to 2021. We love our campers and hope to have them back at camp for another summer of fun and enrichment! This would also help Gwynn Valley with our cash flow as our income is all based on the summer season and we have families on payroll, operating costs, and other expenses that will continue.  

Gwynn Valley has been a summer camp for boys and girls since 1935 and operated during the polio outbreak, World War II, and many other difficult times in our nation. We are dedicated to partnering with our GV families and alumni in preserving this community that fosters personal challenge, a connection to nature, and the simple joys of childhood. We will get through these difficult times together and come out stronger and more resilient.

We appreciate your patience, flexibility, and support as we collectively work to get this virus under control so that we can gather in community. Please let your children know we are thinking about them, miss them, and hope to greet them in the field this summer.

Our best to you and your family,

Anne and Grant (Owners and Directors)
Maggie (Director)

Hummingbird Feeders

It’s been a beautiful day here at Gwynn Valley, and we can’t wait to see some hummingbirds use the feeders Grant has just refilled. Watch our video to learn how to set up your own and follow the link for the recipe for the syrup and some fun hummingbird facts.…

Grant and Hummingbird Feeders

It's been a beautiful day here at Gwynn Valley, and we can't wait to see some hummingbirds use the feeders Grant has just refilled. Watch our video to learn how to set up your own and follow the link for the recipe for the syrup and some fun hummingbird facts.

Posted by Gwynn Valley Camp on Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Homeschooling Resources

How are our families doing with homeschooling efforts? As the resolve to keep up with school curriculum wanes, this is an ideal time to help your children engage in some self-directed learning or passion projects. Allowing your child some time each day to explore activities and hobbies that they are enthusiastic about will help cultivate curiosity and keep learning fun for everyone. This is part of the reason camp is so fun: because campers get to choose which activities they want to participate in!

Of course, student directed learning doesn’t work with every child or in every situation, so you may need to help motivate and support your child with their more challenging subject areas. Here are a few resources to help with academic support and New York Times has also compiled a great list of resources:…/pare…/home-school-coronavirus.html.