New Tables, Great Views and Tree Climbing!

Dear Parents & Friends,

As I begin tonight’s writing I’m hearing out my window the first cicada of the summer.  Soon more and more will be chiming in and yet another great sound to add to our outdoor world collection.  Several cabins are camping out tonight.  Brooksider’s were invited up to Mountainside for an evening of interaction with them to learn more about their program.  Hillsider’s were in the Lodge with me and Debbie for a bit of Mountain Dancing.  We all worked up a sweat dancing to Sasha (a Russian Folkdance), Going to Kentucky, Bluebird and The Hokey Pokey.

As I walked back from the Lodge several cabins were taking in the view that we have looking out from the office. Our elevation here at camp is about 2250 feet and we look out and up to over 6000’.  It’s a nice time of day to be winding down and taking in our valley.  Today was another hot and sunny day with many folks deciding that the waterfront was an excellent choice for afternoon sign-ups.  Today was the last day of Discovery and many projects were being completed and coming to an end.  You will see the evidence of some great arts and crafts at the end of next week.  Blacksmithing has touched the lives of many children this session and even Mountainside and Riverside have had some time at Smithy’s shop next to cool Carson Creek on Mountainside.  I was there today to shoot some video of Mountainside working on some projects.  We only have Scotty for B session this summer and what a treat it’s been to offer his talents to the campers.  They’ve thoroughly enjoyed the activity and his teaching. I’m sure he will be back next summer.

I want to mention that our photographers are off this evening and I noticed that more photos will be loading throughout the night.  We’ve been having some trouble with our online connection so if more don’t appear, they will be up tomorrow.

Several activities are getting ready for next week’s off camp trips including, mountain biking, kayaking and rock climbing.  Each group from Main Camp and mostly Brooksider’s will be going to Dupont for biking, the Green River for kayaking, and Looking Glass Rock for climbing.  Campers are getting excited for the Monday, Tues., and Thur.s trips out of camp.  It’s always a highlight to provide that next level experience for those who have shown great interest and have improved on their skills to venture farther from the nest.

Today was a second day of Arborist climbing here at camp.  It’s one of my favorite activities where campers don’t actually climb on the tree but ascend ropes connected to the tree.  It’s the same method that a tree arborist uses to carefully and safely, without harm to the tree, get up in them to make sure they are healthy.  It’s a fairly strenuous workout but is like nothing else we do here.  You don’t have climbing holds or a wall or tree limbs to hold on to.  You do have a belayer and your own strength and determination to get up there and into the tree.  Our two arborist trees are right next to Cabins Playhouse and Mountain View.

Mountainside learned what adventures they were going on today and will be heading out on Monday.  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.  We held open house today and yesterday for many cabins and that is when two of our leaders go into cabins and talk with the campers about their experience when counselors aren’t there.  I visited Meadowbrook and Summerset today.  It’s basically to provide us with information as to what kind of job the counselors are doing.  Everything at camp starts in the cabin and works outward to program.

We will be changing tables tomorrow.  I’ve really enjoyed getting to know my table this session.   We’ll all get new campers and staff at our tables for the remainder of the session.  It’s good to change tables and meet new people .  It stretches us in making new friends and being in new social situations.  A table group takes part in a ritual that is probably one of the most important things we do in the course of day and that is sharing food.  Sharing food is good for the body and the soul.  Sharing good Gwynn Valley food certainly makes life brighter.  A good recipe is enhanced more by good company.  Stay tuned as we take on new and exciting things each day!

PS  We’ve uploaded another short video as part of this post.  Hopefully your connection is stronger than ours.