The perfect day at Gwynn Valley!
Dear Gwynn Valley Parents and Friends,
Today was another perfect camp day! Campers continued to build skills and learn more deeply about their Discovery activities this morning on our 2nd A-day. As I walked around camp, I saw progress on many crafts in process like pottery vessels and needlepoint projects. Kevin has been working on teaching rolls to our level 2 kayakers this week, and they are making great strides as the prepare for their Lower Green trip next week. Archers worked on hitting cards and milk jugs – an intermediary step before the moving targets they’ll take on at the end of their discovery progression. Each group I visited was playing and making the most of the experiential learning model we love so much at camp – allowing campers to learn by doing and experimenting.
This afternoon we had some great sign up activities on offer including tree climbing, trail rides for bikers, shibori scarves and tie dye in crafts, playing with newborn piglets at the farm, and so much more! Some of our advanced horseback riders took a special trip over to the Hunt Farm where they spent 2 hours working on cantering skills and riding in a wide open setting. After the ride, I checked in with a few of those campers who told me riding at the Hunt Farm was the rose of their week! I love hearing about afternoons like that.
This evening we had many small programs around camp for various groups. Six Main Camp cabin groups were on their weekly campout around camp. While camping out, each cabin hikes to one of the permanent shelters around camp, cooks dinner over an open fire, and spends the evening building community over a shared outdoor experience. This time is often a session highlight for many campers, marking a moment when the group could play freely and come together without other distractions.
Those Main Camp cabins not on campouts were split into a few different groups for Mountain Dancing, Tajar Tales, and Fire Time (an abbreviated version of a campout where cabin groups build fires and roast marshmellows and sing songs or tell stories around a campfire with a small group of campers). These smaller group evening programs are a nice contrast to the full-camp evening programs we have been enjoying for the last few nights like Farm Campfire and the C Session Musical performance.
Mountainside and Riverside also had their own smaller evening programs. After preparing physically all day by organizing and packing food and gear for their upcoming 4 day trips, the evening was devoted to preparing mentally and emotionally for the upcoming adventures. Mountainside campers discussed hopes and fears with their smaller adventure groups and ended the evening gathered around a fire pit on the gatehouse green for their community send off ceremony. It was a picture perfect scene with campers seated around the fire in the big grassy field you may have parked in on opening day with the sun setting behind the mountains to the west and fire fire flies slowly waking to to big campers good night. I wish I had a picture to share with you, but you’ll just have to use your imagination for now and for the next four days while these groups are out of camp. No news is good news while these groups are away adventuring. We’ll have lots of stories and photos to share when Mountainside and Riverside return to camp on Wednesday, July 18.
Tomorrow is a SPECIAL DAY in camp, which means the day will have it’s own theme and special set of activities. Some are speculating that they day may have something to do with the World Camp Final which takes place tomorrow. Many campers and staff are excited to learn the outcome of tomorrow’s game, especially Maxime, our counselor from France! You’ll have to tune in tomorrow to find out for sure how Special Day will be spent.