A Day for the Tajar and More!

Dear Parents & Friends,

Tajar Folly was what we awoke to this morning.  As you can see there were kayaks on the Green along with some of our dining room tables as well as noodles from the pool where the Tajar spelled out his name.  Let me help you parents with pronunciation of the Tajar’s name.  The Ta sounds like ta in tack.  The jar sounds like jur and put them together with more emphasis on the first syllable you have Ta-jar.  He would appreciate you knowing that.  All the children can help when they arrive home which is coming up fast.  We’re going to miss this group as they’ve been splendid.  Anyway, back to the Tajar’s Birthday, which was today.  In actuality he celebrates his birthday every session.  He’s even older than I am by those standards.  Like any other day that’s his birthday we go right on with program and it was another splendiferous day here at camp.  I only know that through reports from Mrs. Camp Director who I always check in with after coming off a trip.  More on our paddling trip later.

Getting set to go off the zip line!

Did you see the paper marbling they were doing in arts and crafts.  One can make some beautiful stationary that way.  The main camp mountain bikers were giving some intense looks as they focused on riding obstacles today and were going all over camp to explore the different terrains and trails we have here.  Debbie, our camp musician had her Braille machine out today to make Braille cards for campers who wanted them.  She can put whatever you want on them including animals and plants even planets.  Debbie has been visually impaired since early childhood and gets around camp all by herself.  She knows camp very well and uses her cane to feel the ground as she walks.  Steps, banks and other terrain she feels and “sees” her way through.

Mountainside had a day at camp today and will continue their training day tomorrow.  I’ll be taking them out early tomorrow for some river work.  They held signups for the morning and afternoon and are slowly gearing up for their big adventures next week.   Riverside was out on the Tuck today paddling away and will be headed to the Nantahala tomorrow.  We’ll keep you posted on their progress.

Our camp drama troop put on a musical tonight for us.  It was called “The Thing-e-do”.  Written by Debbie, Mack and the children who sang and performed it.  I arrived a little late after helping clean up from the Tajar Ball and caught the end of it where they have discovered that the Thing-e-do was whatever you wanted it to be.  It supposedly had a lot of power but really didn’t because you possess the power within you and all you have to do is realize that you have it.  It was all about confidence and stepping out to assert oneself.

Before the musical we held the Tajar Ball on the athletic field.  There were all kinds of games, challenges, food, and dancing.  Roll the giant dice, Race for Space, Face Painting, guess the Jelly Bean numbers, Fortune Telling, The Can Throw, Walking the Slack Line, Sponge Toss at your favorite counselor, director or SIT, Soccer Shootout and of course the infamous Strongman Bell Ringer were just among a few of the things there.  Hay Rides and ice cream were happening just in case you were bored.  Costumes abounded at the Ball and of course everyone was trying to figure out who the Tajar was because he always comes in costume.  It was a fun night.

I must tell you that the Main Camp Kayakers had an excellent day on the Mighty Green River today.  It was hot but not so bad on the water.  We put in at Fishtop just at where the gorge starts to become more boat friendly for beginners.  There were lots of class 1 & 2 rapids with some extra challenges thrown in as we went down.  We never just run the river here at GV.  We work it.  At the beginning we practiced for a good while doing ferry’s and peel outs and spent most of the next mile or so working on eddy turns .  The rapids on that section were Fishtop, Teaching Rapid, Slot Left, Bridge Rapid, Big Bend, Big Corky, Little Nantahala, Jacob’s Ladder, and Sunday Ledge.  We stopped a good bit and allowed everyone to catch their breath and got wet as much as possible.  If there is a down side to paddling on the Green, it’s all the tubers.  I’m convinced that dodging tubes is good for one’s boating skills.  We ended our day at Sunday Ledge where everyone swam and practiced their proper river swim.  Some got to practice their river swims earlier when there were several unintentional capsizes.  Several campers wanted to run it again and I pushed them through a small slot on river left where they paddled up to a pool to try it again.  Some wanted to try and surf at Sunday Ledge which is a perfect place to learn that art.  It takes time and even our two interns on the trip learned it’s not so easy.  We took a huge lunch on the river and ate at the put-in before we started our day of paddling and even brought tons of food for the trip home.  It was all devoured.  There will be some tired puppies tonight as they plop down on their camp beds.  I know it’s been a full day here at camp and also on the river.  Everyday is full at GV and that’s what makes it all so wonderful.  Life is sometimes like the river.  As I tell the campers, when in doubt, just keep paddling forward. Your making progress whether you realize it or not.  Stay tuned!

Grant