A Great Day at GV!

Dear Parents and Friends,

It’s been a full day at camp and unfortunately the last full day.  We just finished our evening campfire program which is always called Friendship Campfire on the last night of camp.  It’s been a great session and we celebrated that by showing many of the pictures that you all have been viewing this week.  Our camp photographer Mary has done a great job with capturing your children over the past eight days.  Be sure and thank her for the great pictures  that she has put up on the web site.  Pictures really tell the full story of your child’s experience here at camp.  Anne and I appreciate our staff who have cared for your children this week.  They’ve provided supervision, mentoring and fun to the children and really are essence of what’s makes us who we are here at Gwynn Valley.

Tonight’s campfire allowed our dancers to perform an interpretive dance for two pieces.  Around the dancers were a bevy of performers playing the piano, violins, singing songs and reciting thoughts on their experiences while at camp.

Backing up a bit in the day, we had the perfect weather day for camp; low 80’s and a hint of breeze with some clouds and no rain.  All activities were humming along and several groups left camp for day outings as well as overnight forays into the forest.  The Mountainsider’s started their adventures today.  Paddlers headed to the upper French Broad, climbers ventured up to Cedar Rock which you can see from camp, bikers to Dupont State Forest and Pioneers were taken up to the Parkway to begin their hike on the Mountains to Sea Trail.  Riverside was back in camp today and also spending some quality down time after their 4 days on the river.  I spent all day yesterday with them on the Tuckaseegee River. They did a wonderful job on the river and overcame many of the challenges that paddling provides.  They’ve come a long way since the first day and their skills have vastly improved.  Everyone tipped over yesterday which meant the learning curve was really high.  We got in pretty late last night so that’s why you didn’t receive my usual blog.  They seem so old and big compared to many of our young campers this session.  All total they have many years of camp experience and it’s evident.  We look forward to having them as staff one day.

Today many Main Camp campers went out of camp on various trips.  The GV Rescue folks went to the river to hone their lifeguard and rescue skills.  Bikers ventured up to Dupont and rode one of my favorite trails called Ridgeline.  The kayakers went to the upper French Broad and ran a beautiful section where water quality and scenery abound.

It’s been a great session and the children have made lots of new friends, explored the world around them, and learned that “I can” is much more powerful than “I can’t”.  Magic has happened in their short time with us.  In an environment created just for them, they’ve learned  real life skills, developed self-esteem, and gained a sense of independence and community.  By playing, exploring nature, conquering new heights, and becoming part of a camp family, they have created some memorable moments this week.

As you arrive tomorrow morning, we look forward to seeing you and hope you hear many good stories over the next few days from camp.  This session is always full of lots of new campers.  Eight days is such a short amount of time in our adult world but to many of our campers it is perfect for their first experience.  We wish we could keep them longer but it’s good to leave a place when the timing is right and you want to come back.  Gwynn Valley is 77 years old this summer and we hope to see everyone back again for another year of the simple joys of childhood.  Stay tuned!

Paddling the Upper French Broad