Dear Parents and Friends,
It’s been a full day at camp and unfortunately the last full day of Session A. 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 photographers Erin and Ashley have done a great job with capturing your children over the past eight days. Be sure and thank them for the great pictures that they’ve put up on the web site. Most of all, Anne and I appreciate our staff who have cared for your children this week and made sure that their experience at Gwynn Valley was one that will bring about great memories of the good times we all had. Tonight’s campfire allowed our dancers to perform an interpretive dance to one of our camp songs, as well as a variety of singers, composers and more. We also held our blanket and plaque ceremony for those who’ve been attending camp for 4 or 5 years.
Backing up a bit in the day, we had an almost perfect weather day for camp until late afternoo and then the thunderboomers rolled in. Usually on the last afternoon we have pillowcase day at the pool but missed it because of the weather. Up until then 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, in Pisgah National Forest, 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 of climbing in Linville Gorge. I spent about 2 hours with them on the lake this afternoon getting them ready for next weeks upcoming river segment of their program. They’ll join me again tomorrow before leaving again Sunday. Today had our Main Camp Kayakers on the upper French Broad and the water was up with the recent rains earlier in the week.
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 resilience 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 78 years old this summer and we hope to see everyone back again for another year of the simple joys of childhood. Stay tuned!