A Little Rain Can’t Dampen Our Spirits!

Dear Parent and Friends,

I just returned from campfire with a slight drizzle overhead.  We’ve had rain throughout the day but spirits and enthusiasm were anything but damp.  Our last full day of D was truly a great one.  Signups this morning were fun from all indications.  Camp has to be flexible with weather and today was one of those days.  We improvise and unless it’s thundering and lightening, most programs go on.  There are exceptions when playing fields get too wet and creeks are too high but we find so many other things to occupy our normal routine.  We did have to cancel a kayaking trip today because of high water on the river as well as a biking trip.  Wet rooty trails and high water represent limits not to be pushed.  Just getting a fire going is a real challenge on a day like today and it’s good for building those skills. Several different fires were built throughout camp today and each presented its own challenge depending on location and what the intention of the fire was; warmth, cooking or just getting a fire going.

We did have some campers head out to Big Rock in Dupont State Forest for a hike this morning.  They were warmly dressed in their rain jackets and the staff carried lots of food to keep them fueled up.  They visited a really unique area of the forest that is covered in granite domes.  This is smooth rock that is hikeable and bikeable and has a different feel that other parts of our surrounding area.   It’s good to get out of camp and see the world beyond GV.  New places and new experiences always offer up some interesting and fun opportunities to explore.

Back at camp archery always draws a crowd and campers took advantage of our last day to sign up for archery.  I watched them shooting during their morning activity.   Campers love target sports where they can zero in on the bulls eye.  We have a variety of bows that some of our youngest campers can shoot and most are recurved bows that allow many sizes of children to use them.  Most of our activities have appropriate sized equipment for as many people as possible.  Our little 1 ½ Jackson kayaks are so tiny and they’re made just like an adult boat but just a lot smaller.  They are perfect for our program.  We also run some bikes with 24” tires for those smaller 2 wheel types.

Riverside was back in camp today after completing their days on the river.  It’s been chilly paddling with the rain and I think they were all ready to get back to warm showers and their beds.  Mountainside will head out for their 2nd Training Day tomorrow in all directions provided the weather and elements  support their journeys.

The last afternoon of a session is always packing and pillowcase day and many cabins made it to the pool before the rain arrived around 4:00 today.  You can do amazing things with your pillowcase after it gets wet.  Fill it with air and it will keep you afloat for quite a while.  It’s fun to go down the slide at the pool to see if you can fill it up before you hit the water.  After all of today’s activities, folks were ready for our traditional last night of pizza, salad from the farm, fruit and our unbelievable, better than best, tasting like heaven, party on your taste buds, brownies that you could ever imagine.  They’re not big but they pack so much in a square it’s like an all you can eat dessert banquet.  Some choose to eat small portions a tiny morsel at a time, while others are dunkers who love the floaties in their milk at the end of the glass.  And then there are the inhalers.  The literally breath in the brownie and it’s gone.  Campers always say they could eat the whole platter and I’ve often wondered just how many they could eat.  After a belly full of pizza it would be a challenge to go two or three.  As pizza was served on plates the dining room became very quiet and as the meal went on, the volume rose.  When dessert arrived there was a euphoric feeling that was unmeasurable.  By the time tables were cleared most of the dining room was singing songs and everyone was reliving moments from our almost two weeks together.  There’s nothing like good food and good people to bring camp to another level of joy.  We had it tonight.

After dinner and after supper activities, we held our Friendship Campfire tonight and many children received their blankets and plaques for coming to camp for 4 or 5 years.  It’s always fun to recognize these children as well as our staff, SIT’s and Young Leaders who have attended even longer.  Each year we see more of our campers coming back as staff.  Seeing campers come back as staff is one of the best parts of my job.  The reward of having them here brings me a lot of joy.

Speaking of joy, I’m sure you’ll be joyful as you arrive tomorrow to pick up your children.  They will be waiting for you in the cabins.  At 10:30 there will be a cabin friendship circle where all can join in.   After the cabin friendship circle, we welcome you to join us in the Lodge for our end of session campfire at 11:00.  After that feel free to have lunch with us and maybe walk around camp to see some of the activity areas.  See you tomorrow and safe travels.

PS – With our rain over the past several days, some of the roads to camp may be flooded and unpassable.  Your best bet is to travel through downtown Brevard if you’re coming from the 64 west.  If coming up Caesar’s Head from South 276 you’ll be fine.  If coming down 280 East from I-26, avoid Wilson Rd. and come through downtown Brevard and out 276 South.  Call us if you need any further directions.