Dear Parents & Friends,
A splendid day here at GV just ended with campfire and the finishing touches from cabin skits. We had quite a lot of rain just before dinner tonight and it rained so hard that many cabins couldn’t hear the bell. It did cool things down a bit and after supper activities went off without a hitch. Back to cabin skits from tonight and two outstanding cabin skits were Aching Legs and Echo. AL went with the Wizard of Oz theme and flying monkeys and I’m sure you can guess who the flying monkeys were. Echo chose a more Seuss like theme and developed their own version of a Dr. Seuss story. Both were terrific and stole the show this evening.
Campfire is such a magical time at camp and you can really see the children just kind of wind down from our busy day. Usually by the time we end around 8:30 there are a few that have already met the sandman and are falling asleep in counselor’s laps. Tonight just at the end as we were singing to close a firefly flew just over the heads of all the children. Mrs. Camp Director had already turned down the lights so each little blink of the firefly could be seen anywhere in the big Lodge. It didn’t stop there in leaving creatures out of the evening. Sophie the dog usually calls an end to her day right in the doorway of the Lodge and almost every camper that exits bends down to pat her and give their goodnights to our yellow lab puppy (9 months old). I’m sure that she feels well tucked -in each evening as our day closes. Debbie, our camp musician plays the same song each night that’s been played for 75 years; “Sheep May Safely Graze” written by JS Bach. It’s a great song and a wonderful way to end the evening at camp. Those of you new to Gwynn Valley will learn that we serenade the children to let them know that it’s time for lights out. A group of staff go around each evening to sing to each cabin and that’s been going on for a good many years. Traditions and ceremony are so good here at camp and it’s good for the children. They really miss serenade if the weather doesn’t permit it.
We had clear weather all day and activities were humming. You might notice pics of our Main Camp Bikers trying out their skills on the mountain bikes. We have games they participate called the slow race, slalom, circle game and others. The slow race is to see how slow you can ride from point A to point B, usually not more than 15 or 20 feet. The object is to balance your bike and go sloooow. They also tried their hand at riding the tetter totter which is a form of a skinny. This is all bike lingo that you’ll just have to learn more about from your rider. Lots of riding of horses today as you can see from the pics. Horses are an all round favorite here at camp especially with the girls. I don’t know any young girls that don’t like horses. Climbing, soccer, drawing, feeding the animals at the farm and so much more was the order of the day today. Every day is another day of opportunity here at camp. So much goes on that it’s hard to keep up with. I sometimes asked children how their morning or afternoon was at camp and they’ll say great but they can’t always remember what they did. It’s a full day and sure beats sitting around at home in front of a screen.
Mountainside had their adventure send off tonight and as I returned from campfire I noticed the candles they lit that were floating across the lake. This is a ceremony they hold each session the evening before they leave and it carries a good deal of importance. It’s a quiet time to reflect on the days ahead and those that have passed. It’s the beginning of a culmination for these three week Mountainsider’s who leave tomorrow for Climbing in Linville Gorge, Biking in Dupont State Forest, Paddling Western NC Rivers, and camping and Backpacking in Pisgah. We wish them well and hope they have fun playing outside and growing inside as well. Riverside left today to begin their backpacking component that will take them across the Mountains to Sea Trail and almost into our back yard to a place called Daniel Ridge. They started on the Parkway and will trace it’s changes of elevation over to a place called Devils Courthouse and then drop down into Pisgah hiking through some beautiful forested land covered with berries and greenery this fertile time of the summer. It’s a rough life for those Riversider’s and I only wish I could be there with them. We’ll see what tomorrow brings and should have lots more news from all the goings on at GV. Stay tuned!