A Well Rounded Day of Imagination!

Dear Parents and Friends,

Here we are at the end of another fabulous day at Gwynn Valley! The day started off overcast and foggy which is often the case in our French Broad Valley.  Breakfast was homemade biscuits and sausage, fruit, cereal and orange juice the weather must have known we had just eaten well because ole Mr. Sun popped out.  I left camp just after breakfast to ride with the Mountainside bikers and shoot some video.  I arrived at their campsite about 10 after a short ride into Dupont.  They were just finishing breakfast and preparing to leave when I showed up at their campsite.  From there we rode uphill to Reasonover Trail and headed for Turkey Knob Extension which takes you to the far eastern part of the park.  Most of the riding was on single track.  Shady cool and ups and downs for a little over 5.5 miles was pleasant and good riding for most of way.  At that point I had shot a good bit of video and go pro, so I headed back to the car to make it back to camp for lunch. They stopped for lunch at Grassy Creek Falls just after I left.   My ride back to the car totaled over 11 miles for the day so they must have done that much or more for the day.    It’s great to see them learning skills and riding in a beautiful place.  It’s a good group of campers and everyone is doing well under the leadership of Austin and Katie.

After a delicious lunch of mac and cheese the sun disappeared for a while and soon the skies darkened.  The storm came through south of us and we got just a tad of rain and afternoon program and tubing trips went as planned.  This afternoon several cabins went “off program” on creek hiking, tubing, lake kayaking, and hiking trips. Going off program is mostly FUN, but it also provides great opportunities to bring the cabin group closer together. Some of those going off program today will also be camping out tonight.  It’s the perfect night for it.  No clouds and no chance of rain.  For those cabins who stayed in normal program today, we ran a wide range of sign ups including making ice cream at the mill, tree climbing, farm, dip candles, kumihimo, biking the Main Camp trail, zip & traverse line at the lake, and quite a few more.

After our PM activities, we enjoyed a hearty dinner of chicken, roasted potatoes, salad, and fresh corn (which campers picked this morning and shucked after lunch). The roasted potatoes were the hit of the night.  Our table went back for 9 refills in our bowl.  Everyone ate well.  We had lots of visitors at our table tonight and it was a lively bunch.  One girl visiting the table said I was the oldest camper and the oldest person in camp.  I quite resemble that remark.

After dinner tonight we played the Great Tajar Scavenger Hunt that engaged everyone in camp to find the Activity Leaders who held clues to what was going to be happening at Tajar Ball on Wed.  Everyone anticipates the ball because the food is great and so many fun things to do.  You will hear more about the ball come Wed.  It’s all about imagination that evening.  New places like camp and experiences give our minds a fresh start by awakening the need for imagination and creative thinking. When children arrive at camp they are surrounded by new people, places and ways to play. Counselors and new friends provide support to explore this newness, learn from it, and enjoy it.  Whether it’s meeting a new friend, dealing with an obstacle on a hike, making art out of natural material, or working with their team to take on a challenge, camp has opportunities for children to exercise creativity and use their imagination.  Spending time in nature at camp gives children the time, freedom, and control to play in imaginative ways and collaborate creatively with other children, like building a dam on a creek or creating the back-story of the crayfish they caught in the creek.  That energizing push to explore their ideas will help campers become better problem solvers, communicators, and collaborators.  And most of all, better people!


As I finish this up our Playhouse girls have put on their pajamas and are in the Gatehouse field looking at the sunset.  They are throwing their stuffed animals in the air and I’m sure imagining all kinds of wonderful things.  Stay tuned!