A Wonderful Way to Spend Our Day!

Dear Parents & Friends,

We just finished our Friendship Campfire for Session C, C-2.  At campfire we honored the campers who have many years of Gwynn Valley summers.  As a tradition at our final campfire we honor those who are coming for their 4th and 5th year with a blanket for the 4th year and a wooden plaque for their 5th year.  This was the first year to also honor those beyond the 5th year of attendance and those who have been here for 8 years received a “compass” with Gwynn Valley engraved on the back.  We seem to always be finding our way in life and we hope that our time at GV provides the right directions and paths that we choose to take.  We also honored our Young Leaders, this year being our second year to have that program.

Tonight at campfire our camp actors performed “Horton Hears a Who” by Dr. Suess and it was delightful.  Hat’s off to Lauren, Drew, Debbie and mostly the children for their time, energy and performance of such a classic.  We watched a short video and saw photos from the session near the end after our thespians performed.  Debbie finished off the evening playing, “Sheep May Safely Graze”, which has been a part of campfire for many, many years.  It’s a beautiful song and if you linger after the end of our Closing Campfire you’ll hear it.  It comes after the staff sing, “May the Road Rise to Meet You”. Hope you’ll linger and listen and then join us for lunch with most of that meal coming from our farm.  There were a few tears tonight as campers knew our session was ending.

Looking back to an earlier part of our day we had lots of trips out of camp today.  The Main Camp Kayakers had a grand time on the French Broad.  The campers did a great job and earned their river fins today.  Other trips out today included hikers to Pisgah National Forest near the stone wall of John’s Rock. The climbers went to the Nose of Looking Glass Rock which is probably the most famous climb there.  It’s a good feeling coming back to camp after such a successful day.  Our bikers also rode the singletrack of Dupont State Forest ending on Ridgeline Trail which is a roller coaster of fun.  There were some tired puppies when these trips returned.  All of these groups had a 7:30 breakfast on the Pavilion to get out early and then hiked, biked, climbed and paddled through the morning and early afternoon.  Groups made it back for afternoon swims at the pool (pillowcase day) and to finish up packing.

This morning in Main Camp at home we held our last signups for the session and there was lot’s to do.  Campers fed the calves, and dug potatoes and picked corn, which was readied for tomorrow’s lunch here at camp.  Mountainside had a leisurely day and they unpacked gear and lounged after their adventures.  Both Riverside and Mountainside got a swim into today.  It was the perfect day for it.  Tonight at dinner we had our usual meal of home made pizza (including the crust) and of course salad, grape salad and fresh corn.  Brownies also came after pizza and the energy level was high.  There’s nothing better than good food and good friends to makes spirits soar.  One camper at my table said she loved her parents but didn’t want to go home.

Tomorrow when you arrive your children from C, C-2 will be waiting for you in the cabins.  At 10:30 there will be a cabin friendship circle where all can join in.  We do these each night and check in with campers to find out how their day has been.  It allows staff to see how the children are doing since they only see them at morning wake-up, rest hour, before and after meals and bedtime.  Our days are full and it’s a good way to learn about the children’s experiences.  At 11:00 and after the gathering in the cabin there is our program in the Lodge for parents, friends and campers.  Thank you for sharing your children with us this past 10 days and 3 weeks.  We’ve had a wonderful session and hope to see all of these children back again next summer.  It’s been a great session and a great group of children.  Stay tuned!