Dear Parents & Friends,
Somehow I find myself settling into the peace and quiet of another cool mountain evening here at Gwynn Valley. What a full day we’ve had!
Our first news item of note today was saying goodbye to our Mountainside campers and staff after breakfast. Five adventure groups headed out in separate directions for three days away from camp. Rock Climbers made their way to Looking Glass in Pisgah National Forest where they’ll climb at the Southside and the Nose. The Backpackers also headed to Pisgah, where they will be starting a 12 mile loop at Pink Beds, complete with gorgeous lookouts and refreshing swimming holes. The Mountain Bikers will be camping near Dupont State Forest and plan to spend most of their daylight hours biking single track and cooling off in the many swimming holes and waterfalls. Whitewater Canoers started the day with a bit of lake practice at GV to finalize boat partnerships and then headed over to the French Broad for their first taste of moving water. The Earth Skills crew made their way over to ‘Wolf Den,’ which is a piece of private land we rent and dedicate to the pursuit of practicing skills needed to survive off the land. On Wednesday evening, the Mountainside community will reconvene to tell their tales of adventure and mishap and resilience and success on their journeys away from camp.
Back on Main Camp, campers enjoyed a day of CHOICE. With sign ups in both the morning and afternoon, there were endless opportunities to choose! Many campers followed up on projects they started in discoveries last week such as preparing for the Main Camp Adventure Trips that will take place on Thursday of this week and rehearsal for the Fine Arts production this evening. Other activities offered sign ups that would allow campers to try out an activity they may have missed last week and wanted to experience, such as wheel throwing at pottery, bead weaving at Shady Grove, archery on the Gatehouse Green, and climbing at the tower! In other areas, brand-new activities were offered for the first time in the session such as a 2-hour hike to the Rock (an excellent lookout point just 30 minutes past Possum Manor) and another hike to Connestee Falls (a waterfall and swimming hole about 30 minutes past Hillside). I love these days at camp where possibilities feel limitless and campers wake up feeling anything can happen. At breakfast this morning, my table family talked about their “B session bucket lists.” We talked about all the things we want to try or do or accomplish over the last few days off the session. The structure of this second week of B presents a wonderful opportunity for campers to practice visualizing the future they hope to realize and then follow through to make that happen.
We wrapped up the day with a fun and creative play put on by our amazing Fine Arts Team. This was truly a camper driven production! The theme was time travel, which we all know can be dangerous… As campers moved through the ages, they left traces of the future that impacted the past and had to be corrected to hold together the fabric of time. We all laughed at knights riding giraffes and WWI soldiers armed with only water guns. Camper imaginations were showcased front and center reminding us all of the silliness and joy of child-centered creative thinking.
Tune in tomorrow for more updates!