Dear Parents and family,
It was another beautiful day at Gwynn Valley. Everyday is filled with the joy of trying new things and growing in so many ways. Piled on top of this is good weather, blue skies and sun drenching our property just enough for a cool dip in the lake or our Carson Creek that runs through the middle of camp. It’s those simple joys of childhood we all talk about. So what made today different, besides the weather and the laughter of children? That’s the magic, nothing was truly different than any other day. We had three delicious meals prepared by our wonderful kitchen staff. Our grounds were well cared for by our maintenance team, buildings were clean and laundry was taken care of by our housekeeping team.
The day started with some delicious banana chocolate chip bread that our wonderful bake staff made, in addition to an egg and cheese bake, with cantaloup and grapes. It always brings me joy to know that our campers are loving the food when they keep getting up to get more, and with a breakfast like the one we had today, I understand why. Moving from breakfast campers went on to their discoveries. They continued to build their skills, from waterfront activities like Navy Seals, horseback riding, to blacksmithing, and up to the Bong Tree where they worked on tye dye, and candles. It was the last day of Discoveries for B Session and next week will feature sign-ups and many trips out of camp where skills will be put to use.
It always catches me by surprise how fast the time goes here at camp. It’s hard to believe it’s been just over two weeks since our Riversiders arrived and left for their climbing adventure. Tomorrow they will leave for their third, and final adventure. This time they are heading out to do some backpacking and will leave tomorrow after breakfast. We have loved having them back in camp, and while it’s lovely having them with us, the final adventure is such an important part of their program. Each camper is challenged to carry everything they need to live for 4 days from their backpacks. That includes food, clothing, cooking gear and group gear like tents and shelter. They also all chip in with cooking and clean up and rotate those responsibilities throughout the trip.
I’m so happy the gorgeous weather stayed with us all day. We had a wonderful afternoon where campers signed up for their favorite activities. One exciting piece of news is that we now have a couple of Auto Belays on our climbing tower and we’re attaching cowbells on all our climbs. The bells will be a reward as they reach the top to show their resilience and grit in going out of their comfort zone as they clamber up a 50-foot wall.
After a long day of activities and delicious meals, the day wrapped with our Hillsiders mountain dancing in the lodge while our Brookesiders went up to do their Mountainside tour. It was so exciting listening to Grant call out the dances, while Debbie’s piano music drifted out of the doors and windows of the lodge. Listening to the dance calls, and hearing the familiar lull of campers laughter and joy, it made me appreciate the amount of trust you all give us. It is always such an honor you give by allowing those of us at Gwynn Valley to partner with you in raising these children. Sometimes the effects of camp linger long after the experience and we always hope that’s the case. Stay tuned!