Another Beautiful Day in the Valley

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The weather has been beautiful this week with crisp, cool mornings, warm afternoons, and lots of blue sky. They are calling for rain this evening and tomorrow but hopefully it will decrease as it moves over the mountains. 

We finished our day a little while ago with a peaceful time in the dining room where we spent time with our cabin groups taking a moment to be grateful. We made lots of cards sharing words of gratitude for people around camp, our friends, counselors, and a lot of notes for our incredible kitchen staff while Debbie twinkled the keys of her new electric piano. As we dismissed cabins, Raccoon Ridge and Primavera stopped to run and play on the Green while catching fireflies. Oh, the “simple joys” of childhood and being outdoors. A few other cabins headed to the Gatehouse Green to have their friendship circles and enjoy the evening breeze.

After we ate a delicious meal of smoked brisket, pinto beans, greens, cornbread with honey butter, and an awesome peach cobbler to celebrate Juneteenth Day, we all went to play during after supper activities. There was thunderball, volleyball, basketball, nine square, and games on the Green. Six cabins were cooking out tonight and enjoyed dinner and s’mores around the campfire. 

 

Mountainside will be leaving Monday for their adventures and it looks like they will have good weather for their time out.  Hopefully our Brookside campers will want to graduate up to the MS program at some point.  It fits the bill for those who are finishing 6th, 7th, and 8th grade.  As many of you know, Mountainside is 50 strong plus 12 staff who work solely with that group.  Sessions are either (2) ten day sessions in the beginning of the summer or (2) three week sessions later on.  Their adventures include Mountain Biking, Backpacking, Rock Climbing, Whitewater Canoeing, and Earth / Pioneer Skills.  It’s a wonderful program for campers beginning to enter those adolescent years.

Riverside leaves tomorrow morning and I went up to the Riverside boys cabin today to attend their “Open House”.  This is a touch base meeting with just the campers and no staff.  A leadership member attends.  It’s a way to gauge how well things are going and check in with the campers on the program, how they are getting along and generally talk about their experience so far.  Great group of young people up there and as stated they are headed out tomorrow to start their backpacking component.  They will be driving to Black Balsam and hiking the Art Loeb trail. 

Today was the second day of Arborist climbing here at camp.  It’s one of my favorite activities where campers don’t actually climb on the tree but ascend ropes connected to the tree.  It’s the same method that a tree arborist uses to carefully and safely, without harm to the tree, climb into the tree to inspect and make sure they are healthy.  It’s a fairly strenuous workout but is like nothing else we do here.  You don’t have climbing holds or a wall or tree limbs to hold on to.  You do have a belayer and your own strength and determination to get up there and into the tree.  Our two arborist trees are giant Tulip Poplars located right below Cabins Playhouse and Mountain View.

It’s hard to believe that one week has already flown by in B session, two weeks for our Young Leaders and Riversiders, and Mountainsiders have just learned which adventure they will be participating in. It’s been a good week with lots of sunshine, fun, friendships formed, and skills gained. As I always say at camp, days are long but they go by so quickly! Can’t wait for tomorrow.  Stay tuned!