Another Day of Opportunity

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Here at Gwynn Valley we are at the end of another busy and beautiful day. Although they were calling for rain, we had lots of sunshine and only a sprinkle of rain around 6:00 which only lasted a few minutes. Several cabins were camping out again tonight and cooking dinner over an open fire.  Every cabin at camp goes on a campout weather permitting.  Our campout shelters are built up off the ground and are closed in on three sides with a shed roof.  All have campfire circles for cooking and hanging out around the campfire and several are close to or on the main creek (Carson Creek) that runs through camp.  It’s such a good experience for these children to camp out with their cabins.  For many of them it will be their first time and possibly first time cooking over a fire.  Meals are simple so please don’t think that they are cutting up vegetables and sautéing them or anything fancy.  It’s usually pan pizza, quesadillas or hot dogs.  Once they get to Mountainside and Riverside meals become a lot more sophisticated. 

Today was our second day of Open Houses, which is when we have leadership staff visit cabin groups in their camp homes (the cabins) while cabin counselors take a 20 minute break to refresh themselves or prepare for program. During Open House, the visitors ask campers about camp life, cabin life, and their counselors. This gives campers the opportunity to discuss matters of all kinds with adults who are not directly involved in cabin life. It’s a great way to see if campers are adjusting well to camp, making friends, and having fun. They share thoughts about their counselors and it gives us ideas about how to make Gwynn Valley better. One of my favorite questions to ask is “What is one thing you would never change about Gwynn Valley and one thing you think we could change to make Gwynn Valley better?” Sometimes we hear suggested changes such as “Make the pool warmer!” or “Serve dessert every day!” Today I visited Aching Legs and everyone was having a great time so far at camp.  

Speaking of desserts… we had chocolate pie at dinner this evening and it was amazing.  That was on top of roast pork loin, potatoes, cabbage, and corn on the cob from our garden.Our kitchen team continues to serve creative, crowd pleasing meals 3 times each day. For breakfast this morning we had homemade whole wheat biscuits, ham, cheese, butter, jam, cereal, and sliced oranges. For lunch we had one of my favorites, chicken gyros.

Mountainside spent their day on mini adventures and had fun paddling at Wolf Lake, hiking at John Rock, climbing here at camp, mountain biking, and cooking lunch over an open fire at Fox Den. They have completed their third day of their 5 minis. 

Riverside rolled back into camp late this afternoon after a successful and fun climbing trip at Linville Gorge. They climbed all day yesterday and then several hours this morning before breaking down camp and heading back to their home away from home. They were all ready for a shower, good dinner, and a little relaxation or as they say “chill” time. I love having them back in camp after adventures!

This evening for program we had Twilight Play, which is an extended program period after dinner. We offered up a number of activities including mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding, archery, candles, milling, blacksmithing, pottery, sunset swim at the lake, capture the flag, camouflage, and more. Campers often ask to keep playing as we wrap up after supper activities, so it’s a real treat for them to keep on playing for another 45 minutes. We wrapped up around 8:30PM, about when our evening program normally finishes.

Tomorrow is another day of opportunity, and after a full day like we’ve had, that camp bunk feels so good and I would say that most will sleep till  the bell tomorrow morning.  Good dreams had by all.