Another Excellent Day at GV

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Yesterday was another excellent day here at GV as I spent the morning visiting program areas. As I traveled around camp, it gave me insight into what programs were doing during the day. On the climbing wall were Main Camp campers as well as Mountainsiders. Mountainsiders were learning about Ground School and the ins and outs of climbing, tying knots, positioning, and learning belay techniques and communication between belayer and climber. Neatly learning to tie knots is an art. The smoother the rope flows through knots the stronger it is; so sharp bends in a knot sometimes need to be corrected or “cleaned up” as we say in the climbing world. You may have heard this saying before, “a not neat knot, is a knot not needed”. Our climbing staff do an excellent job of keeping everyone’s attention with backup belayer’s. Climbing is a sport where you sometimes have to wait but there’s always a coil that needs straightening out or support shouted up to one of your climbing mates. 

Riverside and Mountainside were on the lake this afternoon working on their strokes and getting ready to ply the mighty waters of Western NC. Our canoes and kayaks manage to use our small body of water to prepare them for a progression of moving water beyond GV’s shores. 

Everywhere I went there were teachers teaching and doing a great job. Our staff shares a lot of information each day. I often hear from staff that children ask a lot of questions. This is a good thing. Staff learn to not go too slowly and bore them with details and let them figure some things out on their own unless it has to do with safety. Sometimes when things slow too much, campers get fidgety and entertain themselves. And then there are times when details are very important and teaching is progressive in nature. We all learn differently and we have to throw out a big net to make sure we’re getting on everyone’s wavelength. For many years while teaching paddling, I taught using the whole-part-whole method. Show the stroke, then break it down part by part and then show it again and talk about it and what it does to your boat. We can sometimes get into analysis paralysis when teaching skills and I’m always adjusting my technique with each group I work with. Teaching is a gift and at camp we’re working toward betterment of our teaching techniques and the way we impart information to children. You know pretty quickly if you’ve perked their interest and if you have them wanting more. It’s a good feeling when you know you’ve hit the target.

Despite a shower in the afternoon, we continued to have fun. The rain always dampens our woods enough to make building a fire a real challenge. Several leadership staff were out helping cabins get fires going for dinner at their respective campout sites. While some of you may be on vacation while your children are at camp our own GV vacation is going well with a lot of happy campers taking in a variety of activities. 

Some days at camp the weather and the desire to extend the day takes us to what we call Twilight Play. We basically open a good many of the camp’s activities for an hour after dinner. Some are specialty activities like the Tower Swing and others you might have a chance to do on any given day. The weather is cool, we’re refueled from the meal (chicken, rice, squash, salad, yeast rolls, and chocolate pie for dessert) and everyone wants to just play. It’s a great way to end our day and then off to zzzzland. Of course we slept well last night and woke up refreshed to start another great day at GV. Not a bad life for a camper! We all benefit in small and large ways each and everyday!

Stay tuned!