Another Wonderful Summer at Gwynn Valley


And so it begins, another wonderful summer at GV on a beautiful opening day filled with long waited expectations, friends greeting friends from previous years, new friends greeting for the first time, a staff excited and primed for fun and adventure, and lastly, our 88th year of the simple joys for children to teens.  It’s good to be nervous and yes, we even get a little nervous on opening day.  It heightens our senses, helps us to focus, and sends energy to all the right places which makes for a better experience. We had campers arriving from all across the country, many from the southeast, some from California, and even a couple from England . It’s something we prepare for all year long and look forward to with great anticipation.  We so appreciate the opportunity to provide this experience for your children and we are committed to giving the best camp session possible.  We are also grateful for what we hope will be a healthy summer free from the tentacles of Covid.

Our day continued to be weather wonderful and full of activities to start our first session.  After lunch, every camper participates in a swim assessment to determine what water skills and comfort level they have while in our lake and swimming pool.  Activities for the day included Sports, Kayaking, Camping Skills and Nature, Archery, Climbing, Tye Dye, Pottery, Fine Arts, Fiber Arts, Horses, and Mill. Everyone was assigned 2 activities for the first day. Starting this morning, we’ll begin our Discoveries for 2 one-hour activity periods. Campers will have 4 activities of their choice for the morning which run every-other-day.  Discovery activities are more skill based. Two-hours of sign-up activities will start this afternoon which provides them free choice each and every day.

Mountainside starts their mini-adventures this morning as they take on skills from Backpacking, Climbing, Mountain-Biking, Whitewater Canoeing and Kayaking, and Expedition Canoeing.  Riverside left for their Climbing adventure this after a breakfast of pancakes, bacon, and fresh strawberries and blueberries. They were packing packs and gathering climbing gear yesterday as well as training in climbing. They headed out at 9 AM to Foster Falls in TN.

Traveling around to activities yesterday, I was able to see Chestnut Hollow mountain biking and actually spent some time with them and Dr. David who was providing the finer points of shifting, braking and riding positions. But before riding, there was a bike check by each camper to make sure moving parts were all in order.  Aching Legs was having a splashy day on the lake in kayaks.  The bright afternoon sun made most activities better for water play.  The Farm was of course rocking today because of all the baby animals down there.  We have at 10 new baby goats and loads of calves that need to be bottle fed twice each day by campers.  How can you not resist going to the Farm, especially when dinner contains several items grown right here at GV.  

Salad and broccoli were just a small part of dinner last night which also included child- friendly noodles with an option for Bolognese sauce or just plain butter and parmesan cheese.  The salad was a caprese salad with mozzarella cheese lettuce and tomatoes and of course, there was fresly baked bread. Our opening session dessert was the famous gigantic chocolate chip cookie for each table.  These are the size of a large pizza. I sat with Firefly Cove girls at dinner and most of them were dipping that hunk of cookie into cold whole milk.  What a way to start the session.  More good food to follow.  

As I left the Lodge last night, I picked up a piece of crumpled paper thinking it was a counselors list of things to remember.  I opened it up and read these words.  Hi Mommy, I’m having a great time.  Tell Jackie I said hello!   I personally couldn’t think of a better way to end my evening.  Thanks for dropping off your children yesterday to get our summer started.  We’re so pleased and proud to have your family be a part of it.  Hope you had safe travels back home.  Stay tuned!