Blue Skies and Sunshine With Some Shade on the Side!

Dear Parents & Friends,

Another beautiful day at GV brought out the best in camp and everyone has really enjoyed the true summer weather we’ve been having. It’s been great to have pure sunshine. There was hardly a cloud visible today. Any outdoor activity thrived today and some actually sought shade at certain points. One of the reasons I like Mountain Biking at camp is that 95% of our trails are in wooded areas where there is lots of shade. On an 85 or 90 degree day, it can be 10 degrees or more cooler in the shade. So.. riding in the shade on single track sure beats most anything in the sun unless you’re swimming. Our bikers have a number of trails and rides to choose from on the camp property and there are 3 different trails of various levels once they learn the foundational skills. Each group starts on the soccer field or Mountainside Green and then progresses to the skills course and a ride around camp. The skills course is a small area we keep adding to that is located close by the climbing wall and makes a loop that has several types of challenges. There are 4 bridges and one skinny the campers can ride. The bridges have easy access but end with a small little drop of 2 to 6 inches at the end. The skinny in a 12 foot board about 8 inches wide that they try and ride the length of without going off the edge. There are twists, turns, roots and rocks along the way and the trail replicates what a typical trail is like here in the mountains. We also use our wider trails around camp to start things off with. Mountain Biking has really grown at Gwynn Valley and it’s a very popular activity in the AM and PM.

Mountainside also bikes and they were out today on the camp trails getting their last day of mini adventures completed. Tomorrow they will choose their adventures and begin to train for them next week. Yesterday they took a day off from mini’s and played border patrol and had sign-ups with their staff. Usually sign-ups are one shot activities similar to afternoon sign-ups in Main Camp. This year we started a small program for MS with some primitive woodworking. You can see photos of this in the MS pics. The campers choose a 2” slab of cherry and cut that with a one person cross cut saw. They then choose 4 legs to which are shaped into legs for a stool. The wood used for the legs are red oak and they utilize a drawknife and shave horse to whittle down the thick pieces of oak to leg size. This is the most difficult part of the task, getting the legs to fit 1 ½ inch holes on the stool top. Once there, the legs are pounded into the stool top and then wedged so they will stay. We don’t use any nails or glue and hopefully everything stays together and intact. Here’s a photo of a three legged stool that was produced last session. It’s not an easy project and one that takes several sessions to complete. We’re trying it this year in hopes of adding it to include a few more campers for next season. Working with primitive wood is a hobby for me and I love sharing this with campers.

Mountainside Woodworking

Mountainside Woodworking

On a performing arts note, our thespians are getting ready for their production next week. Sophie and other staff are working with campers daily to learn lines and dances which will be presented next Tues. We’re all looking forward to this special event. Speaking of special, tomorrow is Special Day. We’ve got a good one planned. The Commonwealth Games are going on abroad right now and we’ll have some games similar to theirs tomorrow morning and afternoon. There will be some great stations that the campers will be able to go to and test their skills such as, trash lid skeet shooting, the barrel race and others. We can’t divulge too much but it’s going to be a fun day. We hold Special Day so that our Activity Leaders can get a day off from teaching and it’s also a day for getting up a little later, taking showers and enjoying a good meal or two. Sunday’s are special and while we don’t totally rest, we do take some time to ponder things greater than us with our Sunday Vesper Service. Campers and staff have already signed up for a spot on that agenda. We look forward to sharing more news with you tomorrow and through next week. Stay tuned!