Building Bridges in Many Ways!

Dear Parents & Friends,

A spectacular day here at GV with typical early summer weather, low 80’s and a constant breeze blowing all day long.  We had a short shower just during dinner, but Mr. sun came out and it’s back to beautiful.  Tomorrow is the last day of Discovery activity and all next week we have sign-ups both morning and afternoon.  We’ll also be running trips out of camp next week for many adventure activities.  More on that later.

With the perfect weather came great chances to get in some last minute skills as well as try something new in the afternoon today.  Several campers received their Junior Life Guard certs today which is a ticket to one day taking on the next challenge level when they’re old enough.  In the climbing realm, we opened up our Arborist Climbing today for Discovery as well as the afternoon.  It’s one of the more difficult aspects of our climbing program so ask your child if they participated.

Not difficult at all was chowing down at the Mill where campers made their first Johnny Cakes with lots of butter and honey to round out that Pioneer treat.  Our horses didn’t get treats, but they were treated by a great bunch of riders in the ring this morning and afternoon.  Riding is one of those activities that is not my favorite.  Put me in almost any adventure situation but don’t mount me on a horse.  I prefer the mountain bike which is lighter, easier to control and you don’t have to feed it.  I admire these campers who can control and feel comfortable on a horse.

I spent a good portion of the afternoon working with our Riverside group is reworking one of our Mountain Bike trails and building a bridge.  They are an outstanding bunch and we had fun together and hopefully learned a few things in the process.  We had to first get a dead locust tree that was hung and suspended between two other trees to use as the truss or girders for the bridge.  The butt of the log was on the ground so we rigged up a Z drag (3 to 1 mechanical advantage).  It worked beautifully and the tree came down to be cut into the correct length.   Next was digging out a placement for each end of girders and leveling them and last was screwing the two by sixes into the girders for the decking.  This may have been the first time that some of these campers had used a peavey, mattock or Pulaski, McLeod, or an impact driver.  A shovel was also in the mix and I’m sure they’ve had some experience in knowing the correct end of it.  They did a great job and we were all a little hot and sweaty at the end of the two hours it took to get everything in place.  I should have taken some pics with my phone but it’s hard when you’re out in the woods and away from screens.  Frankly, I didn’t think about it.  The simple joys win out again.

Spending the afternoon outdoors with nice kids reminds me why I love this job.  For them, this was just a filler and segue to their next adventure.  It’s really about the whole process and not about the adventures or the relationship building, or the learned skills. It’s about all of our small groups: cabin, table, program etc. and spending quality time together learning about one another, themselves and new ways of living and having fun.  All this and more under the blue skies, the rainy afternoons, and star and moonlight nights and the watchful eyes of many adults is a great way to spend 10 days or three weeks at GV.  I love it and hope they are as well. Stay tuned!