Building Camp DNA!

Dear Parents & Friends,

It’s been another great GV day here. Where else can you see so many activities going on in such a place. Our sports program started with World Cup playoffs this morning and there was a tie but no PK shootout. (Didn’t want to put the goal keepers through that kind of pressure at camp.) Football – American Style was on tap this afternoon and quite a few kids signed up for some tag football on the “football pitch”. We have several footballs here at camp and it’s always fun to create a good game without all the blocking and tackling. It’s more of a passing game with lots of razzle dazzle, laterals, ball must be passed forward or lateraled backwards and plays can last a long time. This too depends on when you can rush the passer – 1- mississippi – 2– mississippi – 3………. and up to 10. The old statue of liberty and the double reverse play always catches at least a few off guard.

Horses were stepping high this afternoon as work in the ring was with quite a few campers who have never ridden before. Our program is Hunt Seat or English saddles. The campers were learning to trot and post today. When they’ve had enough in the ring it’s off to the trail we go. I always get a start when the horses pass by the lake one minute and mountain bikers the next. When the two do meet it’s the bikes who stop and dismount to give right of way. People and especially horses have the right of way both here and out on the trails in Dupont when we’re riding. Those other bikers going uphill have the right of way as well.

There is no right of way on the Traverse line at the lake. There’s no right way either, because just getting across is quite the accomplishment. Rarely does a camper or counselor make it across without falling in the lake. It’s one of the most difficult things we’ve created at camp and it’s challenging. The zip line is equally fun and a lot easier. If you can pull off a spider man move you’ve made a name for yourself on the zip. You simply grab the rope and hang upside down as you fly out across the lake. Our small lake gets a workout each day with a million things going on in and around it. Kayaking is readying paddlers for two trips next week – one going to the Green River and one to the upper French Broad. Mountainside has taken their turn on the lake this week to get ready for adventures next week.

The Farm had big news today! I’m sure it will be in the Tajar Times for the weekend edition. I’ll give you a just a hint. Burney the Mama cow had a baby today. Still to be named newborn is waiting to greet visitors at the Farm tomorrow and the weeks ahead. We thought that Mama Pig might be delivering soon but not quite yet. Any day we expect her to have piglets and usually that is big news around camp.

The Arts Arena of camp was producing all kinds of artistic gems over the past couple of days. Campers are keeping the looms hot at Shady Grove and other artistic endeavors include candles that smell great, wonderful Batiks, of course tye dyes, baskets, and marbled scarves are just a few of the things popping up around camp. Clay is that medium at camp that can take on your best imaginative ideas. Our pottery shop has one of everything that ever been made in the world – mostly in miniature version. Clay can capture a child’s imagination and the best part is, you get to use your hands with your brain to create whatever you want. And you thought only engineers get to do that. If your Arts Cart desires carry you to the stage or dance floor there’s something for you in the Lodge and next week both our thespians and dancers will perform their works. A dance with martial arts might include some helpful tips on how to escape a tricky situation if you’re caught in a jam.

And the only thing better than jam on a johnny cake made at the Mill is ice cream made at the Mill which happened today. That’s one of those activities that’s always full and I wonder why. Cindy, our Miller is much like Tom Sawyer as he and his assorted friends whitewashed the fence. Getting campers to help make ice cream is even way easier.

What you’ve just read is just the tip of the iceberg here at camp. It’s a daily lineup of special moments connected to so many campers and staff doing wonderful things and being wonderful people. When I coached soccer, I always used to tell my players that soccer was a game of many opportunities to touch the ball. Camp is much the same with so many interactions from campers to staff and staff to campers. Our touches are of the EQ (emotional intelligence) realm, where interaction, conversation, learning to express oneself and listen, timing, social Q’s are constantly going on. It’s such a great place to learn to live with people, make new friends, listen carefully to a different accent, show off your table manners and the list goes on. We are building memories or camp DNA as I call it. Stay tuned !