C-2 Opening Day and C Boogies On!

Dear Parents & Friends,

We welcomed our new campers for C-2 today and got off to a rousing start to begin that session.  For those of you that dropped off your children today, I hope that you’re safe and sound and at your destination.  Thanks to our wonderful SIT’s who you will see in a couple of photos today.  They are a hard working group of young people who have been at Gwynn Valley for many years.  They work in the Kitchen and Stables and also live in cabins with campers.  Those campers who are here for three weeks had signups this morning while the new campers were arriving.  With half the camp, it was just a small intimate group to sign up this morning.  As new campers arrived we were priming the pump for another great session.  Right after lunch everyone signed up for Discovery activities.  These are activities that take place over several days.  They have many choices and ultimately get 4 activities that happen for 1 hour each every other day.  As always the afternoons are for signup as well, when many different one time activities are offered.  Both times of the day are lots of fun.  The morning focuses mostly on skills and the afternoon, some skills and the experience of trying something new just for a short period of time.  Following are the Discovery activities offered in the morning:

Farm/ Mill, Archery, Canoeing, Horseback Riding, Climbing (three kinds), Print Making, Gourd-eous Gourds, Mask Making, Soccer, Fine Arts Musical, Weaving, GV Rescue, Web of Life, Gourds, Mountain Biking, Pottery, Outdoor Living Skills, Aqua Games, Jackson Kayaks and Bracelets.  Lots of choices and lots of things to do!

Rain held off this morning and we got steady showers most of the afternoon but not enough to stop programs.  We don’t waste any time getting things going on the first day of camp.  We held to our usual schedule of a 1:00 lunch since we have campers from the C session here for 3 weeks.  After sign-ups the new campers visited the Waterfront, Farm, Mill, Sports, and Horses.  We all received new table assignments tonight for dinner and I’m with a great group of campers and staff at table 13 (best table!).  Dinner tonight was baked chicken, vegetable medley, mashed potatoes, fresh rolls and salad.  Yum!

I spent the afternoon on the river with Mountainside who were participating in their second day of river training working up to the adventures which start on Sunday.  We ran section 0 of the French Broad where the West Fork, the North Forth and the East Fork of the French Broad all come together within about a mile.  The group learned a good bit about ferrying and angles and we stopped at one place where they practiced till almost perfect.  We had to “boogie” (hurry)  down the river the last mile so we wouldn’t miss dinner.  It was a fun wet day as we paddled the river with water falling from the sky.  It was one of those steady rains and I encouraged everyone to wear their raincoats (mostly for warmth) under their PFD’s or puffdaddy as I call them.  They will have another short training on the lake with me tomorrow and then out on Adventures on Sunday.  The hikers went to Dupont today and the Bikers went as well.  The climbers spent the day around the Nose area of Looking Glass and had a great time.

As it stands, tomorrow I’m spending the day with Riverside on the Nantahala.  They’re on their last day of rivers and will be coming back into camp tomorrow night.  I’m going tomorrow to get some video and also looking forward to getting on some good water.  Even I get to have some fun once in a while.  I truly believe when Anne and I get out into program with our staff and campers we have a pulse on what’s going on at camp.  It’s a chance to see the staff in action in range of activities from challenging situations to unstructured supervised free play.  We really value our staff and appreciate the work they put with your children.  It basically is the essence of our program.  We have a great staff this year and I know that your children will feel the same.  By getting involved in program and visiting activities we are able to see into the heart of our program.  It brings me great joy to see a group of campers enthralled and focused on what’s going on in a particular activity.  I know as you all go through photos you’re looking for your child and a happy face.  We try to take some photos showing children really focused on the work and play they are participating in.  As we go through the session, I hope you’ll get a glimpse of the work these young staff members are doing.  Many of them have come from the camper ranks and have reached counselor nirvana.  It’s tough work but you already know that because you’re all parents!  Stay tuned!