Camp Creates the Best Version of Yourself!

Dear Parents & Friends,

It’s been another great GV day here. Where else can you see so many cool activities taking place.  Sports was playing basketball today and will be moving on to football for tomorrow and Monday and then finish up with fat bat baseball.  And of course there’s the English “football” we call soccer that’s an everyday staple at camp.  Many of our campers love American football 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 morning in the ring with quite a few campers who have had some experience on a horse before.  They were showing off their skills turning and moving the horse as easy as turning a mountain bike.  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.

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 and fun activity we’ve created at camp. 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. We also have our famous WaterMat back on the lake after a short hiatus. It’s a floating island that’s 6 X 22 feet and will hold about 2300 lbs.  The campers love it.  Our small lake gets a workout each day with a million things going on in and around it. Kayaking is readying paddlers for trips next week.

The Farm is still waiting for mama pig to give birth.  Everyone is holding their breath and just waiting for the big day.  Speaking of the Farm, we held our Farm campfire tonight and it was a blast.  There was dancing, stories about a lost goat with a bit of a Lion King theme, clogging by Dale, music by the Needle Nose Vice Grips, a story called The Chauffer and the Professor, and of course an intermission that included carrot cake for all attending.

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. 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.

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 and his assorted friends who whitewashed Miss Polly’s fence. Getting campers to help make ice cream is even 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 the best versions of themselves, as Maggie would say.  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, listening, timing, and learning social Q’s. 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!