Camp Is About Connection

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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. You were shown to your cabins today by our SIT’s (staff in training). They are a hard working group of young people who have been at Gwynn Valley for many years. They work in the Kitchen, Stables and throughout camp and 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 every other day for a 3 day period. Campers have 2 activities in the AM on Mon., Wed., and Fri., and 2 more activities on Tues., Thurs., and Sat. The campers have many choices and as always the afternoons are for signup as well, with many 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:

Mountain Biking, Climbing, Whitewater Kayaking, Campsite 101, Naure’s kitchen, Tye Dye, Shibori, Loom Weaving, Leather Tooling Wheel throwing (Pottery), Rainbow Pottery, Blacksmithing, Farm/ Mill, Horseback Riding, Performing Arrts,  Crafts, Set, and Costume Design, Climbing (three kinds), Soccer, American Sports, Archery,  Navy Seals, Junior Lifeguarding, and Water Sports,  Lots of choices and lots of things to do!

We don’t waste any time getting things going on the first day of camp. We held to our usual schedule of a 12:45 lunch since we have campers from the C session here for 3 weeks. After sign-ups the new campers visited the Waterfront, Mill, Sports, Archery, Climbing, Lake Fun, Tye Dye, Fiber arts, and the Farm. Our three week campers have made lots of new friends and renewed camp friendships the past 11 days. Camp is about connection, community, and making friends. One of Gwynn Valley’s values is Acceptance and I feel we do a great job embracing new people into the fold here at GV.  We are a no put-down free zone and really give everyone a chance to be who they are.

Mountainside has sign-ups tomorrow with fun activities planned and their second training day on Friday, going in 5 different directions to get ready for their adventures starting on Sunday.   Riverside has been doing their whitewater adventure and paddled the Nantahala today and will return there again tomorrow. They are a strong paddling group!  Mountainside has a great staff this summer as does Main Camp and Riverside.  We really value our staff and appreciate the work they put in with your children. The work they do is what makes camp. Grant paddled with Riverside on their training day and biked with a Main Camp group today. We do our best to get out into program every day and on some trips.  By getting involved in program and visiting activities we are able to see into the heart of our program. It brings us great joy to see a group of campers enthralled and focused on one of many activities here at GV.

As our evening closed down, our new campers came to the Lodge for evening program and returned a little earlier to their cabins to bond and have their friendship circle.  Our 3 week campers played Bingo and enjoyed winning some GV swag.  Mountainside did mountain dancing with Debbie making magic on the piano.

As you know we take lots of photos each day here at camp and 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 with your children. Many of them have come from the camper ranks and have reached counselor status. It is tough work but joyful and magical.