Campouts, Sun, and More!

Dear Parents & Friends,

Another sunny day here made it another great GV day. We started off with a bang up breakfast of French toast and bacon plus fruit, OJ, Moo Juice and lots of table conversation. It was a very cool this morning but by 10:30 the temps began to rise and so did the activity level. Tonight’s dinner was a beef, potato, cheese, bacon and vegi loaf that was unreal. The kids loved it and so did the adults. Mealtimes are great at camp because we really do sit at the table and converse. Everyone at our table chips in and campers at the table do their share as well. Campers learn a lot about managing a table of 10 people where cooperation is key. There’s lot of please and thank you’s and in a room with 350 people one needs to keep things orderly and tidy as best we can. There’s hardly a meal goes by that someone doesn’t turn over a drink or drop their silverware. And that’s an “all for one” moment when everyone tosses their napkin into the spilled liquid and the spiller retrieves a towel or more napkins. No one fusses or cries over spilt milk, we just clean it up, continue our conversation and keep eating.

I was able to get out into program today to visit with climbers, archery, The Mill, pottery, bikers, and headed down to the farm this afternoon to watch the feeding of all those baby calves. We also started our Open House sessions when a couple of members of the Leadership team visits cabins to meet with campers without the counselors being there. It’s a way to make sure that staff are doing their job and taking good care of the children. I was invited to go to Connesstee Cove Cabin. This is a great group of girls with some that are new to Gwynn Valley and some that are returners. At one point they were all talking trying to answer our many questions when one camper piped up and said, “Girls, I think we should clarify this answer for Grant and Sophie”. Very articulate, I thought and really was impressed with this cabin and how well they got along and that their counselors were doing a great job. It’s just such a good way to get a read on the health of the cabin and how their camp experience is going.

On to a different part of camp, Mountainside chose their activities today and found out which adventure they will be on. Thursday is their big departure day. Paddlers will head out to several local rivers, climbers to Cedar Rock up in Pisgah National Forest, Bikers to Dupont State Forest and Pioneers to the top of Parkway for several days at over 5800 feet near Shining Rock.

There’s never a dull moment outside and inside of camp where tonight Mountainside had their environmental campfire which is really fun and interesting. Main camp had their first Mountain Dancing campfire and we did the Hokey Pokey, Going to Kentucky, Paddy Cake Polka and several Tajar stories. The other big story for tonight was that about half the camp went on campouts tonight and are scattered throughout the property and by this time all snuggled down in their sleeping bags. It’s a beautiful night here and no showers or rain is predicted. Everyone packed smores and all the trimmings for a good dinner over the fire. Many of our campout sites are like our cabins and close by a creek where you’re lulled into sleep within seconds of hitting that pillow. All the shelters are built up off the groud with a floor and three walls and of course a roof. It’s not the Hilton but it’s pretty darn nice. Throw in a few stories and songs by the campfire, good food, and full day and it’s all dreamland till the birds starting singing in the wee hours of light. Tomorrow, the other half of camp goes on a campout and those staying back will join in Mountain Dancing. It’s been a great day so stay tuned for more to come!