Kids Mountain Bike Race at Gwynn Valley 9/7/13


Don’t miss the 2013 CYMBL Race here at Gwynn Valley on Sept. 7th. Last year we had over 70 kids riding in various age categories coming from 4 different states.  We’re second on the cross country series this year among 5 different races here in Western NC.  All ages under 6 up to 18. We’ll be riding our single track trail across the road from camp which is appropriate for all ages.  Sorry parents, no category for you.  Stay the weekend in our area and take in some fantastic riding in Dupont State Forest or Pisgah National Forest.  See the CYMBL website and watch the video below.


As we get closer to our camp season it’s important to follow these suggestions as you begin to make a decision about coming to camp and preparing for a summer of fun and learning.  If you’re coming for the first time or maybe back to camp these tips will help you and your child to enhance their experience.  

1. Involve your child in making the decision as to going to camp where he or she might choose to go.  Ultimately you will make that decision based on the research that you all do together but most of the time they are attracted to the same camp you as a parent have chosen.  That might include a shopping trip to get that new sleeping bag or swim trunks or a good book to take with them.

2.  Find a camp that matches your families values whether it be religious values, competitiveness, program offerings or any number of choices that are out there.  Never hesitate to call and speak to us to discuss the camp’s values and philosophy and tell us about your son or daughter.   I feel there is a camp for every child, so find the best one for your camper.  

3.  Spend practice time away from home with friends or relatives.  Children who are able to be away from parents are more likely to have success in a camp environment.  Several sleepover nights without contact from you will help them cope in new surroundings.  If your child is interested but hesitant, sometimes it is helpful to see if any of their friends are also attending which will provide more security at first.  If possible, a visit or tour of the camp will help familiarize your child with the site, dining room, and cabins which will provide more security on the first day.  Gwynn Valley hosts tours year round, so contact us about a tour with your family.  
4.  Utilize a calendar and give the child a chance to mentally prepare for camp.  They should know the dates and discuss with you how long before camp starts.  It’s also good to have them experience the time they will be away from home on that same calendar.  If they are going away for a two week session, mark a two week period on the calendar to give them a feel just how long that two weeks really is.  It’s not camp but it does help them understand the time frame and how long a session lasts.  

5.  It is OK to talk about homesickness with children.  Over 80% of children experience homesickness and talking about it before the camp season is one of the best ways to cope with it, should it crop up at camp.  There are things they will miss from home but on the flip side those are the things that they love about home.  Camp cannot replace those things that they may miss but we can offer them a myriad of activities and times they will love as well.  If they do become homesick you’ve talked with them about some things they can focus on to help them get through those sad times and ways to look forward to all the great things that camp has to offer.  Remember they will have their camp parents (counselors) to talk to while there and make sure they know they can talk about it with someone at camp.  

6.  Complete the health form honestly.  Make sure the camp knows medical information about your child that will help them with a successful experience at camp.  Medications, allergies, bedwetting issues, and any other special information about your child will help the directors and staff  to best support your child while at camp.  If your child takes helpful medications for any condition consult your physician and the camp before taking a holiday from those meds.  It may affect their experience and socialization with fellow campers and staff.  Other information that you feel is important and is not a part of health form questionnaire should be attached to the form or to the camper’s application so the directors and leadership staff can become aware of this information.  

7.  Label everything your child brings to camp.  Lost and found confounds camp directors and we spend a lot of time getting children’s clothing and camp possessions back to them.  Labeled clothing, towels, flashlights and essentially everything makes lost and lost become lost and found.  

8.  Contact with your child is important even in short sessions.  Gwynn Valley allows parents to drop postcards and letters off on opening day so the child will have some mail as they begin their session.  We also accept emails and faxes from home and relatives and in longer sessions your letters are welcomed news from home.  It’s fun to send pictures, cartoons, jokes and clippings from their favorite sports page.  Always say that you know they are having the time of their lives and don’t start your correspondence with “We miss you so much”.  Also, have them correspond with you.  Some parents use a simple fill in the blank format for younger campers:  
The best part of my day today was  ________________.  My favorite meal so far at camp has been __________________.  You get the idea.  For younger and older campers you should supply stamped self addressed envelopes to help them get that note in the mail.  Remember there is so much to do at camp and so little time to write home. If you don’t get letters they are having the time of their life.     

9.  Never promise your child that you will pick them up if they are homesick.  Homesickness is normal and remember you want to set your child up for success.  Reassure them that you will be there on closing day and can’t wait to see and hear all about camp. If you are concerned about homesickness, discuss it with us and see how we handle those situations.  

10.  Know that you’re child is having a wonderful experience at camp and that Gwynn Valley is helping your child to reclaim and foster the beauty, wonder, and innocence of childhood is a beautiful and nurturing environment.  Our world is free of technology and we get back to the simple joys of being a child.  You’ll also be able to view pictures taken each day at camp and I will be writing a daily blog to give you insight into each and every day.

Now accepting On-line Payments!

We are so excited to be able to offer the convenience of making payments on-line!  Go to our Applications and Forms page to make a deposit or payment for your camper!  We can accept payment by credit card (Visa, Mastercard, or Discover) or by electronic check.  A fee will be included with your payment.  We will of course still take payments by check through the mail as well.

Day Camp Applications coming soon!

For those of you who are eager to get your child or grandchild into Day Camp, we have a special surprise this year!  We have been working hard to be able to offer on-line registration for Day Camp.  We will mail out Day Camp applications early this week (because we will still accept hard copies), then post the application and health form on-line a few days later (for those that want to download and print the form), and hopefully by the end of the week we will be able to offer on-line registration and payments!

Welcome Maggie Curme!

Gwynn Valley is excited to welcome Maggie Curme as our new Assistant Director of Older Programs.  Maggie comes with a great deal of experience at Gwynn Valley and is already digging deep into the work here at camp and preparing for another awesome summer at camp.
Maggie grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina where she attended Dilworth Elementary, Charlotte Country Day, and Myers Park High School. She temporarily left North Carolina to study Environmental Studies, International Relations, and International Development at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Washington, DC. At Georgetown, Maggie was involved in many campus clubs and organizations including: EcoAction, Georgetown Radio, Intentional Relations Club, the Sustainability Committee, and Outdoor Education. While taking classes, Maggie worked part time for both Saxby’s Coffee, as a barista & manager, and Georgetown Outdoor Education, as a manager, guide, guide class teacher, and pre-orientation trip leader for incoming freshmen and transfer students. In her junior year, Maggie spent a semester studying abroad at La Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Chile. Before and after the semester, she also traveled to Ecuador, Peru, Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil. Since graduating in May 2010, Maggie has split her time between traveling abroad and working in Washington, DC. From September 2010 – May 2011, Maggie traveled and worked in New Zealand and Australia. After returning to the U.S., Maggie moved back to D.C. to work as a government contractor at SRA in support of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Emergency Management.  
 Maggie enjoys traveling, cooking, learning new languages, running, climbing, hiking, practicing yoga, spending time outdoors, listening to music, taking photos, spending time with old and new friends, and being at Gwynn Valley! For 12 out of 24 summers, Maggie has spent at least 1 week (and many full summers) at Gwynn Valley. She is a former Camper (Hillside, Brookside, Mountainside), Staff-In-Training (SIT), Counselor (Hillside, Brookside, Mountainside) and Head Counselor (Mountainside).  Maggie has many positive memories of overcoming both physical and emotional obstacles while at GV, and she hopes to continue this pattern of  growth in her newest Gwynn Valley incarnation: Assistant Director of Older Programs. Maggie takes on every new challenge with energy and enthusiasm — and this new position at Gwynn Valley will be no exception!  You’ll be seeing Maggie on the road this winter as well as opening and closing days here at camp.  We’re excited to have her back at camp and know she’s going to be a great addition to our year round staff.

New Arrival, Recycling and Happy Holidays!

Campers, Parents and Friends,

Last week we had a new arrival at the stable; a new horse named Frost.  He came from the Winston-Salem area and belonged to one of our former campers who is going off to school next year and will not have time to work with her horse while in college.  She and her parents knew that camp would be a good home with lots of contact with other horses and more importantly lots of children.  When Frost arrived, the other horses raced around the pasture and took a few minutes to check out the new kid on the block and then they all raced around the pasture together.  It was almost like opening day when campers arrive.  There is a lot of excitement in the air as each camper arrives and our staff do an excellent job of bringing new and old campers together into the fold of cabin life and activities.  It’s one of the most important aspects of camp; feeling that you’re a part of your cabin, activity group and the whole camp community..  Acceptance at camp is one of our values here and it’s a job we do well that makes for successful camp experiences.  Frost has been here a short time but he’s already made friends and is looking forward to having our campers join him in horseback riding this coming summer.

Frost, our newest member of the Gwynn Valley riding program.

Several days ago I was cleaning out one of the office closets and found a box of old DVD’s and CD’s that we can’t use anymore.  I went online to find out about how to dispose of them and it seems the last thing you want to do with them is to take them to the landfill.  It takes thousands of years for a dvd to break down and to incinerate it would release harmful toxins into the air.  Recycling the plastic removes the inks, lacquers and reflective metal layers used in the manufacturing process. The final product yields 99.9% clean polycarbonate resin granules that can be reused into other products.  So… don’t forget to recycle those used and worn out dvds and cds that are just lying around.  Here’s an address you can send them to.  It seems that the closest dvd/dc recycling center on the east coast is in New Hampshire.  
CD Recycling Center of America
68E Stiles Road
Salem NH 03079
I would suggest sending them media mail with the USPS.  It’s a cheaper service and my 35 pounds of plastic only cost $16 to mail.  As the year ends don’t forget to recycle all those paper wrappings, cardboard and even plastics that come attached to so many of our consumer items that are gifted this time of year.  Gwynn Valley has recycled for over 25 years and we know we’re making a dent in landfill space as well as reducing and reusing. 

A few flurries fell on Dec. 21st.

December has been a great month for us here at camp.  The weather is usually pretty good this time of year with reasonable daytime temps and cold brisk evenings.  It’s a good time to catch up on office work and really plan for the upcoming season.  It’s also a special time of year because of the holidays.  Many of you are anticipating the Christmas Holiday which is upon us and others have just completed the celebration of Hannukah.  Whatever festive event your family honors, it is a special time of year for us all.  It’s a time of family and getting together with friends to celebrate our blessings and the life we live in a country that has so much to offer.  The tradition of summer camp is one of those great offerings found here in the US.  Anne and I feel so blessed to be a part of the GV family with connections all over the US and world.  The “simple joys” of Gwynn Valley have provided children with many great memories and experiences for 78 years.  We’re excited as we prepare for another year of camp and bringing you here for a summer of fun, challenge and learning.  
Here’s hoping you and yours will have a joyful and blessed time in the weeks ahead.  Happy New Year!


New Video and More!

Camp’s new video has been with us on the road for several weeks but we’ve just uploaded it to our website.  If you click on the video link you will see there are quite a few changes to the new one.  You’ll see some different camper and staff interviews as well as added coverage from trips out of camp and activities at camp.  If you’re in one of the cities where we are coming to do a home show, come out and see the Session Video Highlights from the summer of 2012.  Each session captures the spirit of that part of our summer and provides a glimpse of what camp is like and all the different activities that are offered.  You’ll see lots of different folks from each session and may even recognize yourself.
Campers applications have been pouring in so don’t delay in getting your’s in.   Some sessions are already full so call to see if there is space for the session you’re interested in.  Staff are also getting their reapplications in.  We have some great staff returning for 2013.  
Come out and join us at our upcoming homeshows and bring a friend.  We’ll be updating our schedule for dates into the new year.

CYMBL Race at Gwynn Valley

Dear Parents & Friends,

Gwynn Valley just hosted the first race in a series for CYMBL (Carolina Youth Mountain Biking League) held at camp on Aug. 18th. There were just around 100 youngsters participating after final count. The next event will be at Camp Carolina in Sept. here in Brevard and the final event will be hosted by Falling Creek Camp in Oct. Hope to see you at one of these venues!  Stay tuned!

CYMBL Series 2012 At Gwynn Valley Camp from Gwynn Valley on Vimeo.

CYMBL Race Tomorrow At Gwynn Valley

Dear Parents & Friends,

Gwynn Valley is hosting the first event of the CYMBL races series tomorrow, Aug. 18th, here at camp.  CYMBL stands for Carolina Youth Mountain Biking League.  Don’t be put off by the fact it’s a race.  It’s a family event and great fun if your children are into mountain biking.  For more information on the event go to

We look forward to a great day of fun and mountain biking for all ages.

Latest Video From Session E!

Parents & Friends,

Here is our last installment of video from Session E.  You will see scenes from Main Camp as well as some paddling from Riverside and Mountainside.  We enjoyed having you and please let your friends know about Gwynn Valley.  Click on the link below vimeo 7 2012 E Session to see it in a bigger format.

vimeo 7 2012 E Session from Gwynn Valley on Vimeo.