Celebrating Australia and Argentina Day!


As I woke up early this morning to the sound of rain, I thought about our Mountainsiders all out on adventures and our Riversiders backpacking in Pisgah National Forest. Hopefully their tents and tarps kept them dry as they slept and as they enjoyed breakfast. Fortunately, the rain stopped at 10:00 and the sun peeped out to bring warmth and good weather. The Earth Skills crew headed to John Rock for a day hike, the backpackers continued on their trail, the climbers are at Looking Glass camping and climbing, the bikers headed to Dupont State Forest from their campsite at Holmes State Forest, and the canoers headed for the Green River. They spend the night out again this evening and will return tomorrow afternoon. Riverside should finish their trail in the late morning and return to camp by lunchtime. I love it when the 60 campers who are all out in the wilderness roll back into the Valley with tales to tell, challenges accomplished, confidence increased, and friendships tightened. That’s what camp is all about.

For our Young Leaders and those of us in Main Camp, we spent the day celebrating international day. Although we weren’t able to have many of our international staff join us this summer due to COVID, we are fortunate to have four countries represented and learned about Australia and Argentina today. We enjoyed a breakfast of toast, scrambled eggs, Dule de Leche, fruit, cereal and hot chocolate which was a treat. Before eating lunch, we heard the Argentinian national anthem and saw two short video clips about Argentina and Australia, followed by Milanesa Napolitana (chicken parmesan), mashed potatoes, salad, diced moato, and diced hard boiled eggs. Dinner was Australian with meat pie, roast potatoes, watermelon, and milo (chocolate milk) with a delicious Pavlova for dessert. Our kitchen staff outdid themselves creating new recipes and also learning from our international friends. 

We had an announcement at dinner this evening about some of our mountain bikers who rode all four mountain bike trails on camp this afternoon…wow what an accomplishment and the cheering was loud! Miss Mary Gwynn, who founded camp in 1935 always said “do something difficult everyday” and these young people definitely challenged themselves. We also had climbers excited to climb to the top of the wall on the difficult side and ring the bell at the top, campers learning to blacksmith and center a pot on the wheel, all trying something new and challenging themselves; we call it challenge by choice at GV.

 Campfire tonight was on the Green as we gathered under a clear blue sky on our cabin tarps to learn more from Lauren who lives in Australia and Aryton who is from Argentina both of whom are returning staff members. We learned interesting vocabulary words such as ambo, mate, servo, and more, we watched a tango dance and learned a line dance from Australia. It was lots of fun and wonderful to be outdoors.

It’s hard to believe that tomorrow is Tajar Ball and we only have two full days left of our session. As I said earlier in a blog, the days are long at camp but they go by too quickly. It is always so joyful to hear all of the squeals, laughter, and fun being had during activities and to watch campers playing and being together in community.