Celebrating Poland and Ireland!

Greetings from Gwynn Valley!

Every Tuesday we celebrate a different country or group of countries, and this week is no exception! International days involve sharing culture, food, language, and traditions from our international friends. Last week was UK today, which included staff representatives from England, Scotland, and Wales. Today we celebrated the Republic of Ireland and Poland, which includes a Main Camp cabin counselor, and staff members from our Kitchen Crew and Grounds Crew Team.

As always, the food was incredible! At lunch we enjoyed Polish Pierogies, which were eaten with bacon and sauteed onions, along with cucumber salad, green salad, and fruit salad! Many campers at my table said it was the first time they had ever tried pierogies, and all but 1 said they would definitely order them if they ever saw them on a restaurant menu. Our lunch time meal was accompanied by a soundtrack of Disney songs with Polish words. Campers loved hearing familiar music and trying to pick out Polish words they might understand from translating all the English lyrics they know by heart. At dinner we enjoyed Irish Coddle Stew, braised cabbage, green beans, hearty oatmeal bread, and apple crumble for dessert. The soup was very well received as afternoon rain had cooled off the air temperature to be just right for a bowl of warm soup.

Did you know that in the 1400’s mustaches were illegal in Ireland? We learned this and many other things about our two featured countries at our Evening Program in the lodge. Our staff from Poland and Ireland worked with our Fine Arts Program leader, Haley, to share Polish and Irish folk tales. The staff also taught us a few Polish words so that we can be conversational on our next trip to Warsaw. Finally, we wrapped up the evening by learning how to property pronounce Irish names. Josh (from Ireland) had us all laughing at the silliness of comparing different accents and slang words!

Our first Main Camp Biking Trip also went out of camp today. The group of 10 managed to miss most of the rain we had here at Gwynn Valley, though we were only 12 miles apart. Campers enjoyed biking around in the beautiful state forest that is home to over 100 miles of single track, but the big trip highlight was definitely Ridgeline Trail. This trail is widely revered for it’s seemingly endless ‘flowly’ downhill that is challenging but not too technical for bikers who are still developing their skills.

Riverside returned from their backpacking trip today with many stories of challenging trails, amazing views, and delicious food eaten around a campfire. They also got lucky with weather; the biggest rain they encountered came as they arrived at Butter Gap which has a permanent structure that provided coverage for the group at just the right time. Mountainside will return from their various trips tomorrow, and we can’t wait to hear from them as well! Pictures from all those trips out of camp will be posted online in the coming days.

Tomorrow is the Tajar’s birthday so there is sure to be lots of exciting news to share! Tune in tomorrow evening for photos and updates.