Chocolate for Breakfast! Bangers and Mash ! Biking, Hiking, & Kayaking; Priceless!

Dear Parents and Friends,

It’s Tuesday and International Day here at camp.  We’re celebrating the countries of Ireland and Holland.  Campfire just finished and it was great.  Campers were involved in a lot of skits and songs.  Sinterklaas came to visit all the way from Holland and a leprechaun with a pot of gold came over for a wee visit.  We learned a good bit about both countries and I should include Northern Ireland as well.  Liam is from North Ireland and Ciaran is from the Republic of Ireland.  Our two Dutch counselors are Nik and Yolanda.  All involved were terrific and lots of laughs from our men from Ireland.  Their humor is a bit dry.  For example, “ What did St. Patrick say to the snakes as he was driving them out of the country”?  “Are yis alright in the back, there, lads?”  It took a moment but most got it.

We also heard from our thespians tonight and they put on a little skit called, When Tiger Comes to Tea. It was a short play and truly was a story written by the kids, Debbie and Amy about a tiger coming to tea.  Camp is a place where your imagination can take on a whole new level.  I think it’s a good place to figure out more of your talents and really this can be a life long pursuit.  I’m sure we’ll hear from our players on closing day.

We started the morning off with having chocolate sprinkles for breakfast just like they do in Holland.  I think that was a runaway hit.  And tonight we had bangers and mash (sausage and mashed potatoes) with peas and carrots, fresh garden salad, baked beans, gravy and Irish Sponge cake.  I can tell you parent’s this, but our baker had trouble finding a recipe for Irish Sponge cake that didn’t have Irish Whiskey in it.  Even without the whiskey it was pretty darn good.  It was another good morning and afternoon at the waterfront because of the heat.  The Mill had their day of corn husk doll making and of course anything you can make from corn cobs.  A little glue and your imagination and wow- missiles, rockets, planes, animals, robots, trains, cars, jets, and more.  In sports they played a little rugby, touch of course.  Onions were being pulled at the farm and of course the animals always need care.

Three trips went out of camp today, the kayakers, mountain bikers and OLS and WEB folks.  Everyone had a great time and it was a fantastic day for leaving the base camp and exploring the mighty French Broad River, single track in Dupont State Forest, and trails in Pisgah National forest.  My personal favorite was the biking trip because I sneaked out of camp for a couple of hours to bike with them and shoot some video.  If you’ve never been to Dupont State Forest it’s a wonderland of over a 100 miles of trails.  The group started at Fawn Lake and proceeded down Reasonover Creek Trail to Turkey Knob Trail which is one of newest trails in the forest.  It’s a roller coaster fun ride for several miles and descends well into the southeastern part of the park.  From there they went to Winter Green Falls for lunch and onto Gion Farm for more riding ending at Hooker Falls.  I left them after lunch but I would guess they put in close to about 12-13 miles today.  It was good riding by everyone including some deep creek crossings which got us a little wet.

Dupont is magical and being outside and riding mostly in the shaded forested single track can’t be beat.  Ask any mountain biker why they do it and you’ll likely hear, “because it’s fun.” My knee-jerk response when people question this sport is no different. But it should be. There’s a reason everyone from pre-schoolers to former presidents and school-aged children to cycling legends have fallen in love with riding their bike off-road. In addition to being fun, mountain biking offers a plethora of physical, emotional and social benefits to those who partake.  Eating lunch on a rock in the middle of a cold rushing mountain stream, with your feet in the water, after a long climb and fun descent….and there’s more after that.  Priceless!  Stay tuned!