Christmas in the Valley

Seasons Greetings and Happy New Year!

As we get farther into this festive season and approach the beginning of the new year, I’m reminded of all the great memories that are like little gifts that come forth from the summer. Many of you may have received our Millwheel News by now along with countless cards that arrive this time of year. Soon you will be receiving another surprise in the mail to remind you of those great summer days here at camp.

At the end of last summer Tess, from New Zealand, who worked in arts and crafts, gave Anne and me a beautiful and small painted wooden box with the words to a camp song on the outside. It was the last day of camp and campers had all headed home. Our staff were quite busy tying up loose ends for the summer and cleaning up their cabins and program areas. I had forgotten about the box and in the process of cleaning my office after camp, had placed it on a bookshelf and eventually other things got piled on it and it sat there for several months before being rediscovered. About a week ago I pulled it from the shelf and took the strings from around the top that kept the lid on. There in a space about 3 by 3 inches were at least a hundred or maybe more, little pieces of paper that had been meticulously rolled up and packed tightly inside the box. I pulled one out unrolled it and it was from a camper named Michelle, D session, Rosebay cabin. Tess had asked her arts activity campers at some point to write something on a small piece of paper that would be opened later by the directors of camp. Some of these are decorated and most importantly they give us small glimpses, impressions, and pearls of camper thoughts from the summer. I’ve been pulling one out of the box everyday here in the office and am really enjoying these gifts of children’s thoughts from the summer.

As we give and receive this time of year let us all hope and pray for peace and good tidings for people everywhere. Thank you all for coming to this place in our mountains, to a child’s world where discovery, a nurturing environment and a connection to the natural world, make possible the simple joys of childhood. This place, where children are playing outside and growing inside. This place called Gwynn Valley.

From all of us to all of you we wish you JOY, PEACE AND GOOD CHEER,

Anne, Grant and all our staff