Cool Summer Day in the Mountains

Dear Gwynn Valley Camper Families and Friends,

Here at Gwynn Valley we are at the end of another busy and beautiful day. Yesterday evening’s light drizzle continued into the morning and early afternoon. We had light rain on and off until mid-afternoon, but the rain did not stop any activities! All program areas were in full swing and campers stayed warm and dry with rain jackets and ponchos. On day 5 of the session, we are really in the swing of things so today felt like an easy day for both campers and staff.

Today was our second day of Open Houses, which is when we have leadership staff and program leaders visit cabin groups in their camp homes (the cabins) while cabin counselors take a 30 minute break to refresh themselves or prepare for program. For one of my Open Houses today, I went to Peter Pan with Josh Goleby, who often goes by Goldstar. The campers ‘formally’ requested that we arrive in ‘formal attire’… so of course we happily obliged and picked out ball gowns from the costume room. During Open House, the visitors ask campers about camp life, cabin life, and their counselors. This gives campers the opportunity to discuss matters of concern with adults who are not directly involved in cabin life. It also gives us lots of a great ideas about how to make Gwynn Valley better. One of my favorite questions to ask is “What is one thing you would never change about Gwynn Valley and one thing you thing we could change to make Gwynn Valley better?” Sometimes we hear suggested changes such as “Make the pool warmer!” or “Serve dessert every day!” Today one Peter Pan girl replied, “I would never change how nice all the campers and counselors are to each other and I would make Gwynn Valley sessions last longer – maybe 5 or 6 weeks!”  Hearing things like this let’s me know that kids are LOVING CAMP!

Speaking of desserts… we did have key lime cheesecake for dessert this evening! Our kitchen team continues to serve creative, crowd pleasing meals 3 times each day. For breakfast we had homemade & whole wheat cranberry scones, hard boiled eggs, sausage, fruit, cereal, and milk/OJ/water. For lunch we had english muffin pizzas in quite a few varieties (chicken, pepperoni, veggie and cheese), fresh green salad from the farm, corn on the cob from the farm, fruit, and sky juice! For dinner we had paella (which many campers tried for the first time an enjoyed!) along with roasted farm veggies and another green farm salad. And… of course the key lime cheesecake.

This evening for campfire we had Twilight Play, which is an extended program period after dinner. We offered up a number of activities including mountain biking, hike to the rock, horseback riding, archery, candles, popcorn making at the mill, pottery, sunset swim at the lake, and many more. Campers often ask to keep playing as we wrap up after supper activities, so it’s a real treat for them to keep on playing for another 30 – 40 minutes. We wrapped up around 8:30PM, about when our evening program normally finishes in the lodge.

In the world of Older Programs… Riverside returned from 4 days in Foster Falls, TN. They encountered a little rain as well, but still managed to climb every day and loved swimming in the pool at the base of the falls. They were glad for warm showers back at camp this evening and they are looking forward to a few days on camp before they head out paddling on Monday. Mountainside groups went on their 3rd of 4 Mini-Adventures. Two groups were off camp paddling and pioneering in Dupont State Park while the other two groups climbed and mountain biked her on property. This evening the Mountainsiders were enthralled by an annual C1 treat: Survival Campfire with Dr. Terry Hassler! Our C1 doctor is a veteran, former boy scout leader, and avid outdoors man who puts on a special evening program for Mountainside every summer. The kids and staff love this special visit from Dr. Hassler!


Tomorrow is another day of opportunity, and tonight we have an opportunity to be well rested for tomorrow! Goodnight Gwynn Valley friends near and far!