Day Two of the Journey of Imagination and Creativity in A Session!

Today was a great start to our regular days here in session A.  We started our Morning Discovery Activities and burst right into the afternoon as well.  I visited with Sports this morning as they played the most popular game in the world – soccer or football or futbol depending on where you come from.  It was a small game with about 6 a side but none the less active.  The morning shade on the field helped to keep the energy high.  Just near the soccer field is our mountain bike skills course which has been revamped over the winter.  We had a full house both sessions this morning in Discovery and everyone did quite well.  This session we have a guest instructor named Christian Jackson.  Christian is an outdoor educator who teaches at Appalachian State University and is also a Level 3 Mountain Bike Instructor and came in during our staff training to teach our staff.  He’s here for one session and getting us off to a good start.  Today after some checks of the bike, which you should do before each ride, and some general skills he worked with about half of the group on lifting your front tire slightly over objects.  You “load to explode” was one term he was using.  I would have to use a whole other paragraph to explain this but it was fun to see how quickly everyone caught on.  As I said in last night’s blog, combining those physical skills picked up by listening and watching is a great way to learn.

The morning was a flurry of active learning as campers headed off to climbing, horses, farm, mill, batik, dance, archery, pottery, weaving, creek hiking, kayaking, outdoor living skills, and more! The archers managed a few bulls eyes after the initial practice shots, but even those who didn’t snag a bulls eye managed to get closer to the middle as the lesson went on. Every potter I saw had muddy hands and happy faces; they were working on making a variety of shapes and things to take home at the end of the session. The very enthusiastic kayakers were working on their wet exits and forward strokes up until the last second of the lesson. Farmers split their time between harvesting veggies and meeting the newest babies on the farm (so far 16 calves, 7 goat kids & 20 or so chicks). Farm folks also got to milk a mama goat and collect eggs from the chicken coop. Everyone was plugged into activities where they were meeting new friends and learning new skills!

Mountainside began their mini adventures today staying on site to bike, climb, paddle and learn some pioneering skills.  They of course are trying some activities “on” to see which adventure they will choose to end their session.  It would be a hard choice for me and yet I feel that some of them have already made up their minds.  There’s a group that attended Mountainside last summer who have chosen based on what they participated in on last year’s adventure.  Riverside took off early this morning to begin their climbing component at Foster Falls in Tennessee.  With the hot weather, climbing near the bottom of a waterfall is a good place to be.  I’m sure they will take advantage of daily swim opportunities.

Main camp ended their evening with skits in the Lodge to introduce themselves to camp.  Imagination and creativity always play a major part in our cabin skits.  Our imagination is our ability to form new ideas. The innovations, wild notions, and original concepts we dream up are thanks to us putting our imagination to work. Creativity is the process of realizing our imagination with action. It sets the processes in motion that bring a new idea to life.  Most of us think of imagination and creativity in terms of entertainment or the arts, but creative people use their resourcefulness in any situation, starting at a very young age. Pretending  and make-believe comes naturally to children, who create whole worlds in the blink of an eye. Pretending is where children first learn to engage their imagination and express their creativity.  Children who are encouraged in imaginative play, making art, or solving problems and puzzles are more likely to use this creative thinking with confidence as they grow.  In every field of work or study, imagination and creativity are assets to growth, positive change, and success. We’ve all heard the phrase, “think outside the box?” This means be creative and use your imagination to solve a problem. Creativity and imagination are essential to being more collaborative, open, and accepting with others. They allow us to see the big picture, learn to take initiative, and find a way to get things done when no one else can find a solution.

We start this right away by simple things like handing a child a piece of wood to make their name tag.  Not many conventions, trade shows, or cocktail parties bring that to the “get to know you” table of creativity to identify oneself.  In Cabin Primavera George and Josh have made all their boys Prince. Both young men are from England, so it does bring some pomp and imagination.  I think you get my point.  Evening bedtime routine is when you are serenaded by the mystery counselors just outside your cabin.  It’s a nice way to go to sleep. The good life at GV and the simple joys of childhood – you can’t beat it.  Stay tuned!