Discoveries and Adventure Training Begins!
Dear Parents and Families,
Today we began a new round of morning discoveries with our C & C2 campers. Campers were excited as they found out what their schedule will look like for the next six mornings. Morning discoveries are organized into A & B days and campers rotate through activities of their choice 3 times each with the same group each time to develop skills in specific areas. Morning discoveries offer a great opportunity for campers to focus on areas of interest and develop targeted skills or finish a more intricate project than an afternoon sign up would allow. Some of the adventure Discoveries will be taking trips out of camp.
It was hot here today but beautiful and sunny with no rain in sight. It’s looks like we’re having a dry summer compared to previous years. We may get some showers over the next few days. With the hot temps the lake and pool were quite popular.
Riverside was in residence all day today and took the day to relax a bit before starting to gear up for another adventure on Sunday. They’ve been paddling on the Green, Tuckaseegee, and Nantahala Rivers this week. We are thrilled to have Riverside with us for a few days before they head out backpacking on Sunday! Mountainsider’s also had a homecoming of sorts at dinner. Today was a MS Training Day, so bikers, paddlers, pioneers, and climbers spent all day out of camp training for their Adventures which will begin on Sunday as well! I think having such an active day made our dinner of chicken, rice, garden fresh salad, garden broccoli and fresh bread.
The farm is really in ‘full-bloom’ during C session. Just this week campers have harvested sweet corn, potatoes, beans, carrots, cabbage, more corn, lettuce, tomatoes, squash, zucchini, blueberries, and more corn. There are also many baby animals requiring love, attention, and possibly a bottle feeding with each camper visit: piglets, goat kids, and calves. Our campfire tonight was brought to you by the Farm and was a lot of fun. Farmer Dale told some stories and clogged, the Needle Nose Vise Grips played several songs and there was a corn shucking/eating contest. Chuck the Chicken, who wanted to be a rooster was another story along with a new version of the three little pigs. One last highlight of the evening was homemade carrot cake for everyone at intermission.
I was out with Mountainside paddlers all day today and we ran a part of the French Broad not far from camp. There is one good rapid where we “stayed and played”. Not literally but they did learn a good deal about water dynamics and what makes an eddy and how rocks can disguise themselves into pillows and what is a downstream V and an upstream V. Lots to remember for this bunch but they are getting it. I think paddling is the toughest adventure skill to learn, because you’re with a partner and you’re learning a skill that is not easy. You’re not tethered to a rope and you have another dynamic of the water pushing you where you usually don’t want to go. They will make big gains over the days ahead.
There’s been talk for several years of summer learning loss from an academic standpoint and some critics want to do away with traditional summer vacations. I strongly disagree, obviously from a business standpoint, but also children need to learn in different ways and not just in traditional class rooms. Learning math skills is very important and learning to paddle a boat with partner rates high on the “emotional intelligence quotient” that camp provides. The community life of camp is hard to beat. Spending time away from video games, social media and television help them to make personal connections with others and engage in new environments. I feel that the outcomes from summer camp greatly enhance your academic life on the traditional school end. Recent studies found that the average child between the ages of 8-18 spends 45 hours a week interacting with electronic media. Being outdoors and breathing in fresh air during activities makes people feel great. It cleanses their lungs and improves blood circulation throughout the body, resulting in increased energy levels and an overall euphoric feeling for a “natural high.” And there’s the exercise factor! Physical activity builds self-esteem and motivation at every age. An outdoors camp lets children reconnect with nature. The exposure to new habitats and creatures encourages children’s instinctive fascination with science and nature and opens up their world to new ways of thinking about the world around them. Camps get children out in the field and out of their comfort zone, exposing them to new experiences they may never have dreamed of and perhaps spark a new interest that lasts beyond their week(s) at camp.
I’m a believer in camp and I thank you for sharing your children with us. We hope you see that growth and outcomes when they return home. Stay tuned!