Dear Parents & Friends,
It’s been a wonderful last full day of Session E. We were able to get a group out of camp this afternoon for a bit of climbing up into Pisgah. These were our Main Camp climbers and a group of 10 left just after lunch and came back right at dinner. Everyone is safe and sound in our cove and we just finished a long campfire for the closing of session E. All activities ran this morning and we completed our last day of Discovery Activities where campers has signed up at the beginning of the week and worked to gain skills in many areas in the two hour long morning activity periods. After lunch we held a long singing session in the Lodge, had many announcements and passed out a good bit of Lost and Found. There were items from all parts of camp from water bottles to towels. Please check the L & F box in the Lodge tomorrow before you take your camper home.
Lots of arts & crafts projects were completed today and many items were passed out throughout the day. Those who have pottery will need to pick it up tomorrow morning as the kilns have been going all day long and will continue into the evening tonight. Stu has been working overtime to get it all done. I hope to put up some more video tomorrow,so keep checking the website over the next couple of days for more. It was a busy day here and I had hoped to get some mountain biking up on the site but it will be there tomorrow. I went with a couple of groups over to the Hunt Farm this morning to take some photos and video of them on the Hunt Farm trail. The trail was just built over the winter and is the perfect trail for beginners to intermediates. It has some hills, but is mostly rolling and meanders through the woods looking over the French Broad River. We had two groups of GV Rescue go over to the river again today and it was perfect weather for it. OLS (Outdoor Living Skills) completed their debris huts over the last couple of days and had a blast making them. All the materials came from the forest and yes, just like Survivor Man, you can build one of these if you are caught out with no tent or shelter.
One of the things we grow on the farm are gourds which can be made into all kinds of arts projects. You’ll see some photos from those art endeavors. It’s amazing what you can do with a little paint and your imagination. Today was another day of Arborist climbing in our big Poplar trees just outside the office. I love to walk out the office and see children hanging from the limbs of those big trees. It takes some real effort to get up there and well worth it. You do it all on your own and it’s balance, muscle, and a pinch of courage to go that high. We’re doing some cool activities with children so young and hopefully teaching them to respect the trees by looking at them from a perspective other than just the ground up. We’re stretching ourselves, building confidence and learning to reassure those around us who are trying the same activity. I was looking at our photo of the Mountain Bikers earlier today coming back to Main camp. These folks may have only ridden on neighborhood streets and certainly not on the uneven terrain we have at camp. They have learned to ride our terrain, brake properly, shift those many gears and move around on and off the saddle to help them balance through changing landscapes. I was so proud of them.
I was speaking with one of our Riverside Counselors today and we were discussing their final outdoor component, which was backpacking. One of afternoons, while on the trip, they had the campers hike alone, meaning at least one counselor in the front and back at all times, while the campers spread out as they were hiking to have a solo experience. How often are teenagers really alone with their thoughts in the natural environs of a National Forest. It was a hot topic when they got off the trail and they loved it. Solo time is good time in our fast paced world where we are almost constantly plugged in or with people. It was a good experience for them to “experience themselves”. We got a lot of photos from the four Mountainside groups and Riverside. We should have them all up by the time morning rolls around.
It’s been a great week and we are sad to have it come to and end. Tomorrow when you arrive, your children from E Session, will be waiting for you in the cabins. At 10:30 there will be a cabin friendship circle where all can join in. We do these each night and check in with campers to find out how their day has been. It allows staff to see how the children are doing since they only see them at morning wake-up, bedtime and just before and after meals. A lot happens in our day here at camp and it’s a good way to learn about the children’s experiences. After the friendship circle, we welcome you to the Lodge at 11:00 for our E Session campfire. Just after that we’ll be serving a special lunch for you and your family. We hope you take this opportunity to visit with your children’s counselors and allow your campers to show you some special parts of their camp experience. Have as a safe trip and see you in the morning. Stay tuned!