Every day is day of Opportunity!

Dear Parents & Friends,

Sorry I’m missed the blog yesterday.  I was out with Riverside on the river so I left camp just after 7 and returned last night around 9:30.  I was one tired puppy and I think they were as well.  We had an epic day on the river and everyone did a super job.  It was extremely hot yesterday on the river and we took every chance to swim and cool off.  Some boats even swam when they didn’t want to.  This of course means we had several boats go over along the way.  We scouted a few rapids from shore and one in particular called Big Pillow in which you see campers gathered up on a large rock overlooking the upper portion of the rapid.  The thing about this section

of the river is its long rapids and the approaches and set up for them can be difficult.  You need a reliable ferry and a good eddy turn.  I’m going to try and get some video up in the next couple of days to show you a bit of the trip.  In their down time today, Riverside spent some carefree minutes at the Lake and stepped back in time to visit the Mill.  I think it’s great when these veterans of Main Camp want to experience some of the past program highlights.  Any day with Cindy at the Mill is a highlight.  Mountainside started their mini-adventures today and will continue those tomorrow.  The new group brings new energy and each session has its own personality.  They will leave for their adventures on Monday.

In the photos you might notice some tomahawk throwing-wait a minute, did you say tomahawk?  Mark, our logistics guy and teacher of many skills, brought his tomahawks to camp this summer and gave some campers a chance to try and throw.  I wanted to but couldn’t swing it today.  I got to play the day before.  Those young men in Cabin Echo got to tree climb this afternoon and despite the holds not being close together and most of them being vertically challenged, they did remarkably well.  Many made it to the top of both trees.

Corn, corn and cornucopia-lots of corn picked and shucked today and nothing could be fresher to be served the same day at dinner with pizza and watermelon.  Last night we had jambalaya.  Good stuff and lots of it.  Speaking of corn, how about those corn cob cars that were made at the Mill.  We’re talking Nascar Gwynn Valley style.  Another spectator sport tonight at camp was campfire where RB entertained the Hillsider’s with Tajar Tales that he has written.  It’s always nice to be read to, especially when it’s the author.  While Hillside was getting stories in front of the Gatehouse, Brookside was dancing in the Lodge with me.  We called three dances for the evening; Patty Cake Polka, Virginia Reel, and the Gay Gordon.  The sweat poured and then we all relaxed to the story of Jumping Mouse.  It’s a great Native American tale about faith, friends, sacrifice and giving.  It’s one of my favorites here at camp.

The benefits to young people of a summer camp experience are many.  Gwynn Valley is unique in that it offers campers a chance to experience activities not commonly found in other camps. The Farm and Mill are two and also our attention to a nurturing environment where each child can learn and grow under the guidance of a mature and caring staff.  And not to forget that major benefit, the big “O”.  Simply put, they are Opportunities. Opportunities not exclusive to camps but rather concentrated at camp, where under those caring counselors, campers can learn to become more independent, more confident, more self-aware, and more giving toward others. These are just some of the life lessons learned at camp.  Every day at camp is another day of opportunity, as Dale says, our site manager and the guy in field with the hockey stick that greets you when you arrive.  Every interaction, every activity taught, every new friend made, every chance to stretch and go beyond our cushy life and all in the haven of GV.  We are having fun and the opportunities abound! Stay tuned!