Dear Parents and Friends,
I can just barely see the outline of the mountains as camp settles into our quiet time of the evening. Our staff are putting campers to bed and singing, playing music, or reading stories as they drift off on our first full day of B Session. We just finished a mountain dance for Brookside which is always a good time. It takes a while for the Brooksiders to warm up since “mountain dancing” is not so cool and Brookside ages are just starting to become cool. This is especially so with the boys on the Brook. They don’t want to dance and be seen dancing or to hold hands with each other and certainly not with girls. And…. That’s ok by me to take it slow, just dance the dance and not worry about it. Life is fast enough in the male/female lane and camp is focused on being inclusive instead of exclusive. Through proper supervision and creating an inclusive environment, we feel that boys and girls can coexist in a mutual setting without some of the drama that happens in school and other adolescent venues.
While our Brookside campers were dancing, Hillside campers were just finishing up their first full day of camp with a bang. They went to various shelters and camping spots built fires and enjoyed a dessert of s’mores with their cabin mates. Cabin bonding is important and we work on starting that bond as early as possible. Camp is all about getting along and coexisting with one another. Total strangers one day working toward the magic of new friendships over the time they are here is one of our top priorities.
Yesterday was our first day of Discovery and there were many offerings for the morning. Each camper chooses 4 one hour activities and takes two of those every other day. The mornings are skill based working toward projects and gaining skills where you can tie your own knot for climbing, start from scratch making a pot, being on stage and learning your lines, bottle feeding a baby calf and knowing if that carrot or onion is ready to be pulled, complete that art project or weaving, wrangling raw iron to hot metal into your first masterpiece in blacksmithing, perfect your T rescue in a kayak, and mostly have fun while doing all of these and more.
We said goodbye to our Mountainside group from MS1-A and it was nice hearing all the wonderful stories that came back from Adventures. Our new MS1-B campers will arrive on Wed.
Camp is human powered and very hands on. In this setting, it makes the learning even better. We are surrounded by the beauty of the natural world and sounds that we don’t often hear for sustained periods of time. This world of simple joys is Gwynn Valley. It’s a place where children can reclaim and foster the beauty, wonder, and awe of the natural world and the innocence of childhood.