First Full Day of B!

Dear Parents and Friends,

It’s been a most pleasant day here at camp. The weather was near perfect with a shower just at the end of rest hour. We had to postpone our start of the afternoon activities but otherwise a great day. Everyone had a productive first full day of B Session and campers started their Discovery activities today. The waterfront was a very busy place starting early in the morning, right up until dinner. Campers zipped, swam, learned new strokes, played on the water mat, paddled, and rolled their kayaks. It was a wet and wild day at the waterfront and the perfect day to be there.

We ended our Mountainside 1-A session this morning so I spent some time at their final campfire. There were some great skits depicting their adventures and some songs that are traditional to Mountainside. We begin another Mountainside session on Wed and look forward to seeing those coming in for that 10 day experience.

Those of you that have been to camp before know that we have a cabin called Shady Grove. Well, we’ve turned Shady Grove into an Arts Building and it now houses 10 wonderful looms. Some really beautiful weaving designs have come from those looms already in our first session and campers are beginning to plan their patterns as B Session gets underway. Visit our Shady Grove cabin at closing and have a look around. It’s a beautiful cabin and beautiful things are born there. Just up the hill from Shady Grove is the Bong Tree which is another artsy area at camp. Today they were making dip candles. I was there just as they were finishing up their scented candles. Just around the corner from there is a new segment of mountain biking trail we put in this Spring. It’s an extension of our old trail that required campers to ride up some steps that were put in years ago for erosion. This makes it much easier to access the Main Camp Trail and head off into the upper 40 of camp and single track for bikes. The bikers were just getting their feet wet riding on the new trail and learning about the attack position where you’re up off the saddle. They started their morning riding on the soccer field and learning about gearing and braking.

Fishing at the mill pond netted some results today as some campers caught their very first trout. I’m sure we’ll catch enough fish this session to have a full GV meal; trout from the pond, cornbread from the Mill and cole slaw (cabbage) from the farm. Can’t wait for that meal.

Part of the fun of camp is truly getting back to basics in our unplugged world that we refer to as the simple joys. It’s all around us here at GV and we only have to take it by the hand and sometimes step out of our comfort zone for a short time to experience what we can only imagine. Or…take it by the reins and see if you can negotiate the turns required for weaving your horse in and out of the cones. Special relationships with animals and getting close to them is a wonderland experience for many of our campers. Your children may have only fed the family dog or cat and haven’t experienced the hungry calf that think they’re its mother as they inch closer with the giant bottle full of calf formula. And then there’s always milking a goat or cow and the dexterity it takes to get that milk to hit the bottom of that bucket. All this and more is part of playing outside, growing inside and learning by doing here at Gwynn Valley. We’re playing, learning and growing every day and I’m always amazed at the satisfaction and wide eyed wonder coming from all those little faces.

Riverside is out on their first day of the paddling segment and were on the Green River today. They will be improving their skills each day and gaining confidence.

Camp is a unique experience.  At camp, a random collection of children and young people, who are initially strangers, are placed together to live, learn, work and play for a period of time under the guidance and example of the counselors and directors– most often in a natural setting and almost always away from home and parents.  This random collection evolves into a cooperative community as the individuals grow together.  This growth is evident as each camper becomes more helpful, patient, respectful, caring, tolerant, capable, confident, independent and skilled. Gwynn Valley, what a great place to be. Stay tuned!