Fresh Food & Ant Lions!

Dear Parents & Friends,

It’s been a great day here at camp and many cabins are on campouts tonight and a good choice for those who went out.  The weather was just perfect today with the right amount of sunshine and the occasional cloud.  As I write tonight and look out of my office window I know why they call our mountains the Blue Ridge. They are casting a blue hue this evening and the layers of ridgelines go on and on. The Farm was an active part of camp this morning and Farmer Jacob was telling the children just how to pick corn and how to judge if it’s ready or not.  There’s a certain way to separate the ear from the stalk without breaking the stalk and it takes a little practice.  Our Farm furnishes us so much of our good food and today proved it.  This morning we had cheese grits along with eggs and for lunch we had one of my favorite meals – fish caught at the Mill, cornbread milled at GV and cole slaw from the Farm.  Tonight we had scalloped potatoes, beef with gravy, green beans, corn on the cob and fresh salad all from the Farm.

Good Day for Swimming!

This afternoon on the sports field there was a big Ultimate Frisbee game.  If you’ve ever played Ultimate, it’s a great aerobic workout.  Everyone gets a chance to play and throw and catch.  It’s fast paced and there’s no standing around.  Once you catch it you can’t run with it and you have to throw to a teammate.   If it’s dropped it automatically goes over to the other team or they can intercept it.  Great game and is good for all skill levels to play.

Lots of gourd art today with arts & crafts.  You can make most anything you want with all shapes that come from the fields.  Folks were also learning to throw on the wheel with Emily today.  She is the niece of a friend of ours that runs the pottery shop at the end of Island Ford Rd. and many of you pass it when coming to or leaving camp.  She’s quite talented and a great counselor.  The waterfront was very popular today because of the weather.  At one point there was a cabin of girls on the water mat just laughing and giggling like some mystical wand was tickling them.

I led two hikes to The Rock today for two one hour sessions.  It’s not a long hike but a steep one and we had 18 campers go over the two periods.  Usually the Playhouse crew is not up for such a hike but we ended up taking 5 of their girls and they were troopers.  The last 100 yds is tough and then you have to hand over hand up to the very top with a rope.  The view is super and you can see all of Pisgah and beyond.  We didn’t stay too long at the top and made our way just down to the base and went around the other side to check out the Ant Lions.  If you’ve never seen Ant Lions, they are pretty neat little creatures.  They build conical shaped holes under the rock in dry areas and wait at the bottom till an unsuspecting ant or other insect happens by.  They fall or crawl down into the hole and the Ant Lion snatches them up with their long powerful mandibles and that’s the end.  At this point they’re in a larva stage and eventually will develop into a flying insect.  We didn’t have any trouble finding several of them of various sizes. That side of The Rock is a magical place because several years ago I was up there with one of our camp Doctors and he found a perfect quartz arrowhead.  With the overhang from the rock I’m sure that native peoples used the area to spend the night and probably slept nearby for the shelter.  From The Rock you could spot game and easily see everything below you.  It was easy to get to and I’m sure had an abundance of wildlife.  There’s so much on our property to explore and children love to try new things and see nature at its best.  We went to a beautiful place and were challenged by the climb to the top and everyone had a great time.  Stay tuned for more!

Grant