Golden Days of Summer

Dear Parents and Friends,

Today was a perfect summer day! Although the weather was cloudy for some of the day, we managed to avoid major rain outside of meal times and rest hour, allowing all activities to continue as normal. As we near the end of our first week of D session, it really feels like we are in the groove of camp. Everyone just seems to really know what they’re doing and program runs smoothly!

Today we wrapped up our last round of ‘A Day’ Discoveries. By tomorrow, all discoveries will be complete. In the 2nd week of D session, program will be much more free form with sign ups in both the morning and afternoon. I love D session for this reason; it allows the camper so much choice and so much freedom to try out all the activities we have on offer! Next week will also afford many opportunities for off camp trips for adventure activities, advance horse rides at the Hunt Farm, Musical rehearsals, etc. It’s amazing to see campers take what they learned in discoveries to the next level.

After dinner we had a camp wide Gold Rush game. Jed and Elly May, two friends panning for gold in 1803, stumbled into Dr. Who’s Time Machine (a carry over from Tuesday night’s UK campfire) and found themselves at Gwynn Valley Camp tonight! It was quite a surprise for them and for the campers who helped them collect all the gold around camp. Gold rocks of all sizes were scattered around camp, and cabin groups had to work together to find the hidden gold and bring it back to a central location for collection. The Young Leaders joined in the game as sheriffs (who write speeding tickets for groups running too fast), tax collectors (who collect your smallest piece of gold), guides (who help you find the safe & secret passages to transport your gold), robbers (who steal all your gold), and fool’s gold manufacturers (who help you design and color your own gold). Campers had a blast running around camp finding hundreds of rocks that were spray painted gold.  After all cabins had worked together to collect enough gold to send Jed and Elly May home, we celebrated with a treat made of ‘chocolate gold’.

We love having Riverside back in camp for a few days! They spent part of their day preparing for their upcoming paddling trip, practicing strokes on the lake before they take them to the river on Sunday. This morning Riverside went through the high ropes course, which is always nerve wrecking for some and exciting for all. This evening Riverside made ice cream at the Mill and pottery at the Pot Shop. They enjoyed watching Main Camp cabins running around looking for gold, happy to be doing their own thing yet still connected to some of the magic of Main Camp.

Mountainside enjoyed a down day in between mini-adventures. They spent the morning doing sign up activities put on by their counselors. Mountainside sign ups sometimes include traditional Main Camp activities like tie dye and soccer, but can also include some MS exclusives such as mud masks swimming in Carson Creek. This afternoon Mountainside enjoyed their 2nd occasion for ‘cabin activities’ which can include hiking to the Rock or Connesstee Falls, the ropes course, craft activities, etc. all as a cabin group. This evening they spent time on the Gatehouse Green watching the sunset and talking about our connection to and impact on the environment while at camp. Once major component of the Mountainside program is the exposure to the natural world. We teach campers about Leave No Trace ethics that help minimize our impact on the wild places we visit.

We are grateful for another golden day of summer here at Gwynn Valley and look forward to another wonderful day tomorrow!