Good Food, Great Paddlers and Managing Challenge!

Dear Parents & Friends,

I’m back at camp after a great day on the river with Mountainside.  I left camp this morning about 8:30 and arrived at their campsite about 9:00 near Dupont State Forest.  It’s a great place to camp because it’s public but only one group is there at a time.  The gate stays locked and it’s nestled in a pine and hardwood forest not far from Gwynn Valley.  They spend their nights there and drive to the river each day.  Today was spent on the Tuckaseegee near Dillsboro.

Before leaving this morning I got to sample some of breakfast menu that touted our international day from Mexico.  The kitchen crew had made many wonderful treats for the campers plus scrambled eggs, breakfast nachos, and fresh papaya and cantaloupe.  Lunch was even better today so said my table.  I had PB&J on the river but that tasted great as well.  I did make it back in time for dinner tonight and once again a Mexican theme with a BBQ’d beef, mashed potato and carrot salad to die for, green salsa guacamole, tortilla chips,  pasta salad with ham, a sweet tea made from hibiscus and a dessert I can’t pronounce but was delicious.  One of my campers at the table said it was too sweet.  Many disagreed!

Of course the best part of the day was being out with Mountainside and on the river.  They did a great job and will be heading to the Nantahala tomorrow.  Today was prep day for that trip.  We did flip drills so that everyone has their self-rescue down if they go over.  Then Nanty doesn’t have the bigger eddy’s that the Tuck has and it’s faster moving water and narrower than the Tuck.  We also practiced a lot of peel outs, S turns, and hitting eddy’s.  They are well prepared and should do a great job tomorrow.  This group has particularly hard working and will reap the benefits of this tomorrow.  If you’ve never been on the Nanty, the water is about the same year round – COLD!  It comes from one of the deepest lakes in this part of the world and never really warms up.  To say it’s refreshing is being kind.  Unless it’s really hot, it is not a river one just swims in like we did today.  The campers took advantage of JUMP rock on river left about 2/3 of way down today.  It’s about a 12-15 foot rock that is easily climbed and then drops straight into the water.  There’s plenty of depth and it’s fun to jump in two’s and three’s. Everyone went at least 2-3 times today.

All adventures get back tomorrow including Riverside.  We will be ready to welcome them back into camp and hear all the wonderful stories they’ll have about their adventures.  At camp, children get what they need to develop physically. They experience fresh air, exercise, a balance between routine and unstructured time, and all the good food their bodies need. Not that s’mores don’t have a place at the campfire, but a good camp is also about helping children find healthy lifestyles. Counselors that care enough to look after a child’s physical health, bringing out the camper’s best by encouraging manageable amounts of challenge, are also conveying to the camper a belief in the child’s physical capacity to cope with the challenges before them. That’s important for children’s long-term physical development. We were certainly doing that today.  Small doses of running challenging rapids and trying new moves in the boats were all a part of our day on the river.  You could tell at the end of the day this group was more confident and more skilled than even the day before.  Hopefully we can share some of video we shot today so stay tuned!