Happy 4th (5th) of July!

Dear Parents & Friends,

Happy belated 4th of July and yes we’re just about to wrap up our grand ole day here at camp.  Campfire was held in the Lodge tonight but it was full of the twilight’s last gleaming.  Our staff and many campers just finished a fantastic show that started with the beginning history of our great country and went right through the next 200+ years.  It was a fantastic show and everyone was on their feet for the final song and tribute to the USA.  Children are making their way to the Lake and we’ll start our fireworks show shortly.  Everyone is in their pajamas and will scurry off to bed as soon as it is over.. ….. We’ll be back!

Our day started with the Native American people waking us up to drums and war hoops and yes, the Gwynn Valley bell tolled as well.  Just before breakfast with everyone by the lake, Sacajawea and Pocahontas came across and gave us a native blessing for the land.  It’s ironic that it happened on the Green which is the big field just in front of the Lodge.  Many years ago before camp existed, the building which we now call the Upper Dwellings was a homestead and the field where we all were was a very large cornfield.  Our agrarian land and its people most likely never figured that one day children would circle that field and give thanks for the land that has always been here and has changed little except for a few buildings.  Cook, who works on the farm and plays the sax, did a wonderful job on the national anthem and it was quite stirring to watch our color guard from 7th Heaven present the flag in true Boy Scout style and then have everyone sing along with Cook’s magnificent music.

Morning activities played out as usual and again it’s ironic that our land is still agrarian based and we value our program as it relates to sustainability. Horse riders, farmers, archers, potters, artisans, bicyclists, thespians, pioneers, paddlers, botanists and natural historians all practiced their trades as the day wore on.  Before lunch the Mayflower landed on our shores and the Pilgrims and Indians shared greetings and food before inviting the whole GV clan in for lunch.  Everyone waited for the meals to happen and lunch today was a true Thanksgiving complete with turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, green beans, corn on the cob, squash, gravy, and two pies for each table (apple & pumpkin).  Both were devoured by eyes first and then mouths.

The afternoon brought rain showers and thunder and some activities were postponed but there were games in the Lodge and only a few activities were put on hold.  The evening meal was all American with steak, broccoli, bread, salad, Cole slaw and peaches.  After supper activities went on as planned and everyone came to the Lodge for campfire.  Let me name just a few characters and events in history that appeared on stage tonight:  Native Americans, Pilgrims, Members of the Tea Party (Boston that is), a short but devastating Revolutionary War skirmish, Lewis & Clark, President Lincoln and assorted Civil War characters, Oregon Trail Pioneers, Ellis Island & Miss Liberty, The Industrial Revolution (It’s a Hard Knock Life), WWI, the Roaring 20’s and the Great Depression, WWII, Civil Rights Movement and Martin Luther King, The Cold War, Age of Aquarius, Music through the decades of the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, and now.

The finale was a Katie Perry song “Firework”, that I’ve heard but was surprised that most of the campers knew as well.  The staff had worked out a choreographed dance and it was pretty darn good.  By the end everyone was feeling the Firework and waiting for the fireworks.  Campers and staff went back to their cabins, brushed their teeth and got ready for the GV Fireworks.  They were great and many thanks to the GV Maintenance crew that made it happen.  By now the sandman and the Tajar has put everyone to sleep.  Stay tuned for more and thanksgiving to you all for sharing your children.  It was a fun day!