Happy Birthday Tajar!

Dear Parents & Friends,

Another great day at camp with sunny hot weather!  Today we awoke to some major mischief from the Tajar who moved tables outside and put Debbie on the roof along with kayaks and paddles.  He was excited in anticipation of Tajar Ball.  We had a long distance thunder boomer just during dinner tonight but it passed without chasing us indoors for our Tajar Ball Picnic and Carnival.  We had dinner outdoors and it was a fun filled evening.  More on that later.

I’m so glad we’re in the mountains and it’s the perfect spot to venture out onto our property as well as all the beautiful spots around us.  Even on the many hot days we’ve had this session the shade we have really cools things down which makes a big difference.  Of course our waterfront is very popular all day long.  For years we’ve had complaints about our pool being too cold and that was true especially at the beginning sessions of the summer.  Last summer I decided to do something about it and purchased a pool cover to put on at night when you lose most of the heat you’ve gained during the day.  Our pool is never going to be that warm but it’s refreshing and is not nearly as cold as it was a couple of years ago.  We do need some rain for our grass and crops at this point.

Today was the perfect program day as we wind down the week.  Some of our expert horseback riders took two hours and went over to the Hunt Farm to ride in the open fields over there.  It’s a nice backdrop and is good for letting the horses move a bit faster than on the trails around camp.  I spent the morning visiting many activities in the center of camp taking pictures and shooting video.  I checked in on the Mill, all the Arts & Crafts, Pottery, Sports and Waterfront.  The day was filled with more new experiences for many children and revisiting some activities for many others.

Mountainside and Riverside returned today from their adventures and all is well.  Most groups were back by Tajar Ball time and enjoyed the cookout, games and carnival on the soccer field.  From all indications trips went very well and you’ll get a full report on closing day.  Coming back to camp after several days in the woods is always fun.  I’m not sure it all sinks in until after you leave to go home.  Sometimes I think for some of our older campers their experience and the processing of that experience really begins when they return home.  We hope that some of what we do as a community for one another rubs off and that your campers bring some of camp home.  Rituals like clearing the table, declaring a rose, bud and thorn for the day, sharing, and being kind to new people we meet are all part of camp life and more.  We also have a lot of fun here and I hope that our campers take some of that home as well.  Our values are simple and our approach to outdoor education is based on the hope of self-realization and personal development.  These teachable moments are all around at camp and especially out in the field where these young people just returned from their adventures.  Some more Main Camp campers will be venturing out again tomorrow to rock climb at Looking Glass and also bike at Dupont State Forest.  Looking Glass is a huge rock dome located just off 276 in Pisgah National Forest.  When you’re on most of the climbs on the Glass it feels like you have the heavens and horizon in your hands.  Sky and earth are vast as one looks out for miles at nothing but layered green rolling mountains in all directions.

We do have guidelines (rules) at camp for our activities and the last one listed for all these is HAVE FUN!  Fun was the first order of business this evening and as you may or may not know, everyone comes to the Tajar Ball in masquerade.  There are a host of characters and it’s a time to play, dance, eat and try all kinds of games.  Traditionally we have a cookout with burgers and dogs with all the trimmings and watermelon.  After everyone has eaten, it’s off to the soccer field to try your hand at a multitude of games and carnival like events to participate in.  There’s ice cream, cookies and music if you want to dance and play games at the same time.  We play the Macarena at the end of the Tajar Ball and we must have had 90% of camp out there to dance and close things down.  It’s a good way to celebrate the next to last night of camp.  Tomorrow night is friendship campfire when we all gather and remember the great times from B Session.  We’ll certainly have a recap for you all on Friday so hope you can stay for the Parent/Camper Campfire starting at 11:00 on Friday morning.  Stayed tuned!