Happy Birthday Tajar!

Dear Parents and Friend,

Greetings from the land of FUN! The Tajar visited us last night and there was evidence of his mischief in Downtown GV this morning.  Boats, buckets, bowls, lawn mowers, tables, chairs and anything that didn’t grow hair was somehow amiss.  If you don’t know who the Tajar is, just ask your child.  Each session we celebrate his birthday and everyone comes to the party in costume.  This event has been going on at Gwynn Valley for a very long time.  We have a big picnic with burgers and dogs in the Pavilion and everyone eats outside and then we all attend a giant carnival on the soccer field.  It was the perfect day for the Tajar because he doesn’t like rain.  When wet he’s not happy and would much rather stay dry.  The carnival consisted of Face Painting, Smack the Rat, Soccer Shootout, Hayrides, Bucket Breakup, TP Toss, Frisbee Throw, free food including ice cream, popcorn, snow cones, Guess the M&M’s, The Penny Toss, Sponge Throw, a Giant Water Slide, Fidget Ladder, and Strongman Hammer Test.  There were all kinds of costumes at the Ball and Carnival.  I’m sure you’ll recognize some characters from your household.

Earlier today Mountainside and Riverside came home and are safe and sound sleeping in their own beds tonight.  Each group had their share of fun, learning and adventure while out since Sunday.  They all came back with smiles and stories to tell, memories to remember and that’s what counts.  We’ll look forward to having them back at our tables tomorrow at breakfast.

There will be several Main Camp trips out tomorrow with Kayakers, Mountain Bikers, Hikers and Climbers.  The kayakers will head to the French Broad on section zero.  Many  were doing their final preps today on the lake and getting psyched.

I attended a few activities this morning including the Mill, Pottery, Bong Tree, Horseback Riding, Arborist Climbing and Biking.  This afternoon I ran a signup which I rarely get to do.  Dr. Dave helped me with it and it started with an ancient map that was given to me many years ago.  A hermit who used to live at camp gave it to me and just said, “steep, water and bring a rope”.  The map gave us several clues that we followed and found the spot where we set up a rope and lowered campers into the 100 foot  “Abyss” and onto a small flowing creek bed at the bottom.  Dr. Dave went first and helped everyone get down and then we had to hike out.  It was quite an adventure and we didn’t have to twist any arms to get people to sign up today to join us.  As it turned out we found what I call the Lost Cove Ravine which runs parallel to our Connestee Falls Trail.  If you follow the creek you end up at the Mill.  You would never know it’s there because the rhododendron is so thick,  “it’s like a basket being woven in the earth”, as one camper said today.  It was a cool and shady way to spend our afternoon in the 90 degree weather we experienced.

Real Basket Cases

Tomorrow will be signups in the morning as all of our Discovery Activities ended today.  In the afternoon will be pillowcase day for all of camp when everyone, but Mountainside and Riverside, goes to the pool (not all at once mind you).  There is a method to this madness.  Tomorrow evening will be Friendship Campfire and our last one for the session.  We keep things moving right till the end of the session.  I think the three week campers will need a couple of days of rest upon returning home.  We were up a little later tonight and tomorrow is a big day for us all as we wind down from a very active and fun session.  I wish we could keep them all for another week.  Camp does a world of good.  If you’re feeling a little “campsick” and missing your children we understand.  They’ve provided a great deal of joy in our setting.  Anne and I sent all of our children off to other camps when they were younger and we know how you feel.   We missed them and also knew how it would help them grow being away from home and our familiar setting here.  Camp is a wonderful supportive environment where children can develop authentic relationships, unplug from technology, connect with nature, and participate in human-powered activities. Camp allows children to relax and enjoy just being kids. I truly believe there’s a camp for every child.  Thank you for choosing Gwynn Valley.  We appreciate you sharing your children.  Stay tuned!