Happy New Year!

Countdown to Camp!

We are so excited because there are only 160 days until camp begins!  The new year brings a renewed sense of pushing that camp train toward its destination set for June 8, 2012.  We hope you’re on board. We will be out on the road in the weeks ahead to bring you our message about Gwynn Valley, the best camp ever for boys and girls ages 5-14.  Anne, Andy and I will be hitting the promotional trail so we hope to see you at a local camp gathering.  Check our travel schedule on the News Page and see when we might be in your area.

Many projects have been going on this fall and we’ll be able to reveal some of those in the near future.  We hope to bring some of that news to you via video in the weeks ahead.  You’ll see first hand what’s going on here at camp as we get ready for another fantastic season.  We’re also in the midst of hiring staff and at this point have over 90 people who have signed on for 2012.  Gwynn Valley has a large staff and we usually hire between 150 and 180 people for the summer.  Not all of them are here at the same time because of other work and school commitments.  Usually our team numbers about 110 including support staff.  This number includes our kitchen crew which is also large because it takes quite a few people to prepare such great, fresh meals and to bring our food from the farm to table.  If you know of an exceptional young man or woman who is keen on working with children, please have them contact us at mail@gwynnvalley.com or andy@gwynnvalley.com to receive information about staff positions.

While we’re getting ready for camp we hope you are as well.  I want to call your attention to a book coming out soon that talks about the value of a camp experience and being away from mom and dad.  I first learned about Michael G. Thompson after he published a book called Raising Cain – Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys.   It’s a great read about what boys need, what they are not getting, and is an excellent resource for parents.  Michael has written several other books about children.  He’s a nationally known speaker and his latest book is called Homesick and Happy: How Time Away from Parents Can Help a Child Grow.  It doesn’t hit the shelves until later this spring but is available for pre-order.  Here’s just a clip from the book, “If the single most important thing about camp is that a child’s parents are not there, that is still only part of the story.  Camp is also not school.  That simple fact can produce an extraordinary change in the climate of a child’s day, and therefore his or her emotional life .  Good things, certainly different things, happen for children when they are relieved  of the pressure of judgment, comparison, evaluation and striving that are an inevitable part of the school day.”

Mountainside Bikers at Dupont's Bridal Veil Falls

I’m excited to read about Michael’s observations and his take on how camps can benefit children. We at Gwynn Valley see children grow in so many ways while at camp.  We have children who experience some homesickness and get over it and we have children who may struggle a little more but overcome these feelings after a few days.  We do know that 99.9% of those who experience homesickness come out on the other side much stronger for their experience and can use that experience in so many other aspects of life and growing up.  So… we hope you are reading this and getting ready for another camp experience or reading this and thinking about sending your child to camp for their first camp experience.  Either way, we know that your child will benefit from a summer camp experience at Gwynn Valley.  Hope to see you this summer!  Stay Tuned!