Homegrown Tomatoes & Carrot Cake

Dear Parents and Families,

Today we began a new round of morning discoveries with our C & C2 campers. Campers were so excited after breakfast as they found out what their schedule will look like for the next six mornings. Morning discoveries are organized into A & B days and campers rotate through activities of their choice 3 times each with the same group each time to develop skills in specific areas. Some of the activities on offer this session are print making, weaving, canoeing, white water kayaking, water polo, diving, mountain biking, outdoor living skills, pottery, the musical, soccer, martial arts, dance, horses, climbing, archery, farm, mill and more! Morning discoveries offer a great opportunity for campers to focus on areas of interest and develop targeted skills or finish a more intricate project than an afternoon sign up would allow.

A bit of rain came in around lunch time, which made helped to cool us off after a sunny morning and made for perfect napping temperatures during rest hour. Sunny skies emerged again around snack time, making way for a sunny afternoon of sign up activities. We had tons of fun activities on offer like tree climbing, soccer (this seems extra popular with the World Cup final looming on Sunday!), archery, fishing at the mill, mountain biking the main camp trail, lake water hot chocolate (a lesson on water purification), leaf petal bowls in pottery, and many other great activities!

Dinner marked a joyous homecoming for our Riverside crew who just returned from 4 days of white water canoeing. Since they left camp on Monday, these 12 campers and 4 staff have been camping in Holmes State Educational Forest and paddling on the Green, Tuckaseegee, and Nantahala Rivers. We are thrilled to have Riverside with us for a few days before they head out backpacking on Sunday! Mountainsiders also had a homecoming of sorts at dinner. Today was a MS Training Day, so bikers, paddlers, pioneers, and climbers are spent at least part of the day out of camp training for their Adventures which will begin on Sunday as well! I think having such an active day made our dinner of hot dogs, chili, coleslaw, salad, peaches and corn pudding taste extra delicious.

The farm is really in ‘full-bloom’ during C session, especially with this year’s new addition of the hoop house which allows traditionally late summer crops to bloom in June & July. Just this week campers have harvested sweet corn, potatoes, beans, carrots, cabbage, more corn, lettuce, tomatoes, squash, zucchini, blueberries, and more corn. There are also many baby animals requiring love, attention, and possibly a bottle feeding with each camper visit: chicks, goat kids, and calves. Piglets are expected to arrive any day, but have not yet made it into the world. With all this activity going on during C session, our farm staff always organize a campfire to honor this incredible program area. Main Camp, Mountainside and Riverside were all in attendance tonight for the flurry of farm celebrations. Farmer Jacob told the story of The Three Billy Goat’s Gruff with three reluctant goat actors and one rooster/troll. There was also a corn shucking and eating contest, which Matt Denny won. Have you ever eaten an uncooked ear of freshly-picked sweet corn? There is nothing that tastes more like July to me than this fresh, sweet treat! Farmer Sophie and Farmer Catherine ‘made’ a carrot cake by throwing a bunch of ingredients in a tub and having farmer Jacob stir every thing with his feet, which had some campers laughing and others very alarmed… Everyone was thrilled when a beautiful, hygienic cake emerged fully-formed from behind the stage curtain. Campers enjoyed their cake while the Needle Nose Vice Grips (a four piece band that assembles every year for farm campfire with a slightly different collection of musicians) played some great farm classics. Crowd favorites were Homegrown Tomatoes and Inch by Inch. Farm staff also did a few country line dances for us and got all the campers and staff on their feet to burn off some of that sugar from the carrot cake. Farmer Dale rounded out our dancing with some traditional mountain clogging, which is a site to behold if you have never experienced it!

As Audrey Hepburn said “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” Well, we’ve got quite a garden at GV so I believe we’ll have another great day at camp tomorrow!