Hot and Sunny with Cool Coming on at Night!

Dear Parents and Friends,

A day without rain has been really nice.  It’s good to dry out and it was hot here today.  We had sign-ups this morning and also after lunch.  The lake was a very active place to be for a number of reasons.  Just to cool off was number one and then to partake in some GV skills and thrills was next in line.  Water Polo was a big hit at the swimming pool this morning.  Our Main Camp Kayakers are headed out tomorrow to a section of the French Broad and our Mountain Bikers are going over to Dupont State Forest to ride the many trails there.  I will be taking them to their destination and will also meet up with Mountainside Bikers where I’m dropping Main Camp.  I will hook up with the Main Campers after I take some time with Mountainside.  All of Mountainside left today for their adventures.  Climbers went to Cedar Rock, Paddlers headed to a part of the French Broad that’s a great intro to paddlers, and Pioneers are hiking starting at Daniel Ridge over to Farlow Gap and then deep into Pisgah where it’s streams and coves aplenty.  It’s pretty country and good hiking with lots of water.  I helped get everyone off this morning which is a chore getting 40 campers and 8 staff going in 4 different directions.  Everyone meets behind the kitchen and then off.  There are packs and food in piles everywhere and it’s always an exciting time of the session.  The campers will return confident, assured in their outdoor skills, and a stronger group as they tackle their individual outdoor components.  Their friendships will grow stronger as well.   Our Riverside groups number only 12 and it’s amazing how they bond as a small group in the three weeks they are here.  This has been a great group of campers on Riverside and we look forward to having many of them back as SIT’s and staff in later years.

RB at the Mill had just a few fish left in the Mill Pond today so they lowered the water level and caught all the remaining trout with nets.  Everyone had a blast and fish were flying everywhere but eventually landing in the coolers.  I went to the Farm this morning with a group of campers who did a variety of things down on the lower 40.  They milked the cow by hand and with our automatic milker.  It’s certainly faster that way.  Then they visited with the baby goats and chicks, collected eggs, fed the baby calves and last but not least pulled some of the best carrots I’ve seen in a long time.  We had carrots and other assorted vegis at lunch today with lasagna, garlic bread, peaches, and salad.  You’d be surprised what you can do at the farm in a two hour period.  There’s always work to be done and campers really take part in the hands aspects of the farm.

There were some beautiful things coming out of weaving today and I stopped in later this afternoon to check out a beading class as well as some wall pockets being made in pottery.  Archery is a camp favorite and one camper said today that we didn’t have Archery open in the afternoon.  There are so many things to choose from at camp but Archery is usually in the top 5 or so.  Another favorite is our tree and arborist climbing program.  Both utilize trees but in different ways.  Traditional tree climbing uses the limbs to ascend and arborist climbing ascends the rope connected to the trees.  Both can take you up to the land of Transylvania White Squirrels and birds but they’re very different.  I personally like the arborist climbing and think it’s a bit harder as you pull and step up the rope to near the inner sanctum of the tree where not many humans go.  We been doing tree climbing since Anne and I took over camp 15 years ago and it’s always a hit with the campers.

We also had several campers sign up for the Tri-Trail Challenge today.  You run / walk up three trails here at camp that are all challenging in their own way.  One starts with the Wall property and peaks out at a wonderful view, and then up to The Rock and back down and then off to Connesstee Fall for a swim.  It’s got to be close to 5 miles and mostly uphill getting to all those places.  Tonight at campfire the Fine Arts group put on a puppet show that was really great.  It was all camper written and acted out and was a funny story about a very bored queen.  It did have a fairy tale ending but not without some curve balls and surprises along the way.

There’s never a dull moment here for any camper who is up for learning new skills and stepping out of their comfort zones. Miss Mary Gwynn believed that we should challenge ourselves everyday.  I concur and stay tuned!