“I Still Call Australia Home”

Dear Parents & Friends,

Another beautiful day at camp dodging the weather around us and we were lucky to just have thunder but no serious threats.  Our Thor Guard went off after sign-ups but cleared soon after during rest hour.  The afternoon was clear and sunny.  Today was Australia day and we started out witnessing some famous Australian sports and athletes before breakfast on the Green.  There was of course Cricket, Australian Rules Football and a famous soccer match between Australia and England.  Besides our usual fare this morning we also had the chance to taste some Vegemite on toast.  Not everyone was so brave and you really have to like things like anchovies and salty foods.  It’s packed with Vitamin B-12 and good for you but it’s an acquired taste.  Meals today reflected Aussie food and for lunch there were meat pies that were delicious.  The kitchen make homemade crust for the pies.  Tonight before dinner the Aussies acted out a short play sung to the tune of Waltzing Matilda, which is actually in our songbooks.  GV has a long history of Aussie counselors.  Aussie games were played after dinner and we settled into an informative and fun campfire with counselors and campers acting and singing about their land.   We also learned much about many of the strange and interesting creatures that live in the bush.  Campfire was topped off by a wonderful song, “I Still Call Australia Home”.

Our Discoveries are running strong in the mornings and preparing some campers to head out on trips on Thurs. of this week.  Kayakers are getting more and more comfortable with their skirts on and taking on new strokes that will enhance their river skills.  Paddling on still water is quite different but practicing on the lake makes for a successful trip to moving water.  I went by the Pot Shop this morning and projects are coming to completion and being glazed and readied for the kiln.  There are pots of all shapes, sizes and colors that have been produced by our clay makers.  Bikers this afternoon decorated their bikes with Koalas and Aussie flags to ride the trails this afternoon.  Each bike looked like it was fit for a parade down the main Sydney  Boulevard.   As we get into the middle of our week we are also preparing and bringing closure to a lot of our crafts.  Pots are being glazed, weavings finished up, shirts and batiks being washed to set the dye and other crafts that will be coming home.  The Mill was preparing ice cream today and there were some happy campers taking part in that.  That activity never fails to fill as you can see from the two happy faces enjoying their ice cream.  One of our crafts on Mountainside this session has been to build a primitive stool for the campers who participated.  They used traditional tools, drawknives, hand saws and their own strength to create their stools made from white pine and red oak.  On Thurs. the group will be putting the finishing touches on the stools they made with a lot of care.

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Camp is all about hands-on activities and getting campers to realize they can do some pretty amazing things with the proper tools and supervision.  We see amazing creations every day and know that when working on projects and seeing them through completion, it builds confidence for trying other new endeavors.  We are opening the minds of tomorrow’s engineers, lawyers, doctors, teachers and others who are here at camp trying something new that will fill that cup of creation and confidence.  Stay tuned!