International Day and Some Rain with that Camp Sandwich

Dear Parents & Friends,

Our day didn’t start as a beautiful GV today and we had rain starting just before breakfast that lasted well into the morning with lots of deluges on and off during the first part of the day.  It never quite cleared off until dinner when we saw some sunshine but it didn’t rain this afternoon and allowed our activities to run full on.  Despite the rain we salvaged the morning by doing the camp thing in which there is always a plan B.  Games in the Lodge for a number of activities that couldn’t operate in the rain was organized quickly.  There was ping-pong, board games by the fire and even our climbers made the most of it by teaching rope tricks and knots.  All swimming and boating events went right on and just got a bit wetter.  One only gets wet skin deep.  The Mill and all Arts & Crafts went ahead as planned.  Web of Life and Outdoor Living Skills donned their raincoats and went for it.  Our only reservation in wet weather is when there is thunder and lightening present.  That’s when everything comes to a halt.  This morning we had some thunder early on but it passed by the time breakfast was over.

Horseback riding groomed the animals which is a favorite among the campers and the animals love it too.  We have a couple of Shetland ponies that belong to our site manager that campers love and you’ll see evidence of that in our pictures from today.  And… there were all those animals that needed to be fed at the farm.  They need that child contact after almost 8 weeks on a daily basis with children.  I would say that we’ve got the tamest farm animals in the world.

Pony Love!

The other big news of the day was that we celebrated international day today and three countries were represented, France, Kenya and Brazil.  Just before lunch the Tour de France rolled through camp for an encore performance.  The usual riders were not present and several of our younger less experienced staff cyclists ran their bikes into the lake just before the finish line.  It was one of those sprint finishes that you see at Le Tour!  Tonight’s campfire was full of dancing, music and a rendition of the Lion King from Africa.  Campers were involved and were on stage quite a bit.  Great food today from those three countries as well.

One of the great things about camp is the spontaneity that occurs almost every day.  We are structured and organized but the logistics of change when it comes to weather is when the rubber meets the road.  I can think of no better environment where we can change gears 180 degrees and really pull it off.  I have to give credit to our staff because they are the ones who can affect the change necessary to pull everyone through a rainy day and bring joy and smiles to the faces of doubt and just wanting sunshine.  One of our big sayings at camp is to “choose your attitude”, and as counselors they make sure to have a positive attitude, and they encourage campers to see the bright side of life. You realize that camp is more fun when everyone is happy — but did you know that by promoting positivity, you’re also helping campers find success and literally reverse the effects of stress and anxiety?

Biking Love

When you are in a positive state of mind, you are more apt to succeed! According to Christine Carter a sociologist and happiness expert at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, “When our brains are positive and we’re experiencing positive emotions, we’re much more creative, better at problem solving, and our perception is more open — making us more able to learn.” When campers learn to have a positive outlook, it puts them on the fast-track to achieving their goals!  When you have a good laugh, feelings of gratitude, or feelings of hope — any sort of positive emotions — generally speaking, your heart rate will drop. Positive emotions even boost your immune system a little bit.” A positive mindset literally makes campers healthier!

So even on rainy days there are many ambassadors of sunshine and they’re doing an exceptional job of taking care of your children.  Our children at camp emulate and respond more to our actions rather than our words. So the days of “do as I say, not as I do” are over . . . if you want to be considered someone’s favorite counselor. What makes a good leader and a good counselor at GV is leading by example and living by the same guidelines that we set out for our campers. If we want them to act a certain way, follow certain rules, take part in certain activities, be kind to each other, etc. then we as staff need to show up in that exact same way.  You as parents are positive role models and we at camp are providing more positive role models for your children.  In this world you can’t have too many.  Thank you for sharing your children.  We appreciate the chance to work with them.  Stay tuned!

PS  Pic above is from a muddy bike ride today with the boys and had a great time riding the Hunt Farm trails.  Hopefully we’ll get some video up tomorrow.