International Day at Gwynn Valley – Mexico

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Greetings from Gwynn Valley! 

With 24 of our staff this year being from Mexico, excitement and expectations were high for this international day. With a cool start to the day our campers began the day with music from Mexico, some of our staff from Mexico singing Cielito Lindo which is a traditional song, and a hearty breakfast of chilaquiles (imagine savory breakfast nachos). After breakfast, campers went to their last day of their A day discoveries. Navy Seals got their certificates at the Waterfront, the final touches were placed on piñatas in Crafts, campers got to see camp from a different perspective, either on horseback or up in a tree, and who could beat a bullseye in archery!

At lunch campers were able to see a Payaso de Rodeo dance, which is a typical dance for many fiestas and gatherings. As one of our staff from Mexico said, “if you put on the music then everyone will stand up and join in”. After a full morning of activities, things were starting to warm up here at camp.  As a result, the refreshing jamaica (hibiscus water) was delicious and, at my table at least, stole the show for lunch. Even so, we could hardly keep ourselves from going up to the window for seconds of tostadas.  We’re blessed to always eat well here at Gwynn Valley but we were particularly blessed today!

Our program leaders jumped right into the festivities as well during our afternoon sign-ups.  Ms. Lou, our ceramics extraordinaire, offered a sign up in which campers could paint their very own calaveras in the Pot Shop.  These are small sugar skulls that adorn familial altars (or ‘las ofrendas’) all across Mexico on Day of the Dead (‘Día de los Muertos’).  Additionally, our Bong Tree and Shady Groves crafts areas offered a combined sign-up: making alebrijes.  As Andy– one of our Crafts Program Leaders from Mexico– explained, these fantastical amalgamated creatures are a unique way to celebrate creativity and childish wonder back home.  We think the Tajar would be in fine company with all the wonderful creations our campers cooked up in crafts today!

Dinner was a treat with carne asada tacos, diced beef, cucumbers, rice, and conchas for dessert. Dinner was very enjoyable and met with a surprise dessert of Conchas, a sweet bread with icing on top. Evening program was an exciting rotations to different stations: in the Lodge campers had the opportunity to learn and practice their español as well as watch a short clip about what there is to do, see, and experience in Mexico; take part in a sack race; get their faces painted by our innumerable artists in residence; do a friends dance; and let loose with a little pick-up fútbol.

After such a long day full of fun, camp is now quiet and the mill has paused. Another successful international day made possible by our wonderful international staff and kitchen! Campers will awake to another cool morning in the valley and be greeted with all sorts of folly that the Tajar will have gotten up to overnight!