International Day- Brazil & Australia!

Dear Parents & Friends,

We’re getting a well timed shower just after the campers have left the Lodge from International Day which celebrated Australia and Brazil.  A great campfire tonight complete with slides, dancing, storytelling and music.  I love Tuesday’s at camp because we learn so much about the rest of the world.  Leon, who is from Brazil, worked with us last year and is one of our bakers in the kitchen.  He works in advertising back home and makes cakes on the side.  He led us all in a wonderful carnival dance that was so much fun.  When not in the kitchen he jumps into program quite a bit and helps out with various activities.  He came through another Brazilian staff member who was here for many years but couldn’t return this year.  Did you know that Rio is hosting the Olympics in 2016 as well as the 2014 World Cup! Exciting!

Jamie Lee, Alenta, and Jacob are all from Australia and helped us to celebrate the evening with lots of stories, many facts and good music.  Did you also know that Australia has 17 of the twenty most deadly snakes in the world, not to mention the Great White Shark and the Box Jellyfish.  I’m having second thoughts of visiting!  But never fear, Steve Erwin, came to the rescue of our crowd in the Lodge tonight and saved us all from the Emu’s, Wombat’s and Crocodiles that were pestering the crowd.  It was a fun evening and adds to the diversity of Gwynn Valley making for a great day.  There’s not many places where you can wake up in the US and come down the hill to breakfast and be greeted by G-day mate and be in an entirely different country.  Dinner tonight was a Bar Bee on the Green, Australian style.  Many thanks to the SIT’s for helping to serve during dinner.  They are a great group and very dedicated to camp life.  We’ll talk more about them at a later time.

We talked yesterday about our youngsters taking Life Guard Training.  Today we held a mock training exercise for our waterfront staff.  We do at least one of these each session and it’s meant to simulate an emergency at the waterfront.  It’s good training for our staff and keeps everyone including us and our med staff on our toes.  Speaking of water based activities, water polo has become a great activity this summer both as good exercise and helping to improve swim skills as well as a good way to beat the heat.  We have some polo nets on the side of the pool that work well and play in the deep end of the pool (only 5 feet) but enough to keep everyone moving and treading water.  Mountain Biking while not a cool sport does take our groups into the trees above camp on our trail that goes for over a mile into the forest on the east side of our property.  We’re working on another trail that may be ready soon that will be more friendly as far as the elevation change that’s located across the road.  It will be longer than the other trail and will incorporate a few more features that our original trail.  After a long ride, cooling off in the lake is well deserved.  Looks like Erin, our biking staff member will be taking a trip out of camp on Friday with Main Camp.  We hope to possibly get some video on that day if it’s not raining.  Speaking of exercise, Sophie the Dog provides plenty of exercise to those who are willing to chase her as she plays keep away with anything she can find.  Here lately it’s been a variety of balls from our sports cabinet.  We haven’t been able to teach her that the air should remain in the ball.  She’s only eight months old and slept through campfire tonight because of her full day of playing with campers.  She’s a yellow lab and is probably the most popular “counselor” here.  I’m sure you’ll be hearing and seeing more of her.  It’s been a full day and thanks for sending us such great kids.  Stay tuned!