International Day- Brazil & South Africa

Dear Parents & Friends,

It’s been another great sunny/showery day here at camp.  We had a little extra long rest hour today because of thunder storms and rain which came up just as we were about to start afternoon activities.  Everyone was in their cabin but afternoon trips and activities went out just a bit later.  A group of mountain bikers from Main Camp went out just after breakfast this morning.  They went up to Dupont and we’ll load those photos for you tomorrow morning.  Ben, Sarah and Erin went along with 9 campers to Dupont.  They returned safe and sound just before the afternoon thunder boomers came in.  They rode in at Lake Imaging up Jim Branch Tr. to Gion Farm and from there to Wintergreen Falls for a dip and swim.  Sarah was the lifeguard for the group so we had all aspects covered.  From the falls they went back to Gion and then down Ridgeline Tr. which is one of the best trails in the park.  They also stopped off at the play park which has all kinds of obstacles and challenges for bikers  and a pump track.  A pump track is a small loop with earthen bumps, berms and banked turns that allow the biker to use his or her momentum to go around track without pedaling.  It was a fun day and everyone had a blast.  This afternoon I went with a group of sit on top kayakers to the mighty French Broad.  It was a quick paddle full of songs and merriment as we paddled our way back to camp property.  Dinner was waiting on us and we all ate at the same table and talked about our trip and all kinds of things under the sun.

Castle Ball was offered at signups this morning which is a great game that was brought to camp several years ago.  It’s played with 6 hula hoops which comprise a castle.  The idea is knock all the other team’s castles down before they can rebuild them.  Get them all down and you win.  It might be the most competitive game we play at camp. The balls are soft and even if hit square in the face (unintentionally of course) it wouldn’t hurt.  The climbing wall was also going strong this morning.  Lots of campers signed up for climbing and especially those who hadn’t had a chance and wanted to.  Our climbing wall is a 3 sided 50’ tower that has a beginner, intermediate and advanced side.  It’s perfect for Gwynn Valley and is used most everyday here at camp.

Pottery and Arts and Crafts shared the limelight down on the lower end of our arts arena areas.  Weaving is winding down and folks are finishing up their projects.  We’ve turned one of our older buildings into a weaving and loom center that is great.  Get your children to bring you by and visit while you’re here on Friday.   Hand crafts were abundant as well as the talent from our international day tonight.  It was a day to celebrate Brazil and South Africa and celebrate we did.  The counselors from those countries worked very hard to present their countries to the rest of camp which included skits, songs, games, dances and slide shows and a video or two.  Lots of celebrities were there including Nelson Mandela to Scar the villain from the Lion King.  Needless to say it was a very creative night.

The other celebrities we always have at camp are the baby animals at the farm.  Calves, baby chicks, baby goats, always get the most attention and well they should.  It was no exception today because they have to be fed and cared for and the children help out in so many different ways.  We thought that Big MaMa pig might give birth this session but it looks like she’s going to hold off for a few more days.  That’s an exciting time at camp and usually comes about now or early into next session.  Don’t forget those big 4 legged horses, but of course they are in a class by themselves.

Farm animals are fun but the food is up there as well.  We had our first corn on the cob today and it was delicious.  Everyone helps shuck and in no time you can “process” 400 ears.  Gwynn Valley is an awesome place and if you don’t think that to be the case, talk to our campers and they will provide you with awesome lessons.  Stay tuned!