International Day – Celebrate New Zealand!

Dear Parents & Friends,

It was an international day here at Gwynn Valley and we celebrated the country of New Zealand. We have quite a few staff from the land of Kiwis so we learned a great deal as the day went on. We heard stories from the Mouri peoples and learned songs and saw some very interesting advertising presented by the Kiwis. Our foods included one of their famous desserts called Pavlova. It’s lots of meringue and whipped cream with strawberries and kiwi fruit. Food is a major part of our day at camp. It seems that we spend a lot of time eating. It’s a relaxed existence and there’s always conversation at the table about all kinds of subjects. On a typical day when camp is not running I spend a lot less time eating with the exception of dinner. With three squares a day at camp we spend a lot of time in the dining room. No complaints because the food is good and it gives everyone a chance to wake up in the AM, check in at lunch, and ease into the evening with a nice meal and ready to move toward a cooler time of the day that is more relaxed fun in different ways. The time after dinner allows children some of the unstructured free play that doesn’t always occur in our over structured day. This time at camp is supervised but relaxed and a sort of winding down unless you’re playing a sport. It’s my favorite time of the day whether I’m in the mountains or the beach. Maybe that’s why Adults call it Happy Hour. Our Happy Hour is of course without the refreshment but none-the-less a relaxed and easing into the evening and coolness of night.

I spent some time at the farm today. They were picking the last of the broccoli but everything else is certainly coming in. The group also began to pick the first carrots. If you’ve never pulled carrots out of the ground it’s one of my favorites. You have to look for the bigger stalks and you wiggle that stalk around and just pull that carrots right out of the ground. It’s a satisfying exercise because there’s something magical about not seeing what you’re picking except for the stalk and when it comes out voila. They also fed the baby calves, gathered eggs and engaged in some other farm exploration before I got there.

Besides this rant each night we have another source of news here at camp called the Tajar Times. I enjoy reading our “Times” each day and especially chuckled over one picture drawn by Jason, in Cabin Sunrise. He drew a picture of a “boneless chicken coop” and then asked the question under the picture, “Have you ever wondered where boneless chicken comes from?” You gotta love it.

Campers going to the Mill today made Cookies and Cream Ice Cream and those who made got to sample. It’s pretty darn good ice cream and who can say no to that cool sweet refreshing temptation in the middle of the day. I only had a few spoonfulls. There were campers on the lake testing their SUP skills today. Our kid size boards haven’t come in but we have 4 boards that they can certainly test out. If you’ve never been on an SUP, it’s very different from any other kind of paddling. Speaking of paddling, Riverside was out on the river again today paddling the Tuckaseegee. It’s located just near Dillsboro and has a section we call the gorge that is the perfect whitewater river for our paddlers. They had an excellent day today and will be ready for more and more as the days go by. We will also have a new batch of Mountainsider’s arriving tomorrow and will kick start their session tomorrow afternoon. It should be another great day at Gwynn Valley. Hope you are having half as much fun as we are. Stay tuned!