International Day for Poland, Russia & France

Dear Parents & Friends,

As you can see we are celebrating International Day today and focusing on Poland, Russia and France.  We have a staff member from each country, Monica, Elena and Camille in that order.  Tonight’s campfire went into great detail about each country with songs, music and dance from campers and staff.  There was even a French fashion show early in the campfire.  It was a fun campfire and concluded with Camille dancing to a piece by Chopin.  She is a very good dancer and it was interesting watching all the girls in the audience as she danced.  What youngster at one time or another doesn’t dream of becoming a ballerina.  I think the boys were in awe as well of the athleticism in the dance.

Arts and Crafts was humming today with all kinds of creations happening with color.  Batik was making some very beautiful things and Shady Grove was weaving more than material today in their basket class.  Tamara, who comes all the way from Texas, brought our weaving back to life this summer by helping us purchase new looms.  It’s been a real bonus in the program and everyone has loved it.  It was a very good day to be on the waterfront.  It was 92 for us today and thankfully it wasn’t humid.  It was a crisp but hot day which makes it much more enjoyable.  Several tubing trips went out as well as many creek hikes.  The temperature walking up the creek is probably 10-15 degrees cooler than the temps on the soccer field.  Laughter and screams came from the lakefront all day long.  It will be warm again tomorrow as the Main Camp Kayakers embark on a trip out of camp.  With the dryer weather we’re waiting to see if the Green River will be running.  We’re also looking at section 6 of the French Broad close to Asheville.  At any rate it will be good to be in a boat on water.  I will be joining them and we’ll try and get some pics of the trip.

Weaving in Shady Grove

The man in the red suit was not Santa Clause but Max who has been teaching some martial arts all summer.  He’s quite good and today offered a class in self defense.  The most prominent activity, non activity, popular, favorite past time is making friendship bracelets.  Almost everywhere you look you will find someone making one of these either for themselves or for a friend.  There are some many possibilities and weaves and colors and you can wear several at once.  We are a wrist happy society.  Silly Bands, Livestrong type rubber wrist bands of all colors and quotes, friendship bracelets and other conglomerations of strings, you will find on many campers and staff wrists.  I may be the only staff member in camp without a friendship bracelet and a tye dye shirt.  I had tye dye shirts in the 70’s but the colors weren’t as vibrant as they are now.  It’s the time of year to show your creativity and colors.

Mountainside has their first day of Training Days today and will be going out again on Thurs. for the second day leading up to adventures next week.  We miss our MSer’s when they’re out of camp.  They did come to campfire tonight.  Riverside left for the river today and will be out until Friday evening.

I want to go back to something earlier that related to capturing the children’s interest and keeping them focused.  Camille’s dance tonight did just that.  It didn’t last long but everyone was watching intently.  It was a simple but meaningful presentation.  I think all too often we in society are trying to top the latest, greatest, biggest, fastest, and most popular.  At camp we get back to the basics and the simple joys of childhood.  For children, dreaming and having a vision is so important.  Our Vespers on Sunday night had the Theme of God’s Miracles.  I usually will say a word about our theme and talked Sunday about how some miracles come about through dreams and vision.  I sometimes think that if life were simpler we might be more able to dream and realize our dreams more.  Everything is so fast, so vivid, so now, so right there.  I think camp is so good for slowing down, creating from scratch, growing from scratch, and getting back to those simple joys we often overlook.  A simple dance accompanied by a piano instead of a music video that is a blur of shots and scenes.  The other day in our dining room several tables were racing to see who could clear their table the fastest.  One youngster at our table said, “it’s too fast, I want to eat slowly and enjoy my meal. I want our table to be the slowest clearing table because I like everyone here. “  That friends, is what camp is all about.   Stay tuned!

Grant