Dear Parents and Friends,
It’s International Day at camp today and we’re celebrating Poland, Slovakia and Hungary. Every Tuesday we celebrate a country or several countries as part of our international focus at GV. One really learns a good bit about the many countries represented here at camp. We have lots of accents and to an outsider it’s hard to pinpoint exactly where some of our staff live. International Day helps with this through all day education by those staff from a particular country or countries as the day progresses. That could come in the form of national anthems, facts at each table when we’re eating, foods or snack we might have that day, skits and of course the campfire which puts a name to a place and all kinds of interesting facts. The world is diverse and there’s so much to learn about beyond our own boundaries.
But, on to other aspects of our program. I stopped by Shady Grove this morning to watch weaving and tomorrow they will be making jewelry. Just around the corner was pottery making their first coil and slab pieces which is foundation work for later expressions of artistry. Next door the campers were working on gourds that we grow here on the property. You can do a good many things with a dryed out gourd. The skin dries very hard and you can etch in it, paint it, cut it to any shape and make all kinds of things to take home.
On the waterfront a new group was getting used to the kayaks and being comfortable upside down in the water. Wet exits come first and then they progress to the spray skirts which prevent you from falling out of the boat when you turn over, so you have to be ready to find and pull the tab on your skirt in order to wet exit. This is a prerequisite for paddling even on the lake and certainly on the river. It takes a while but most folks get it. After that then we start working on strokes which are much different from the canoe. Kayaking is easier starting off but gets a little harder as you progress. It’s easier to paddle in a straight line vs being in a canoe even with a partner. Having two blades simplifies and confounds at the same time. The kayak in the right hands is very maneuverable and can run circles around most canoes.
On the high adventure scene the climbers were scaling the tower again this morning and learning their knots and commands along the way. There’s a lot communication that goes on between the climber and belayer (who holds you safely). It’s definitely a team effort and a skill that’s good for working with other people and maybe someone you don’t know. Our tower is nice for all levels and teaches the basics right up to overhanging challenging wall climbs. It’s only one of four kinds of climbing at camp, which we can talk about at a later date.
The bikers were getting their mountain legs today as they tackled some of camp’s single track. Mountain Biking has become one of our biggest programs and it attracts campers every day. Today they were learning to use their gears and riding in the attack position as navigated up and down our varied terrain. It’s harder than it looks but it prepares you for positioning over the bike as well as understanding cadence and gearing. We have three trails here at camp and two skills areas which challenge the camper on short distances with winding narrow single track.
Riverside left today for their climbing adventure and will return on Friday. Mountainside continues their mini-adventures tomorrow. It’s only the beginning of the week and it didn’t rain a drop today. We’re having Fun with a capital F. We’ll have to see what’s in store for tonight’s international campfire. Stay tuned!