International Day – Russia, Germany, Holland

Dear Parents & Friends,

I’ve spent the whole day with Mountainside Paddlers today with the exception of meals.  What a pleasure it’s been.  This morning I worked with the group on the lake getting them ready for their adventure coming up next week.  This afternoon we ran a section of the French Broad that has just the right amount of challenge for these fledglings.  They did a good job even though several boats turned over.  Sometimes that’s what it takes to take that learning curve to the next level.  We got a late start this afternoon because of rain and it was just a local heavy shower and less than a mile from camp it wasn’t even raining.  It’s good for the garden.

Today was International Day celebrating the countries of Germany, Russia, and Holland.  The food was very good all day long and especially at dinner complete with Schnitzel, boiled potatoes, carrots and peas, fruit salad and the biggest pieces of German Chocolate Cake you can imagine.  Some folks couldn’t even finish theirs.  I felt like I could roll out the dining room tonight.  Luckily we had an active day on the river swimming in some cold water to burn lots of calories.  A replica of the Berlin Wall was set up outside the dining room and after supper children were able to add graffiti to the wall.  Hansel & Gretel was performed by campers and staff during the evening campfire as well as songs and music from each of the three countries.  We even did a Russian Folk Dance and learned a good bit about the vast land that Russia occupies.

Other river activities today found GV Rescue down at our section of the French Broad demonstrating river swimming and rescue techniques.  This is valuable info for young people who may find themselves in a precarious situation at some point.  You might save a life as well as your own.    Besides rescue in the water you might notice some pics from our swimming instruction classes that go on at the pool.  We teach swimming each day and work with children who are not that comfortable in the water.  We learn about their comfort level on the first day of camp when they all come by the pool for swim assessment.  It gives us an idea of their level and also where we should start in improving those swim skills.  It took some swimming to get the clay off of those bodies today.  Children love to cover themselves with clay, run around camp and then  jump  in the lake (not in the pool thank you very much).  I know that people pay big bucks for clay treatment in some spas but you can certainly do it at camp and act silly in the process.  Again it’s one of those simple joys that we always come back to here at Gwynn Valley.  Stay tuned!