International Day-South Africa and Brazil

Dear Parents & Friends,

Today was our second International Day here at camp this summer.  We celebrated the countries of Brazil and South Africa.  We had a Brazilian lunch today and a South African dinner, both of which were delicious.  We have staff from both countries and as always tonight’s campfire was centered around those two destinations.  Despite our jet lag and time spent traveling to faraway lands we managed to get in a full day here at good ole GV.

We had two groups go out with Main Camp today and one was our Kayakers and the other our Mountain Bikers.  The “yakers” went to the mighty French Broad Section 1 and the “biker dudes and dudettes” went to Dupont State Forest.  Both had an excellent experience and there’s talk of another trip out on Thurs. with both groups.  I saw both groups just after they returned and they were all smiles.  It makes it all worth it when you get these young people out away from camp and put their newly learned skills to work in a different environment.  Outdoor play promotes problem solving. As children navigate a world in which they have a very active part, they must learn to understand what works and what doesn’t, what lines of thinking bring success and failure, how to know when to keep trying and when to stop.  This translated directly to the river and biking experience.  One has to prepare for the trip, what to bring and what not to bring, getting your gear together, loading your boat and bike with a partner, and what lines to take on the river as well as on the single track biking trail.  Failure is ok in our environment because of its supportive atmosphere.  Conserving your energy to slow down, paddle or peddle, so you have the grit and resilience to take on the next hill or rapid on the river. These trips are so good for these children!

I hope you saw the pictures of the batik dyed material that were hanging in front of the dining room earlier today.  They were gorgeous and colorful.  Our Arts and Crafts folks are great!  The Mill was on a creative streak today as well.  They were making all kinds of things out of corn cobs this afternoon.  I saw everything from cars, jets, and pets.  They also made yet another flavor of ice cream for the upcoming Tajar Ball festivities.  OLS built a tower to raise the Brazilian and South African flag.  In the process of building the tower they learned how to perform “lashing”, which is a great skill to have even if you’re not a Boy Scout.  Building towers was on the minds of some but the WEB folks were building fairy homes under the hemlocks behind the Lodge.  I shot some video of this but I didn’t see but one or two pics from this amongst the photos.  It was pretty neat and very creative.

Tower of Camp Skills Power

Tower of Camp Skills Power

Campfire was again celebrating our two special countries of the day with songs, skits and stories about the countries.  It was a nice way to end our day and dream of faraway places where different cultures and people live, some like we do and some in very primitive environs.  Traveling is fun but it’s tiring.  I’m headed out again with the Mountainside paddlers tomorrow so the sandman is calling my name.  Riverside and Mountainside all come home tomorrow with stories and adventures to tell and retell.  I hope to hear some of those and see living proof that our program promotes playing outside and growing inside.  Stay tuned!