Just Milling About

Parents and Friends,

Greetings on this cool evening.  We had a couple of showers that helped with the heat today and being in a cool place like the Mill was definitely a bonus.  The Mill is an extension of our Farm Program and was actually the very first type of activity on that site before camp started.  In 1890 the Mill was built on the present site.  The mill race (where the water is diverted from the stream) was all hand dug and comes from Carson Creek which flows through the center of camp.  The water is diverted just near the big rock on Mountainside next to Bike Shed and Equipment Rooms.  Many local communities had grist mills at that time.  The field to the left of the Mill was once a terraced corn field at one point and I’m sure the land surrounding the Mill was farmed and there was a residence there.  A girls camp was started around 1910 and operated under the name of Camp Connestee Cove.  Mary Gwynn started Gwynn Valley in 1935.  The Mill was brought back into service in the mid 80’s and has operated for our campers ever since then.

There are a number of cool things that go on at the Mill besides milling.  Campers learn what it was like to visit a mill around the turn of century and they get a taste of the products that come from the Mill through the outdoor cooking program that happens there each day.  You may also note that fishing takes place at the Mill and it’s very satisfying fishing at that.  We stock the little pond with about 300-400 trout and fish with cane poles.  It’s a great place to be, whatever the weather and offers so much in the way of history and doing many cool things that were done over a century ago on that site.

Many times we hear that Mountainside misses some of those great activities from Main Camp so tonight the whole Mountainside group went down to the Farm for a little farm fun.  As I write they are just heading back to their cabins.

While some were learning about the Mill others were honing their basketball, archery and soccer skills on the A-Field.  Sports offers a variety of activities for campers including some international sports like Cricket, touch Rugby and Badminton.  Does anyone know where badminton came from?  Many think it came from Ancient Greece about 2000 years ago.  Sports at Gwynn Valley also include our climbing activities as well as Mountain Biking at camp.  It’s been pretty hot to bike in the afternoons but we’ve had a good number of campers to sign up each day.

Games on the Green was a blast tonight and as the sun went down a brief shower cooled things even more.  Campfire tonight was International Night.  We learned a good bit about the many countries represented here this summer and it was great having some of the campers help the international staff with skits, music and dance.  Everyone has stories to tell and it’s always great to hear some from a far away distant land.  Our world is sometimes small but it has a vast amount of wonderful things from other cultures to learn about.  As I sign off tonight I’m seeing a sliver of a moon and in the western sky with a planet perched just above it.  Just out of my window I hear a boy’s cabin catching fireflies next to the lake.  Ahhh,  the simple joys.  Stay tuned !


P.S.   Hope you enjoyed seeing a copy of the Tajar Times today! Your children are doing a great job writing and illustrating their impression of camp.