Kiwi Day Today!

Dear Parents & Friends,

Welcome to New Zealand Day.  We were met at breakfast by Gandalf the Wizard and precious rings were given out to campers upon entering the land of the Lord of the Rings through the Hobbit Hole.  We heard he Kiwi national anthem and then proceeded in to eat a typical NZ breakfast of muesli, strawberry yogurt, toast and a little Marmite if you want it and of course milk fresh from the NZ cows and fruit juice.

On any other day our activities would be typical but our theme took us to the far away land of the North and South Island to mountain bike, hit the beautiful waters of Milford Sound, visit the Fox Glacier and of course the Waitomo Glowworm Caves.  Given the morning theme all these places magically appeared at GV.  Camp can take you almost anywhere.  Climbers were out today at Looking Glass. You can almost see the rock from my office and from our perspective here at camp, they got the weather they needed to stay out all day long and climb the Nose area.  The Nose is just on the Northwest side of LG and sits with a perfect view of everything Pisgah looking north toward the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Those over 6000 foot peaks look even bigger.  There are several climbs around the Nose and our group had three different ropes set up so everyone got to climb as much as they liked.  We hope the weather will hold for Mountainside tomorrow because they will be out at the same site.  All of Mountainside is participating in their first of two training days tomorrow and getting ready for their adventures.

Kayakers were also out today on the Lower Green.  It’s a fine section of river for introducing a little bit bigger water than our local French Broad offers.  It’s also a dam release river and runs a fairly regular release schedule that we can pretty much count on each day when it runs.  In times like this summer when it’s been a little dryer than normal, it’s nice to have something that’s reliable.  Mike and Nik and AC said they rode the initial pulse of water all the way down to the takeout today.  The downside of the Green River is that on a typical hot summer day it can have hundreds of tubers that literally fill the river and make it unpleasant sometimes.  They were trying to stay ahead of the tubers all day long.  Everyone did well surfing at Sunday Ledge, ferrying, learning how to read the river, and hitting as many eddy’s as possible on Jacob’s ladder near the end. There’s always time to swim as well.

Fine Arts spent the morning working on some skits for NZ day and we saw evidence of those tonight at campfire.  Sports played capture the flag which always draws the crowds.  I think in all today with all sports and games they had over 90 campers participating.  Capture the flag is a running as hard as you can sometimes type of game and a game of strategy and figuring out where the other team’s flag is hidden.  Of course the Farm was cranking this morning.  One good hour of rain yesterday really blossomed overnight and much was harvested today in the morning.  Of course all those animals need to fed each and every day.  Pottery was putting their glaze on their finished pots today in a variety of colors and getting ready for the upcoming firing which will produce an array of color combinations.  It’s sometimes hard to tell how things will turn out with glaze colors.

Lunch today was sausages wrapped in pastry and egg and bacon pie along with salad and fruit.  We’re so well fed here and you know where a good bit of that food comes from.  Dinner tonight was fish and chips and piled high on the table on top of newspaper and cooking paper.  After lunch the skies darkened a bit and we had a short intermission with a couple of thunder boomers but again all was well and back to normal at the end of rest hour.  Arts and Crafts took an opportunity to get wet and do some art in the inner tubes at the lake.  Hand weaving or Kumihimo was at the lake and it was the “coolest art hour” ever.  What a novel idea and everyone loved it.  Bikers joined later after a hot sweaty ride to cool off.  The pool was also a busy place today and the water was just the right temperature.  We’ve purchase a pool cover this year and it’s raised the pool temps as much as 10 degrees from previous years.  I was over there shooting some underwater/slide go-pro shots.

Most of being at camp is all about living together and relationships.  That’s how my eyes see it even though program is a blast and so much fun.  Teamwork, collaboration and communication are the skills that are necessary for the success of children later in life.  Camp is more than just hard skills.  As they grow up, children will remember the lessons that their camp experiences taught them, helping them to become better, more well rounded adults. The key life skills learned at camp follow children for the rest of their lives.

Camp each and every day carries us to far off places and allows our dreams to come true.  It’s more fun than Disney World because it’s real life.  Tonight at campfire we left on a plane and flew to NZ and visited many places, learned where our Kiwi staff lived and something about their lives.  Our cultures, while somewhat similar, are really different too.  It’s fun to take a peak into other’s homes and learn about what’s life like there.  Camp is a magical place and we make magic every day.  Stay tuned!