Dear Parent and Friends,
As I write, it’s almost dark and just a wisp of red is in the western sky. Campers from several cabins got to the Gatehouse Green to see the last remnants of ole Mr. Sol. On the other end of camp a three quarter moon has risen over the Lodge and a few cabins have lingered there to see it peep over the trees. Campfire preceded our dusk sky show and we celebrated the end of our last full day together in our ritual “Friendship Campfire”. We sang songs, recognized campers and staff who have been here for many years and watched video highlights from the session as well as a slide show of choice pics you all have been viewing over the past many days. (See the video that we saw at the bottom of this news!)
Our last full day of D was truly a great one. Signups this morning were great fun for all and also those who ventured off site for biking and hiking. It’s good to get out of camp and see the world beyond GV. Our National Forests and State lands that surround Gwynn Valley are amazing and there are so many wonderful places to go and experience nature in its finest.
Archery always draws a crowd and campers took advantage of our last day to sign up for archery. Campers love target sports where they can zero in on the bulls eye. We have a variety of bows that some of our youngest campers can shoot and some that are of the compound variety that take a bit more skill. Most of our activities have appropriate sized equipment for as many people as possible. Our little 1 ½ Jackson kayaks are so tiny and they’re made just like an adult boat but just a lot smaller. They are perfect for our program. We also run some bikes with 24” tires for those smaller 2 wheel types.
Riverside returned today having spent their last two days on the Nantahala River. It’s always a chilly day at the Nanty with water temps year round about 48 -54 and air temps today were much warmer thank goodness. The RS group had 4 great days of paddling and all came back with big smiles. I ran into them just after they returned later in the afternoon.
The last afternoon of a session is always packing and pillowcase day and all the cabins made it to the pool for a final swim in the GV “cement pond”. You can do amazing things with your pillowcase after it gets wet. Fill it with air and it will keep you afloat for quite a while. It’s fun to go down the slide to see if you can fill it up before you hit the water. After all of today’s activities, folks were ready for our traditional last night of pizza (fresh baked crust and all by our kitchen), salad from the farm, fruit and our unbelievable, better than best, tasting like heaven, party on your taste buds, brownies that you could ever imagine. They’re not big but they pack so much in a square it’s like an all you can eat dessert banquet. Some choose to eat small portions, a tiny morsel at a time, while others are dunkers who love the floaties in their milk at the end of the glass. And then there are the inhalers. The literally breath in the brownie and it’s gone. Campers always say they could eat the whole platter and I’ve often wondered just how many they could eat. After a belly full of pizza it would be a challenge to go two or three. As pizza was served on plates the dining room became very quiet and as the meal went on, the volume rose. When dessert arrived there was a euphoric feeling that was unmeasurable. We went around the table and asked our campers their favorite aspects of GV. We heard lots of different things from the food, to certain events, to favorite programs to campouts and so on. There’s nothing like good food and good people to bring camp to another level of joy. We had it tonight.
During announcements at campfire tonight, our head counselor’s Daniel and Molly told everyone that breakfast would be 30 minutes early tomorrow because we were having visitors come and those visitors would be parents, coming to pick them up. Suddenly you felt that they knew that it was almost over. Yes, I love my parents but I’m having so much fun and do they really have to come tomorrow. The good news is they did have fun and they will be glad to see you in the morning. There were a few tears and some sad faces that the session is coming to an end. The beauty of camp is that JOY sustains us. There is so much joy here and you see it every where every day.
Speaking of joy, I’m sure you’ll be joyful as you arrive tomorrow to pick up your children. They will be waiting for you in the cabins. At 10:30 there will be a cabin friendship circle where all can join in. After the cabin friendship circle, we welcome you to join us in the Lodge for our end of session campfire at 11:00. After that feel free to have lunch with us and maybe walk around camp to see some of the activity areas. See you tomorrow and safe travels.
Video from tonight: Session D Highlights