Last Full Day of B Session

Dear Parents & Friends,

The last full day of Session B was spectacular.  It was another beautiful day as far as the weather.  Everyone soaked up the sunshine and enjoyed the moderate mountain temperatures. We’re up late tonight getting ready for you all to arrive and greet your children.  We haven’t loaded all the pics from today but they will be up no later than tomorrow morning. When Mountainside and Riverside came in yesterday we had a bunch of photos to upload from their adventures.

I apologize for not blogging the past couple of nights.  I got into a tussle with a swing on our ropes course and came out with a black eye and a few stitches.  I was photographing some of the campers participating in the Swing by Choice component and my camera perspective was different from my real perspective.  I got a little behind over the past couple of nights.

Morning program today was sign-ups and everyone got to choose two activities that they maybe hadn’t done and wanted to try.  There was a huge variety of things offered, plus there were several off camp trips including mountain biking, hiking and kayaking.  Main camp bikers visited Dupont State Forest which has over a hundred miles of trails in the 12,000 acres encompassed there.  This session has produced some great bikers.  I asked one little guy today if he bikes at home and he said he didn’t.  His parents should get him a mountain bike because he’s got a knack for it given his age.  The kayakers visited a tougher section of the French Broad this morning a worked on their peel outs, eddy turns and ferrying.  The FB has the Davidson running into it about halfway down and the water coming out of Pisgah is cold and clear.  The hikers went to one of my favorite places today called Black Balsam.  The altitude is just over 6000’ and the views on a clear day cannot be beat.  You can the highest point in the east, Mt. Mitchell from that vantage point looking east and looking west the Smokies seem to just over the next ridgeline.  Activities at camp this morning included zip lining, corn shucking, candle making, and tomahawk throwing ( I know it sounds dangerous, but it was a great session), weaving, swimming, and the list goes on.  Our corn is finally coming in at the farm and it accompanied tonight’s meal.

We had pizza for dinner tonight which is traditional on the last night of camp.  After dinner we took the rest of the cabin photos and then went on to friendship campfire.  Lots of people sang and talked about what the past couple of weeks had meant to them. One of the best groups to chime in were our SIT’s.  They’ve been just extraordinary and outstanding this session.  They stay for three weeks and spend a lot of time working and watching and being sponges.  Let me say that again, they spend a lot of time WORKING!  We hope one day this group all comes back to be counselors.  What a great bunch and if your camper had one in their cabin be sure to introduce yourself and thank them.

Friendship campfire tonight was also about honoring those who have attended camp for a long time. We had our blanket ceremony and also the 5 year plaque ceremony for the “old timers”. Camp creates memories or as I call it camp DNA.  Gwynn Valley is all about the “simple joys” of childhood and we celebrate that each and every day.

Tomorrow when you arrive your children will be waiting for you in the cabins.  At 10:30 there will be a cabin friendship circle where all can join in.  We do these each night and check in with campers to find out how their day has been.  It allows staff to see how the children are doing since they only see them at morning wake-up and just before and after meals.  A lot happens in our day here at camp and it’s a good way to learn about the children’s experiences.  After the friendship circle, we hope you will join us in the Lodge for our final campfire for the session.  There will songs, stories and skits from the session.  Lunch is just after and most of the food will be from our farm.  We look forward to seeing you all tomorrow but will miss our campers from this session.  Stay tuned!