Last Full Day of C, & C-2 and We don’t want it to end!


Dear Parents & Friends,

We just finished our Friendship Campfire for Session C, C-2.  What a great time we’ve had and tonight was no exception.  We honored the many campers who have many years of Gwynn Valley summers.  As a tradition at our final campfire we honor those who are coming for their 4th and 5th year with a blanket for the 4th year and a wooden plaque for their 5th year.  We also honor those staff, SIT’s and campers who’ve gone beyond the 5 year mark.  It’s always fun to have them stand and be recognized.  Several drama groups performed skits they had written which were all fun.  Songs were shared and we finished off the evening with Debbie playing  “Sheep May Safely Graze” which has been a part of campfire for many, many years.  It’s a beautiful song and if you linger after the end of our Closing Campfire you’ll hear it.  It comes after the staff sing, “May the Road Rise to Meet You”. Hope you’ll linger and listen.

Looking back to an earlier part of our day the Main Camp Kayakers had a grand time on the Lower Green River.  The campers did a great job and were certainly tested on the Green River today.  They left early this morning and had a fine day plying rapids called Bridge Rapid, S Turn, Big Corky, Little Nantahala, Jacobs Ladder,  and Sunday Ledge.  It was eddy hopping and ferrying the whole way which makes the learning curve go way up.  Just below the last rapid, they got out of their boats and just swam practicing their whitewater swims in strong current and cooled down after a warm day on the river.  Other trips out today included hikers to Dupont State Forest and Pisgah National Forest.  Climbers also went to the Nose of Looking Glass Rock which is probably the most famous climb there.  It’s a good feeling coming back to camp after such a successful day.  There were some tired puppies when these trips returned.  A couple of the groups had a 7:30 breakfast to get out early and then hiked and paddled through the morning and early afternoon.  Groups made it back for afternoon swims at the pool (pillowcase day) and to finish up packing.

This morning in Main Camp at home we held our last signups for the session and there was lot’s to do.  I went with a group to the farm to check on the baby piglets and they are growing fast and nursing most of the day.  Campers fed the calves, and dug potatoes which were readied for tomorrow’s lunch here at camp.  Mountainside had their MS Challenge where they bike, climb, canoe and build fires for time.  I’m sure both Riverside and Mountainside got a swim into today.  It was the perfect day for it.

Tomorrow when you arrive your children from C, C-2 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, rest hour, before and after meals and bedtime.  Our days are full and it’s a good way to learn about the children’s experiences.  After the friendship circle there is our program in the Lodge for parents, friends and campers.  You can stay and enjoy a wonderful GV lunch at noon if you like.

Thank you for sharing your children with us this past 10 days.  We’ve had a wonderful session and hope to see all of these children back again next summer.  Soon you will receive an evaluation sent to you by the camp and Clemson University.  We’re participating in a summer outcomes study that will provide valuable information and meaning to the work we do.  I’m on the North Carolina Youth Camps Board and we’re an organization that has performed an economic impact study here in our region as well as lobbying hard to keep our summers for camp as well as keep up to date on legislation that affects our industry.  I sincerely hope you will take the time to respond to this valuable tool.  This provides us with feed back to help make our program better.  We appreciate you taking the time to help us keep Gwynn Valley an outstanding program.  It’s been a great session and a great group of children.  Stay tuned!