Last Full Day of C, C-2 : (

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.  We finished off the evening with a slide show of session highlights and the girls of Blue Ridge led us in the song “Linger”.  As always, Debbie played “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.

I had a great day with the Main Camp Kayakers.  Hunter and Jamie, our two instructors led the trip and was along as the PR guy running the video and taking a few pictures.  I need octopus appendages so I  can operate more than one thing at a time.   The campers did a great job and were certainly tested on the Green River today.  We left about 10:00 this morning and got to the river around 11:00.  By the time I ran shuttle and set the van at the takeout, got lunch, and got everyone on the water it was 12 noon.  We put in at Bridge Rapid, and paddled S Turn, Big Corky, Little Nantahala, Jacobs Ladder, Sunday Ledge, and Little Corky.  It was eddy hopping and ferrying the whole way which makes the learning curve go way up.  Just below our last rapid we got out of our boats and just swam practicing our whitewater swims in strong current and cooled down after a warm day on the river.  We ate lunch before we left and by the time we got to end of the day everyone was ready for dinner and camp was an hour away.  We dug into our food, rehydrated and headed for home.  It’s a good feeling coming back to camp after such a successful day.  We had some tired puppies as we drove into camp around 5:15.  I love taking campers out and teaching and having them stretch themselves.  We do it everyday in some part of camp and these trips are special.   A couple of these folks on the trip today were 10 years old.  That’s young to be paddling at that level all day.  I took some video while out and will hope to get it on the website soon.

Other trips were out today also.  Climbers and bikers from Main Camp were also testing their comfort zones on the trails and rocks.  The climbers went to Cove Creek which has the bonus of a great swimming hole and the bikers went to Dupont which has over a hundred miles of trails.  This morning in Main Camp at home we held signups and this afternoon everyone participated in pillowcase day.  It happens at the pool and is the perfect venue on a steamy day.  I wish I could have been there and performed my customary swim and going down the slide.  It’s fun to be there on the last day and play at the pool with all the children.  Mountainside had their MS Challenge where they run, bike, climb, swim, 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.  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 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 and looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow.  It’s been a great session and a great group of children.  Stay tuned!

Grant

PS – This tired puppy is feeling the day too!