No Rain Could Soak Our Country’s Party and Pride!

Dear Parents and Friends,

Happy 4th of July!!  I’m sure that many of you are watching the weather over Gwynn Valley the past couple of day and yes, most pictures taken outdoors have our campers and staff in their raincoats.  We’ve had what I consider unprecedented rain the past 24 plus hours.  The moisture that has been pulled out of Gulf has continued its march through the WNC mountains.  Despite all that, we’ve had a great 4th of July today and it’s not over.  Note that some of your children are growing web feet and are starting to quack a bit.  We just left the Lodge after a wonderful evening campfire that celebrated so many aspects of our American History and of course it’s pop culture.  The staff and campers put together some great acts and we had many famous people throughout the day share time in celebration of our country’s birthday.

Just as we were about to go into breakfast this morning the Mayflower and its occupants landed on the rocky shoreline of GV and were greeted by a friendly band of our native people.  They lead us to the dining room where we raised the flag and sang the national anthem.  It was a red, white and blue breakfast (blueberries, strawberries, and bananas) on French Toast.  Activities this morning were on as scheduled and those that needed the great outdoors had to adapt to weather conditions.  The climbers from Main Camp and Mountainside utilized the Lodge to teach knots and belay technique.  We formed an indoor Thunderball arena in the Lodge and it was actually pretty close to the real court outside.  Basketball and some other outdoor sports went as planned as did many of our waterfront activities.  The lake water felt warm today compared to the rain so everyone didn’t mind the swimming.  When they got out there was a huge fire in Lodge waiting for  them to warm by.  The paddlers wore spray jackets throughout the morning and stayed really warm.  All of our arts and crafts activities were cozy in their shelters and it was business as usual.

Just before lunch Houston Mission Control set up shop on the very wet moonscape of the Green and we had a reenactment of Apollo 11 landing on the Moon in 1969.  It was funny as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin bounced along the squishy  surface of camp.  On each table at lunch there were interesting facts about our 50 states and everyone was swapping states to see how much we could digest along with our food.  There was also a piece of paper with highlights from each decade since 1900.  We had a delicious lunch today of BBQ chicken, baked beans, salad, cole slaw, sautéed vegis, and cornbread from the Mill.  To top it off there was peach cobbler.  The afternoon was a different story as the rain persisted and got more tenacious, so many of our outdoor activities other than waterfront had to forego being outside.  We finally relented and decided to bring everyone into the Lodge for a movie.  It was a good call with hard rain that came later while everyone was indoors.  Sometimes it’s just nice to sit by the fire and relax or chillax as the campers say.  We were supposed to have a picnic dinner but the dining room worked fine for our burgers and dogs.  After dinner while the rain held we took some cabin photos and then assembled in the Lodge for a good ole fashioned baseball game.  Beyonce sang the National Anthem and Draco Malfoy from Harry Potter threw out the first pitch.  He’s a look alike that lives in Primavera.

Many acts followed between innings and stars and starlets (your campers) took the stage one after the other to sing and dance.  No American celebration is complete without a boy band visit and of course the Back Street Boys were flown in to sizzle the stage.  I’m always amazed how kids pick up music from their parents.  We had a discussion at the table today about some of the music that they’ve heard from listening to your music :  Fleetwood Mac, Beatles, The Stones, Moody Blues, and others.  Pop Culture is such a part of children’s lives.  We just have to keep it appropriate.  I think we did a good job of that while throwing in a lot of history along the way.

Camp has to be spontaneous and we had to do a lot of shifting today.  We’re going to save our Fireworks for another night in the session but everything else went off as planned today with a few minor tweaks.  We’re hoping for dryer weather ahead and some sun.  Riverside returned home just a few moments ago and it seems their climbing was somewhat soggy.  They will rest a couple of days and then take advantage of some of the full rivers in our area.  Stay tuned and stay dry!