Opening Day A Session!

Dear Parents and Friends,

Welcome to Session A and another great year of Gwynn Valley.  We had a wonderful opening day here and we’re off to a terrific start.  After a buffet lunch at noon today, we all headed to the Lodge for a bit of singing with Debbie on the 88’s and then made choices for our morning “Discovery Activities”.  These are all skill based and embrace all the programs we teach here at camp.  Swim assessments followed sign-ups and then campers were off to various activities for the rest of day including: Sports, Archery, The Mill, Tie-Dye, Camping Skills and Nature, Crafts, Pottery, Horseback Riding, Swimming, Fine Arts, Climbing and of course The Farm.  We believe in jumping right into activities to provide the campers with a busy first day in case anyone has a touch of homesickness.

Mountainside followed suit and began their mini adventures which will continue for a few days.  Riverside began their ground school for climbing and they will be leaving tomorrow to head over to Tenn. for their climbing component.  Life is full here at camp and especially in downtown GV on the first day.  Tonight we had our first dinner together with all of our groups meeting under one roof in the Dining Room.  We had our very child-friendly spaghetti and sauce with fresh salad from the garden and home baked dinner rolls. First night’s dinner is not complete without the Giant Chocolate Chip cookie that each table gets.  After supper activities followed and then we held a campwide scavenger hunt to find the program leaders.  Rumor has it that the “Tajar” (you’ll learn more about our friend later) enticed all the program leaders to a meeting with brownies and then sent them off in many directions on a goose chase.  The campers “Mission Impossible” was to track them down and bring them back to Downtown GV. From there it was off to bed and Friendship Circles in each cabin.

If you’re reading this, today was National Get Outdoors Day!  I want to thank you all for your commitment to Gwynn Valley in providing this outdoor opportunity to your children.   Our outdoor learning is human powered and hands-on where campers are encouraged to try something difficult every day.  Camp should be and is a transformational experience that is outside the comforts of home and parent involvement.  It’s a place where big ideas meet action that gives birth to reaching new heights and spreading your independent wings.  It’s a place where new friendships are made and flourish.  It’s a place where the effervescence of fun and laughter abound.  We, of course, cannot take your place as parents but we can partner with you in creating a wholesome and balanced experience that will create lots of happy memories for your camper.   Last night at campfire with just our staff, I spoke with them about the awesome responsibility they are about to undertake.  Throughout our training week, we’ve challenged them to be the adult that you as parents represent and not to forget their own childhood and the joys therein.

My personal goal each and every summer was also something I shared with them.  I have it written and attached to my computer, so I see it every day.  It reads, “to foster and reclaim the beauty, wonder, awe, potential, and innocence of childhood”.  Here at camp we simply say, “the simple joys of childhood”!  Stay tuned for nightly updates and glimpses of camp from our eyes and perspective.  We are excited to begin our 83rd summer of Gwynn Valley.  Thank you for providing this great group of campers.