Opening Day – C / C-1

Dear Parents & Friends,

It’s a cool night here after thunderstorms gathered all around us tonight during campfire.  We didn’t get a drop of rain but the temperature has gone down at least 10 degrees.  Many thanks for dropping off your children as we head right into the middle of our summer with a lot of returning campers as well as those who will experience Gwynn Valley for the first time.  One our values at camp is acceptance and we acknowledge the fact that we come from many places and have a lot to share and what better place to do that than camp and especially GV.  We make it a priority to incorporate those new campers and make them feel that they are part of the GV family.  It doesn’t take long and already I’m seeing friendships being formed.  Those that have been to camp before know that we start off our first day of camp with a bang.  There’s not a lot of down time the first day or any day but especially the first day when campers might have a tendency to think too much about home.  Activities were rolling with campers climbing the wall, Arts and Crafts, Sports, The Farm, The Mill, Fine Arts, and the Waterfront were cranking this afternoon.  Always an active part of camp, the Waterfront had the Zip Line humming with camper after camper trying to go for the Spider Man.  The web spinner would be proud of our fledgling “spidies”.  We have a new challenge at the Lake this year called the Tension Traverse.  We will show you some pictures as the week progresses.

After lunch we held our Discovery Skits, which provide the campers with a glimpse of the activities they can take in the morning while at camp.  They get 4 choices for an every other day schedule, one each hour of the two hour time slot. The afternoon signups happen every day for either two one hour activities or one two period.  The two hour provides a chance to go on a long hike, bike longer, visit the rock, go to the farm or possibly a tubing/kayak trip down our section of the French Broad.

We also had swim assessments after signups with some time to digest our food and get ready for the afternoon.  The swim checks allow us to gauge how well campers swim and their comfort level in the water.  These are done in the pool where you can easily see the bottom and its only 5 ft. deep at the DEEP END.  It’s a great teaching pool and allows those who are a bit uncomfortable in the water to take it on gradually.  The depth starts off about 4 inches and gradually goes to the 5 ft. mark.  Speaking of water, I think there were some trout caught this afternoon at the Mill.  It seems that the fish were biting on this hot afternoon.  One of the nice things about our afternoons are that we’re indoors during the heat of the day.  Our lunch starts at 1:00 and rest hour ends about 3:15.    Tonight’s dinner was our traditional first night macaroni and cheese, salad from the farm, pears  and the GIANT COOKIE with each cabin’s name on it.  We will move to our tables tomorrow at lunch where we’ll mix up ages and programs and you’ll have yet another group that you belong to at camp.  I had dinner with the boys from Chipmunk Hut.  We had a blast and Mr. Camp Director spilled a whole bottle of salad dressing on the table which brought out a lot of laughter.

After supper activities are a free time for campers to choose one activity after dinner.  It changes each evening and a variety are offered each night.  Usually there’s a ball game or two of some sort, games on the green, some kind of arts & crafts, story telling, and any number of other activities.  Tonight after activities we held our first campfire and cabins began introducing themselves through cabin skits.  I spent about half my time with Main Camp and then made my way to Mountainside to see what they were up to.  Riverside also started up a session today and they were out on the Gatehouse Green playing Ninja and other get- to-know you games.   Mountainside starts their mini-adventures tomorrow with each camper trying out all four adventure activities- mountain biking, paddling, climbing and pioneering.

Tomorrow always brings more and our days are full.  That’s the way it should be at camp.  Maximize our time outdoors, playing hard, eating our farm grown food, and getting good rest by night.   What more could a camper ask for.  The “simple joys” of GV abound and it’s an exciting time as we begin our session. Stay Tuned!

PS     We’re getting a few drops of rain and hoping for more as it gets dark.