Opening Day D Session!

Dear Parents and Friends,

Thank you for bringing such a great group of campers today.  We’ve had a great day apart from a short thunderstorm during our lunch hour (perfect timing).  The added bonus from the rain that came through, was a cooling down from the previous hot days this week.  After lunch campers began their first day at camp.  We serve an early lunch at 12 on opening day and there’s little time to settle into thinking about home and parents.  After lunch we went right into signups and then off to activities.  We hope you are safe and sound wherever your destination.

Activities open for the afternoon were Pottery, Horses, Sports, the Mill,  Fine Arts, Climbing, Crafts, Tie, Dye, Lake Fun, Sports, Camping Skills and Nature, Archery and swim assessments at the pool.  Mountainside was playing ice breaker games on their green up in the cove. They play a lot of games to get to know one another and start the session off right with activities that provide group bonding and getting to know one another.  It was certainly a vocal crowd.  They were having a blast.

Campers also signed up for their Discovery Activities today.  They will take those four activities through Saturday which last for 3 days each and happen every other day just in the morning.  The Discovery activities are as follows: Farm/Mill, Horses, Archery, Track and Field, World Sports, Climbing (3 types), Soccer, Candles, Weaving, Fine Arts Musical (Where the Wild Things Are), Basketry, Batik, Printmaking, Stand up Paddle boards, Creek Hiking, Navy Seals, Water Quidditch, Camping Skills and Nature, Campsite 101, Fire Building & Outdoor Cooking, Mountain Biking, Pottery (2 types), Outdoor Living Skills, Print Making and Whitewater Kayaking. The afternoon has 2 more hours of activities that provide campers with a variety of sign-ups each day.  These can be 1 or 2 hour activities and there’s no limit to the possibilities.  Staff can provide a one-time activity or several of the same over the week. This should be a great week as the session begins.

Our first campfire ended not long ago and our program staff put on a skit that had everyone laughing.  They are a talented and funny group who will be teaching your children throughout the session.  We also sang a few songs and Head Counselor Molly, read a Tajar Story.   We wrapped things up with cabins being dismissed as Debbie played Sheep May Safely Graze, which has been a tradition for many, many years.  Our Mountainsider’s and Riversider’s hold their own campfires in their own quarters.  It’s a full day here at camp and at least one camper fell asleep during campfire tonight.  A long day of travel and a full day of activity makes for snoozeville.

Dinner tonight was the traditional first night of pasta and marinara sauce which in most cases, is very child friendly food.  Salad from the garden and fresh broccoli rounded out the meal.  To top things off, each cabin got a giant cookie, and I do mean giant chocolate chip cookie at their table.  It had their cabin name on it written in icing.  After supper we all went to “after supper activities” and there was a great choice of things to do.

Riverside leaves tomorrow for their climbing trip and they are going to Foster Falls in TN.  They’ll be gone through Thurs. of this week.   Mountainside begins their mini-adventures tomorrow and will be in and out of camp as they sample each adventure.  As the session progresses, we’ll have more and more trips out for all three programs including Main Camp.  We look forward to reporting on those and hopefully will have some photos up.

Last night the whole staff met for our campfire before we started D, Mountainside and Riverside sessions.   We told our staff that these campers have been waiting to come to camp all summer.  Our goals are being met through their work of providing the following aspects that define Gwynn Valley and it’s program:

Camp has been a safe and supportive environment where children can develop authentic relationships.

It’s a place where we’re unplugged and focused on collaborative living in our groups of cabin, table, and program communities.

We’re providing parenting on a different level, with structure and support as they gain hard and soft skills each day. We aspire to partner with you and carry on your work. 

We’re helping the campers reconnect to the natural world where they are participating in human powered activities.

And last but not least, we’re allowing them to relax and just be kids or as we say at GV, “the simple joys of childhood”.

Can you think of a better way to spend 13 days or three weeks.  Stay tuned!