Opening Day E Session!

Dear Parents and Friends,

Opening Day for E Session is almost coming to an end and thank you for bringing such a great group of campers.  We hope you are safely at your home or destination by the time you read this.  Most campers are on their way to bed at this hour and we’re off on a GV adventure starting with our Discovery Program tomorrow.  After a buffet lunch campers went over to our Lodge to learn about the many activities they could participate in between now and Sat. afternoon.  Here are the following activities offered just in the morning for the days ahead.  Camper get to choose four different activities from this group.  Farm/Mill, Archery, Diving, Homegrown Crafts, Horseback Riding, Climbing, Soccer, Indian Bead Weaving, The Musical, Creek Hiking, Beautiful Batiks, GV Rescue Team, Web of Life, Dance, Shibori, Basketball, Mountain Biking, Pottery, Outdoor Living Skills, and Jackson Kayaks are all possibilities that the campers can choose from in the morning.  Afternoon sign-ups happen each day and we’ll offer up to two other options that will be two 1 hour activities or a two hour activity that they’ll choose each day.

There is certainly no lack of activity here at camp and everything started off with a bang today.  Pottery, Tie-Dye, Climbing, Horses, Farm, Biking, Mill, Waterfront, OLS, and Fine Arts were activities to kick things off today after sign-ups.  Cabins rotated through several of these and they landed at the pool for swim assessments.  This is a time when we determine camper’s swimming levels.  The pool is great for this because it’s fairly shallow even at the deep end (5 feet) and allows play as well as skill and instruction.  Some children are bit nervous about lakes so it’s nice having the pool to start the ball rolling.  Some campers paid a visit to the lake and the pool today and were going off the zip line and paddling around the swimming area on tubes and kayaking all over the lake on our sit-on-tops.  Despite having a small lake, GV has a very active waterfront program that extends way beyond camp onto other lakes and rivers here in the Mountains.  Campers have the opportunity to tube off site as well as creek hike on our property.  Carson Creek runs right through the center of camp and is a wonderful resource for exploring the upper reaches of the property.  We will certainly be exploring that water source and many more that dot our landscape and eventually flow into the French Broad across the road.  Our 300+ acres has an abundance of wonderful places to explore and we have access to lots of interesting critters and plants that give purpose to our OLS and Web of Life programs.

Most of our activities occur outdoors and we’re in constant contact with our surroundings.  When children are outdoors, great things happen.  It widens their knowledge base and their vocabulary.  While they might see a picture of a salamander in a textbook, actually capturing one and examining it up close gives new meaning its existence.  This is especially true at the Farm where they encounter animals in a true setting and can feed them, hold them, gather their eggs, watch the eggs hatch, and milk them and more.  Our landscapes at camp bring out imagination and creativity as we explore the property.  I’ve seen children 20 feet down in a creek bed filled with mosses, rocks, crayfish and other critters where you can tell they are super focused and their minds are like sponges.  No movie set or video from a computer can create this hands on experience.  They will see, hear, smell, and touch things that are unavailable in other parts of their life.  They will use their brains in unique ways as they come to understand these new stimuli and will begin to connect the dots of our Web of Life.

These activities and others will test their comfort zones, will build confidence, grit and resilience as they tackle new activities and skills that they maybe haven’t participated in before.  And the best part of camp is building new relationships outside their school and family life.  Camp life starts in the cabin and works its way outward into program.  It’s important to have that strong foundation to work with and we were working on that today as our cabin groups went about camp trying out their activities mentioned above.  Tomorrow morning we begin our Discovery sessions where building skills in progression is our goal.

Lots of opportunities await our E session campers and for those who have already been here for two weeks, their camp experience broadens even more.  Mountainside will leave for their adventures on Tuesday and Riverside will start their backpacking component the same day.  Both groups will return on Friday after 4 days of being immersed in our forests, trails, rivers and rocks.  It’s going to be a good week and we look forward to sharing it with you.  Stay tuned!