Opening Day of C-2 and Off to a Great Start!

Dear Parents & Friends,

We welcomed our new campers for C-2 today and got off to a rousing start to begin that session. For those of you that dropped off your children today, I hope that you’re safe and sound and at your destination.  Those campers who are here for three weeks had signups this morning while the new campers were arriving. With over half the camp, it was just a small intimate group to sign up this morning. As new campers arrived we were priming the pump for another great session. Right after lunch, everyone signed up for Discovery activities. These are activities that take place every other day for a 3 day period. Campers have 2 activities in the AM on Mon., Wed., and Fri., and 2 more activities on Tues., Thurs., and Sat. The campers have many choices and as always the afternoons are for signup opportunities as well.  Afternoons are one time activities offered each day. Both times of the day are lots of fun. The morning focuses mostly on skills and the afternoon, some skills and the experience of trying something new just for a short period of time. Following are the Discovery activities offered in the morning:

Farm/ Mill, Archery, Standup Paddle Boards, Horseback Riding, Climbing (three kinds), Nature,  Candles, Soccer, Fine Arts Musical, Blacksmithing, Weaving, Survival School, Mountain Biking, Pottery, Weaving, Needlepoint, Material Marbling, Camping Skills & Nature, Kayaking, and Soccer.  Lots of choices and lots of things to do!

It was a beautiful day to open C-2 and we sailed through the afternoon with the bright sunny weather until just before dinner a little thunder made us look skyward but it soon passed.  Our lightening detector Thorguard didn’t go off, which meant the coast was clear.  Our Thor system doesn’t go off after campers go to bed or until about 8:00 in the morning. It does, however, alert us in sleep and quiet times with a strobe light that can be seen in the middle of camp.

We don’t waste any time getting things going on the first day of camp. We held to our usual schedule of a 1:00 lunch since we have campers from the C session here for 3 weeks. After sign-ups, the new campers visited the Waterfront, Mill, Sports, Archery, Climbing, Lake Fun, Tye Dye, Farm, and Horses. We all received new table assignments tonight for dinner and I’m with a great group of campers and staff at table 4.  We don’t have any new campers at our table, but campers of different ages don’t usually know one another.  We took some time to find out about where everyone lives, if they have a pet and how their day went so far.  One of Gwynn Valley’s values is Acceptance and I feel we do a great job embracing new people into the fold here at GV.  We are a no put-down zone and really give everyone a chance to be who they are.  Anne does a great job of placement and making sure that not too many friends are together to form cliques in cabins.

While technology does not rank as a priority here at camp, I must admit that we did allow our young soccer enthusiasts a chance to watch the England-Croatia match today.  We gave children the choice of using their rest hour and one activity period to see the second half.  We have quite a few English staff and unfortunately, they did not win the match.  We do however have a French counselor who is very excited that France is in the Finals.

Mountainside continues their training days tomorrow, going into 4 different directions to get ready for their adventures starting on Sunday.   As I write Mountainside is out on the Gatehouse Green soaking up our view and participating in what we call Mid Summer’s Night Dream.  It’s held before they go off of adventures and has been a ceremony and fun part of the program for a long time.  Riverside returned from their river component today after having spent 4 days paddling.

As our evening closed down, our new campers came to the Lodge for some stories and songs and our C campers played a little BINGO in the Dining Room.    It was the perfect thing for each group.  After both campfires cabin groups got together to hold their nightly friendship circle which is every night in the cabin.  We’ll talk about that later.

As you know we take lots of photos each day here at camp and know that you as parents and friends are looking for your child and a happy face. We try to take some photos showing children really focused on the work and play they are participating in. As we go through the session, I hope you’ll get a glimpse of the work these young staff members are doing with your children. Many of them have come from the camper ranks and have reached counselor nirvana. It is tough work but you already know that because you’re all doing that at home. Stay tuned!