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. You were shown to your cabins today by our SIT’s and Young Leaders. They are a hard working group of young people who have been at Gwynn Valley for many years. They work in the Kitchen, Stables and throughout camp as well some live in cabins with campers. Those campers who are here for three weeks had signups this morning while the new campers were arriving. With a bit 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 as well, when many different one time activities are offered. 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, Junior Lifeguarding, Mountain Biking, Pottery, Weaving, Needlepoint, Material Marbling, Camping Skills & Nautre, 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 bright sunny weather until just before dinner a little thunder sent us to our safe areas of camp. Our lightening detector Thorguard didn’t go off, but we don’t take any chances with nearby storms. The southern and eastern part of our county got lots of rain. 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 only have one new camper at our table and C/C-2 is full of returners. 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.
Mountainside continues their training days tomorrow, going into 4 different directions to get ready for their adventures starting on Sunday. Riverside returned from the Nantahala today after having spent 4 days on the river. Mountainside has a great staff this summer as does Main Camp and Riverside. We really value our staff and appreciate the work they put in with your children. The work they do is what makes camp. Anne, Maggie and I do our best to get out into program every day and on some trips. By getting involved in program and visiting activities we are able to see into the heart of our program. It brings us great joy to see a group of campers enthralled and focused on one of many activities here at GV.
As our evening closed down, our new campers came to the Lodge for a little Mountain Dancing. It was the perfect thing to end the day, combine age groups and give everyone and chance to be active before their night of camp. We danced 4 dances and then it was off for cabin meetings and 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 her at camp and you’re 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!