Opening Day of D, MS3 and RS3!

Dear Parents and Friends,

From my view, opening day for Session D was smooth.  There are always a few kinks here and there but overall we hope you had a pleasant experience.  Our morning was cool and calm and the heat took over about 11AM as planned.  All campers accessed the pool today to cool off and participate in their swim assessment.  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 went right into signups and then off to activities.  We hope you are safe and sound wherever your destination.

We just finished our first night of cabin skits and will return tomorrow night to complete all the cabins on Hillside and Brookside.  Our Mountainsider’s and Riversider’s hold their own campfires in their own quarters. 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.

Activities open for the afternoon were Pottery, Horses, Sports, the Mill,  Fine Arts, Climbing, Crafts, Tie, Dye, the pool.  Mountainside was playing ice breaker games on their green up in the cove. They play a lot of icebreaker games to get to know one another and start the session off right with some good group bonding.  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, Climbing (3 types), Soccer, Candles, Weaving, Fine Arts Musical, Basketry, Batik, Printmaking, Stand up Paddle boards, Creek Hiking, Junior Life Guarding, Camping Skills and Nature, Mountain Biking, Pottery (2 types), Outdoor Living Skills, 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.

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!

PS   For those who might be reading this from last session, I’ve just gotten a copy of the Johnny Cakes recipe.  Here it is:

Gwynn Valley Johnny Cakes

3 eggs

1 ⅓  cups milk

⅓  cup oil

2 cups Gwynn Valley Cornmeal

1 cup all purpose flour

¾  cup sugar

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking powder

  • Mix well and cook on a medium hot griddle until golden brown on both sides.