Opening Day of E – Final Week for Older Programs

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Great opening for E Session today; thanks so much for giving us a chance to host all the wonderful children who arrived today.  These campers have been waiting all summer to experience camp.  That is an exciting way to end the summer as many will head back to school in a short time.   After your departure, everyone had a buffet lunch in the Dining Room.  Lunch ended as cabins finished up and began to sign up for Discovery activities which begin in the morning.  Campers sign up for four “Discoveries” by cabin group.  Of those four, two are each day every other day in our two-morning activity slots.  There are a large variety of activity offerings for morning Discoveries aimed at building skills and experiencing new things here at GV.   Our afternoons provide a host of more activities to experience once or as many times as they are offered during the afternoon.  So… there’s quite a variety of choices for these youngsters.

After Discovery sign-ups they went back to cabins to change into activity attire.  Main Camp was swim assessed today and then proceeded to two of the following activities: Tie Dye, Crafts, Swimming and Lake Fun, Fine Arts, Camping Skills and Nature, Sports, Mill, Farm, Climbing, Horseback Riding, Pottery, and Archery.  As you can see we jump right into program to help with adjustment, have our minds on activities, and start the fun.  We have a good many new campers this session and we want to keep folks busy this first afternoon.

Tomorrow morning campers will jump right into their Discoveries and we’re off and running for the week.  Our calendar for the week is full and we are looking forward to having some fun and great days for experiencing camp life throughout the week. 

Tonight at dinner we had our camper-friendly pasta and marinara sauce which is a good way to start.  Along with the pasta was fresh beans from our farm, bread, and a Caprese salad from the garden.  Dessert as always is a giant cookie served on an XL pizza pan and chocolate chip no less.  Food is important to campers and we want this day of transition to be smooth.  We do our best to keep everyone in their comfort zone this first day.  

After dinner, we had our traditional “after supper activities menu” which is a host of games both organized with some free play like tag and more. Opening night campfire will include a story and some additional orientation to camp life.  They will return to cabins for serenade which happens every evening.  A group of our activity leaders goes around each evening to let cabins know it’s time for lights out by singing to each cabin.  This has been going on for many many years.  There are many traditions here at Gwynn Valley and we hope to share even more with you as the week progresses.

Riverside and Mountainside campers who have been here for two of their three weeks will head out tomorrow for the final adventures.  This is time for both programs to round out their skills and by leaving our “nest” and gaining their wings.  Riverside will be backpacking on the Mountains to Sea Trail high up on the Blue Ridge.  Mountainside Bikers will roll onto the trails of Dupont State Forest and experience over a hundred miles of trail choices.  Waterfalls and cool mountain streams are abundant there.  The MS Backpackers will also be walking the Mountains to Sea trail on a different section. The MS paddlers will ply the waters of the Green River and the Tuckasegee over 4 days with promised rapids and multiple challenges at every river bend.  Climbers will travel to Rumbling Bald tomorrow for their climbing and then onto Linville Gorge to finish out their 4-day adventure.  MS Earth Skills will start on the familiar hills of Wolf Den just south of GV and will make multiple day trips into the heart of Pisgah.

Young Leaders spent time on the challenge course today, encouraging each other and pushing a little out of their comfort zone. They also enjoyed time at the lake and were at the Farm on Friday, helping with service and playing with the baby animals.  

These programs will stretch our campers in good and memorable ways.  They will have fun learning new skills, learn cooperative group living and food prep, get used to sleeping on the ground, and in many cases carrying everything you need on your back.  Our aim is to strengthen character, group living skills, provide independence by taking care of one’s needs, develop cooperation, and providing a new sense of self-worth through challenges in the out of doors.  It’s a wonderful recipe that can create lasting memories and friendships.  We call that camp DNA.  I hope you will hear wonderful stories about their adventures.  Stay tuned!