Opening Day of E Session!

Dear Parents & Friends,

Welcome to Session E and welcome back to those who have children attending our 3 week Mountainside and Riverside sessions.  We’ve had a great first day and I hope drop off was very smooth for you. Main Camp Session E and A is when we have most of our new campers, so arrival day is full of wonder, magic, making new friends, and jumping right into activities.  After parents left this morning we gathered for lunch, buffet style and from there all met up in the Lodge to learn about what program fun and skills lie ahead for us here at GV. It’s important on the first day to keep everyone moving and busy so that children do not have time to think too much about being in a new place with lots of new people.  It’s good for us to adapt to unfamiliar ground but it’s not always easy.  I had a nice chat with a dad today about camp and being resilient which is an outcome from the camp experience.  Camp provides a chance to gain independence while doing so without the help of parents.  We do our best to create “en loco parentis” (in place of the parents), but obviously our staff are not the same as you all.  Campers gain resilience when we learn to trust themselves and feel good about their decisions.  Camp is the perfect place to fail, pick yourself up and try again. There’s lot of support here and we’re known to be a nurturing program for children.

All that being said the afternoon was busy with signups for Discovery and then off to some activities to sample some of our staples here at camp.  All campers have 4 activities that they choose for their morning A & B activity days.  These are two one hour periods every other day.  In the afternoon after lunch and singing in the Lodge we have signups each and every day.  So in a typical session it’s possible for children to take about 80 – 90 % of all activities.  The morning Discovery time is for skills and the afternoon can be for furthering those skills or just learning about something new or maybe something  familiar.

At 2:15 today campers went to the Mill, Sports, Horseback riding, Fine Arts, Crafts, Climbing, Tie-Dye, Pottery, Farm, Lake Fun, and Climbing.  While some were attending the above activities, others were taking their swim assessments.  We call them assessments because school is just around the corner and assessments seem more fun than “tests”.  Activities went until 5:45 and Dinner was served at 6:15.  We had kid friendly food tonight consisting of noodles and marinara sauce with fresh broccoli and salad from the garden.  First night dessert is always a giant cookie given to each table which is a cabin group.  We will move to new tables tomorrow for lunch.  We wait to create our table groups so children have a chance to bond in cabins and also go to their morning activities that second day of camp.  Table groups are made up of children from all over camp and all ages.  They will not be sitting with their counselors so it’s another chance to meet new friends and get to know the greater community.  That again comes back to what was mentioned above about gaining confidence and resilience while here at camp.

Tonight at campfire, half of camp presented their cabin skits.  There were songs, skits, great lines and thoughtful dialogue.  We will do the same tomorrow evening in order to meet everyone in Main Camp.  We were lucky today with weather today and didn’t have any rain until we were leaving the Lodge tonight.

For those with campers on Mountainside and Riverside, they will all be leaving for their adventures tomorrow morning.  Hikers/backpackers in both groups will be heading into Pisgah National Forest with their homes on their backs.  Mountainside bikers will take the rubber to the single track in Dupont State Forest.  Climbers will touch the void into Linville Gorge and Paddlers will head out to ply the Lower Green River, a true learning paradise for those aiming to paddle whitewater. It should be a fun and fruitful 4 days and we’ll keep you posted if we hear any news from our groups.

Again thank you for sharing your children with us.  Camp is a very positive environment and when children experience positive emotions, they grow and change, becoming more open, flexible, and their attention is broadened.  Positive emotions undo negatives and create memories of joy.  And…positive emotions allow children (and adults) to be more resilient.  With an abundance of positive moments that camp creates, research shows that children can better cope with change, adversity and struggles.  This all builds confidence in themselves and makes them happier.  Camp does children a world of good! Stay tuned!