What a great opening day here at Gwynn Valley. Parents and campers arrived to a cool morning after early morning departures. It was a perfect weather day here at camp and it’s been our first day without rain in several weeks. Everyone settled into their cabins and then off to lunch for a wonderful buffet from our Kitchen. After lunch it was off to the Lodge for a bit of singing, sign-ups which included many activities and a taste of program in the afternoon. Down time on opening day is hard to come by. We break right into program and everyone is pretty busy that first afternoon. Not much down time on opening day gets everyone off to program and a great way to start off the week. The Mill, Web of Life/Outdoor Living Skills, Farm, Crafts, Horses, Swimming, Sports, Lake Fun, Climbing, Tie Dye, and Fine Arts were open all afternoon to give campers just a taste of the coming week. Tomorrow we begin our regular schedule and campers will find out about their choices for morning activities. Campers will have 4 activities in the morning every other day and 2 one hour activities or one 2 hour activity to choose in the afternoon. Each afternoon everyone gets a choice each and every day.
All cabins had their swim assessments today. We call them swim assessments instead of swim tests because the word test reminds us of school and we’re on SUMMER VACATION AT GWYNN VALLEY!!! Mountainside starts their mini-adventures tomorrow as they take on skills from Pioneering, Climbing, Mountain-Biking, and Paddling. Riverside starts their Climbing adventure tomorrow. They were packing packs and gathering climbing gear this afternoon and will be off by 9 AM headed to Foster Falls in TN.
I checked in on a number of activities including Farm, Mill, Arts and Crafts, Sports, Pottery and Waterfront and the Pool. Waterfront was a sunny and happy place this afternoon splashing around with several cabins in the sit-on-tops and lots of swimming and zip lining at the lake. I also went by and observed horseback riding and witnessed some campers who were pushing their comfort zones by riding for the first time. Mary Gwynn, our founder, used to say “do something difficult every day”. Web of Life (natural history), just needs to step out of their “Cabin in the Sky” home to experience the vast amount of interesting critters and plants here at camp. The Mill made ice cream today and soon we’ll begin a wonderful season of homemade ice cream consumption. Any and all flavors are churned here. Speaking of food we had our first night child friendly dinner of penne pasta and red sauce along with salad, fresh broccoli from the garden and dessert. Traditional first night dessert is a chocolate chip cookie for each cabin. The cookie is the size of a large pizza so everyone got plenty.
Campfire in Main Camp tonight was cabin skits which are always lots of laughs. Each child introduces themselves either during or after the skit. Children can be so comical on stage as well as their counselors. We’ve got some great little actors with lots of talent that abounds when they get under the lights. Our head counselors directed campfire tonight and hopefully you met Blake and Ash today when you arrived. They oversee The Brook and Hillside cabins. Blake is a school administrator and Ashley teaches in Atlanta. They are a married couple from Atlanta who have a long history here at camp.
Thanks for dropping off your children today to get our summer started. Our 80th summer to be exact and we’re so proud to have you be a part of it. Hope you had safe travels back home. Stay tuned