Opening & Closing Days

We can’t wait to see you!

Please refer to the Dates & Rates page for the correct Opening and Closing dates for your child’s session.


Opening Day

Opening Day is so exciting at camp!

Arrival times for campers will be staggered between 9:30 and 11:30 am depending on your camper’s age and the program they are attending. We will email you the time prior to camp along with other helpful information. If you have more than one camper, we suggest you choose the arrival time that works best for your family. If you need to arrive earlier or later than your arrival time due to travel, we are happy to greet you at a different time but do ask that you let our office know. We ask that our campers arrive by 12:00 if possible as lunch is served at 12:30.

Upon arrival, we will greet you and your camper at the car, complete their health screening, and let them know which cabin they will be living in for the session! Someone will help you unload and label their luggage and transport it to the cabin; you will carry the smaller items. If your child has medication, you will stop at the office to see the physician and nurses to turn in their medication before heading to the cabin. You and your camper will then meet their counselors. Once at the cabin, your camper’s counselors will help your camper unpack, make their bed, and settle into cabin life. This is an important bonding time for your camper with their counselors and cabinmates, plus it helps them build personal independence and know where their things are!

Bunks will be pre-assigned by the counselors; you will have the opportunity before your child’s session to share if your child prefers to not have a top bunk. 


We will transport your child’s luggage to their cabin. It is very important that all of their items be packed without loose items for easy transport. Good options for packing are:

  • A trunk, a duffle, or both, or two duffles
  • A pillow – your child can carry this to their cabin if it isn’t packed.
  • A day pack or backpack

If your child takes medication, you will meet with someone on our medical team upon arrival to turn in the medicine so be sure not to pack it in the trunk or duffle!

Medications for Opening Day Drop Off


All medication must be in the original package with a prescription label.  Please have all medications in a zip lock bag with your child’s name on it, ready to hand over to the physician or nurse on Opening Day. Please be sure your camper’s Health History Form is up to date and all of their medications are listed and updated before opening day.


All over-the-counter medications including vitamins that need to be administered daily will need a note from your child’s physician or licensed medical provider for our medical staff to be able to dispense and administer. There is a space on the Physician’s Exam Form where your physician can list this medication or s/he may turn in a signed note prescribing the OTC medication. These must also be in the original container with your child’s first and last name on it. Include the doctor’s note and OTC in a zip lock bag with your child’s name on it.  Do not send gummies as they melt into the blister packaging we use to dispense medications.  Please remember we stock our Health Hut with all necessary OTC medicines so if your child needs a medication PRN, our medical team will have it on hand to administer.


Camp provides a lot of structure for children and we have certain times we administer medications:

Before Breakfast / Before Lunch / Before Dinner / Before Bed

Whenever possible, it is important that we administer medications before meals to keep with the structure of our camp day. Nightly medications such as growth hormones or melatonin can be given right before campers return to their cabin for the night.

It is very important that you update any medication changes or time to administer on your child’s health form before opening day. This will help us avoid a backup when meeting with the medical team. Thank you for your help with this!

Lice Checks: Heads Up Asheivlle, a professional lice company will be performing lice checks on Opening Day. Please be sure to check your child’s head before camp for lice and treat if need be. There is a $250 fee for Heads Up to treat a camper upon arrival.

What your camper can expect

Arrival:  Once your camper has arrived at the cabin, they will meet their counselors and other cabin mates.  After saying goodbye to you, the counselors will help them make their bed, unpack, and get settled in.  Once all of the campers arrive, cabins will go to a buffet lunch between 12:30 and 1:00.     

Activities:  After lunch, campers will hear about all of the activity choices for morning activities, or Discoveries.  With their counselors’ help, they fill out a preference sheet with their top choices so that our Programmer can assign morning activities.  During the afternoon, cabins are assigned two activities while cabins rotate through the pool for swim assessments. Older Progrmas participate in activities with their group that day as they start to build their community and prepare for adventures.

Swim Assessment: Every camper takes a swim assessment on Opening Day.  This takes place at our pool for Main Camp campers and at the lake for our campers in MS, RS, and YL. Along with their cabin mates and counselors, they will swim a few laps of the pool and tread water.  Lifeguards assess their comfort level in the water and assign them a swim level of shallow, deep, or lake. 

Closing Day

Although we are sad to say goodbye to our campers, we know how excited you are to see them and have them share a little bit of camp with you!

Closing Day departure times will be staggered between 9:30 and 11 am.  These will be assigned and emailed directly to families.  Parents will park and pick up their camper at the cabin. After loading up their belongings, campers can then give their parents a tour of camp to show some outdoor program areas and share with them about some of the activities they participated in.  

Visiting Camp Before Attendance

If your child has never been to Gwynn Valley, a visit prior to attendance can be helpful in thier adjustment to camp. Some apprehensions can be dispelled by seeing first-hand what the cabins, dining room, showers, and bathrooms look like. On Opening Day, your child will be coming back to a more familiar place. You are welcome to contact our office to arrange a tour that is convenient for you and your camper. We love to show families camp!

Kate is our great delight and our only, so it is hard for us to see her leave childhood behind. I cannot think of a better place to make the transition than at Gwynn Valley, among trusted friends and staff.