Piglets on the Way!

Dear Parents & Friends,

No rain today and many cabins are having a successful campout tonight.  Wood is wet and during dinner one counselor came to get me to help them with a fire.  What is a campout without a roaring fire and smores.  It was certainly not a one match fire considering the amount of rain we’ve had especially yesterday during the hour long deluge.  Tonight is twilight play where a host of activities are offered that normally we would only offer during the day for a longer period of time.  It’s an extended after supper play time where you can really have a great time and get into a program activity.  I just passed a group of horse riders on the trail as I was coming into the office.  Usually the waterfront is not open after supper but tonight it was humming.  We don’t have a campfire and it’s off to the cabin to get ready for the serenaders.  If you’ve never been to GV, we have a group of counselors that go to every cabin in the evening to sing to them.  It’s our way of saying lights out and time for bed.  It’s a mysterious group of staff because they stand just far enough away so the children can’t see them.  They sing a variety of songs and all very appropriate for the evening and settling into dreamland.  Sometimes there’s a guitar but mostly it is a cappella.

There’s a slight breeze blowing tonight and a great night to be camping out.  If you’re by one of the creeks then that’s your serenade.  If you’re away from a water source then the crickets and cicadas are your serenade.  Anne and I just went down to the Farm to visit with Mama Pig.  She’s in labor and should have a litter of piglets at any minute.  It’s too bad it’s at night but she does need some peace and quiet for that ordeal.  Campers were talking about it all day long and tomorrow there will be a parade of children going down to the farm to see the new arrivals.  It’s a highlight for the session to have this happen.  Jacob, who works at the farm, knows a great deal about pigs and farm animals in general.  He was ready with beta dine, scissors, and dental floss to tie off, cut and disinfectant the umbilical cords.  I didn’t know that pigs have two birthing canals.  I’m sure questions will be flying from all the campers tomorrow.  We’ll get you some photos hopefully tomorrow.

Camp is amazing experience whether you’re observing new borne’s or hitting your first bulls eye.  Every day I witness children learning to do things for themselves, creating, making decisions and owning responsibility.  I firmly believe that all camps offer this to some degree and I feel GV has positioned itself to fill a niche with younger campers that’s tops.  Our nurturing  atmosphere is an important piece of our work and attracts many families who want that experience for their children’s first overnight camp.  It’s a simple approach but the outcomes are immeasurable.   This year the US is celebrating its 150th year of organized camping.  There are over 12,000 camps in our country and about one third of us belong to the ACA (American Camp Assoc.). Gwynn Valley has been a member for many years and was on board when the association formed in the south.  We’re proud of our mission and values and our soon to arrive piglets.  Stay tuned!