Playing Outside-Growing Inside

Dear Parents and Friends,

Another weather from heaven day today at GV. It was a chilly 54 degrees in Brevard this morning and usually it’s a bit cooler here at camp. We mostly all wore sweatshirts to breakfast this morning and I didn’t come out of mine until about 11:00. Mountainside was working on a variety of activities today for signups. I was with a small group of campers doing some woodworking. We’ll talk more about that in another post.

Laurelwood was working on the Ropes Course this morning while Mountainside was in signups. It is a short little course but one with some thrills and action. Hopefully pics will be up tomorrow on that. Our course is tied into our climbing wall so it incorporates some elements within the wall itself. The last element is the giant swing that exits you off the course. It’s quite an exhilarating ride back to the ground. It takes some campers a bit longer to make that commitment and edge off the seat.

Yanderside was working on some beautiful scarves today and marbling was the design pattern. No two scarves are alike and the patterns and designs are brilliant. As we wind down for this 10 session many arts activities are completing their tasks. You might have a camper bring home some pottery, a beautiful batik, tie-dye, marbled paper or a piece of nicely woven cotton from our looms. We’re also tying up loose ends on teaching some skills that will produce trips out of camp on Monday of this coming week. We’ll have climbers, kayakers, bikers and hikers out of camp for visits to various rivers, rocks and trails in Pisgah National Forest and Dupont State Forest. It’s fun to watch these children grow in gaining skills, confidence, resilience and leadership. Spending time with talented staff members rubs off on children and they emulate a lot of what is passed down. You as parents see that every day as your children become like you in so many ways.

We can talk about the benefits of a good camp experience all day or even what are your favorite activities. What it boils down to is what we call the “song of camp”. This is hearing a healthy, positive, quality camp experience; one of laughter, the chatter of voices, questions being ask and answered and words like I heard today, “I would have never guessed I would be doing anything like this”. Sometimes it’s just remembering to say please and thank you. And then very often, you’ll hear song — individual voices coming together to make a song of one- incredibly powerful, and yet so simple. It’s conversation at the table over simple subjects like your favorite book you’ve read recently or your favorite Disney movie. Even our Riversider’s are heard singing Disney movie songs. Or more serious ones like why I’m a vegetarian (I had two at my table last session). Children want to know things and they are naturally inquisitive. I think our outdoor environment heightens their awareness of what’s around them and it raises their levels of recognizing what the great outdoors stimulates I them. Playing outdoors simply makes children smarter. When you play outside you open up more of your senses, you witness more of budding life around you, you create more imaginary worlds and you negotiate with each other to create a more playful environment. And… Outdoor play is fun. Children who are happy are successful learners. Children are naturally happy when they are moving, playing and creating outside. This joy opens them up for experimenting, learning and growing. Wish you were here to see it happen! Stay tuned!