Playing Outside, Growing Inside

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We’ve had beautiful and warm weather today with lots of blue skies and sunshine. The lakefront, pool, and hiking to Connestee Falls were popular activities. We have several cabins who are camping out tonight who hopefully have enjoyed a good meal over a campfire and s’mores with their cabinmates. Campouts are good bonding times for cabins as they get away from the hustle and bustle of Main Camp and Downtown GV to go to the edges of camp, cook out over an open fire and then sleep in a shelter even closer to nature.  We have had a beautiful and action packed day here in the Valley!

After breakfast, we began the last morning of B-Day Discoveries on Main Camp. For campers, this means a day of wrapping up projects and polishing skills in half of the discoveries they have chosen for the session. For some program areas, the lesson was totally wrapped up today. For example, weavers took their finished projects off the loom and tied them off, potters were working on glazing their wares and most craft projects were coming to fruition.  For those who are in outdoor adventure Discoveries such as biking, climbing, white water kayaks, and camping skills and nature, they have spent time learning new skills and reaching new heights.

I spent some time this morning in various activities including printmaking, arborist climbing, pottery, the Mill, mountain biking and kayaking. A group hiked to Connestee Falls this afternoon and three of the girls from cabin Blueridge were amazed by the beauty of the falls as they swam at the bottom in the big, refreshing (cold) pool. It’s a beautiful hike that wraps up the mountain and then descends down to Carson Creek and to the bottom of the waterfall.

Chris, our paddling instructor, spent some time with Riverside today getting them ready for the river and their next trip out on Monday. They are doing a training day tomorrow on a section of the Tuckasegee. They spent the morning on the lake refining and fine tuning strokes and their understanding of what to use when, and muscle memory to the point that it’s almost automatic. They will be ready to hit whitewater on Monday as they leave for their canoeing adventure.

Our Mountainside campers spent their final day on their mini adventures and enjoyed paddling at Wolf Lake, Climbing at our very own Rock, biking here on our trails, hiking to John Rock in Pisgah National Forest, and hiking at Dupont State Forest. All of the cabins have now completed their five days of minis in paddling, climbing, mountain biking, earth skills, and hiking. This evening they  ranked their top choices for their adventures when they will be off camp for 4 days and 3 nights the final week of camp. All five adventures are very popular and they are anxiously awaiting to learn what adventure they will be on.

Our outdoor world is where nature is available 24/7 which is what camp life is all about. An appreciation of the natural world is one of our four core values and we spend a lot of time learning about nature and enjoying the outdoors.    It was once stated in a Patagonia catalogue, “The world often expects children to put aside childish ways in favor of preparing for the future.”  Here at camp we know that playing outside is an important element in preparing children for the future and youth development.  We like to say playing outside, growing inside. We as adults should play outside more often as well.  Hope you got some play time in today; we had lots of it at camp and can’t wait for tomorrow!