Riverside Returns and Cooler Weather

Dear Parents & Friends,

It’s been a cooler day here and campfire just ended with the Hillsider’s coming to the Lodge for a little Mountain Dancing.  We had them dance the Blue Bird Dance, the Hokey Pokey, Going to Kentucky, Circle Round My Zero, and the Patty Cake Polka.  It was a lively dance to say the least.  The Patty Cake Polka is not an easy dance to learn and they did beautifully.  It’s a mixer dance so when you start the dance it’s mostly boys dancing with boys and girls with girls.  After the first verse everyone changes partners and keeps changing every verse until the end of the dance.  You might have 30 partners before the dance ends.  80% of the time when a boy advances to a girl partner they will figure anyway they can to not hold hands with the girl partner, which is called for in the dance.  Near the end you have to give your partner a right arm swing and I’ve never seen so many long distance right arm swings in all my life.  It’s comical and has always been that way.  Our goal is certainly not to encourage the boy/girl idea but to make each gender feel comfortable in a social setting where they can have fun and not worry about those insecurities.  By the end of that particular dance, about 40% of the boys were still holding out for no contact.  The youngest boys are the ones who don’t seem to mind.  We’ll try and get some pictures up tomorrow.

Where friendships can last a lifetime!

We encourage friendship at camp and I feel that is the basis for all of us being here.  Developing relationships with each other is at the heart of it all.  Our activities are wonderful, we have a nice beautiful site but it’s about that human interaction and it exists all over camp starting at the cabin level, to the table, into program and ending each day again in the cabin.  And who better to guide you through this than our staff.  They were chosen for their desire to work with children and be  en loco parentis, or in place of you.  My Latin is pretty rusty.  It’s not any easy job for example; tonight we had a wonderful dinner of steak, mashed potatoes, vegis from the garden and stir fry.  The desert was what got everyone’s motor wound up and it’s called Dirt Pudding.  It’s really chocolate pudding with Oreo’s sprinkled on top and gummy worms on top of that.  By the end of the meal everyone was ready to bust out of that dining room.  I don’t think it’s the sugar in the desert but just the fact that we’re having something that’s pretty cool and it tastes good.  Deserts can always do that at the end of a meal.

Those mashed potatoes were picked just this morning at the farm and went straight to the kitchen.  They were delicious and I was surprised that some at the table chose not to try them.  I ate my fair share.  Digging potatoes is probably one of my favorite things to do at the Farm.  It’s like finding buried treasure and campers always love it.  The Farm is a special place and speaking of special, tomorrow is Special Day here at camp.  You’ll have to wait to find out what the theme is but it will be fun.  Tomorrow night is our Sunday Service or Vespers.  Many cabins and individuals perform, sing, or perform a skit.  It’s a nice way to end our first week and move on to the second.

For those Riverside parents, they returned from their trip yesterday and had a great time climbing over in Tenn. at Foster Falls.  I spent a couple of hours on the Lake with them today and getting them ready for their upcoming river week.  They’ll leave Tues. and begin 4 days of paddling.  We spent some time teaching strokes and running gates on the lake.  I’ll work with them again tomorrow and the next day as they start to resupply and get ready for their next component.  There’s never a dull moment at camp, so stay tuned!

Grant