Dear Parents & Friends,
As folks arrived this morning it was clear that most of our families and campers are returners to Gwynn Valley. In making the rounds today, I was just up on Mountainside where they were playing a game called “Breaking Up Housekeeping”, (strange name but fun game). The question was, “how many years have you been at GV”. There were many campers who had been at camp 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 years. One our values at camp is acceptance and we acknowledge the fact that we come from many places and have a lot to share which includes new friendships. What a better place to do that than camp and especially Gwynn Valley. We make it a priority to incorporate those new campers into our fold and make them feel that are part of the GV family. It doesn’t take long and already I’m seeing friendships being formed. So, new families to camp or new siblings to camp, rest assured we will embrace you first timers.
On our first day we jump right into program after some time choosing our “Discovery Activities” and these start tomorrow morning. Just for this afternoon every cabin went to at least three activities, which included: Camping Skills and Nature, Fine Arts, Pottery, Archery, Sports, Crafts, Tie Dye, Mill, Farm, Climbing, Horses, Archery and Lake Fun. We also took time to swim assess everyone. No matter whether you’re a returning camper or a first timer, we get going right into program, making you feel right at home. Mountainside and Riverside were getting to know one another in their own way with games and challenges to build a cohesive and strong community. Mountainside Mini Adventures start tomorrow and Riverside leaves for their climbing trip.
As mentioned above, we also had swim assessments this afternoon. The swim checks allow us to gauge how well campers swim and their comfort level in the water. These are done in the pool where you can easily see the bottom and its only 5 ft. deep at the DEEP END. It’s a great teaching pool and allows those who are a bit uncomfortable in the water to take it on gradually. The depth starts off about 4 inches and gradually goes to the 5 ft. mark. The pool is a wonderful way to build confidence in the water and gain new swimming skills. Mountainside and Riverside complete their assessments in the Lake.
After lunch we held our Discovery Skits, which provides campers with a glimpse of the kinds of activities they can take in the morning while at camp. They get 4 choices for an every other day schedule, one each hour of the two hour time slot. These activities work on progression skills and give the camper a chance to carry a project through to the ultimate end whether it’s paddling, creating a piece of art, biking more difficult trails and much more. Afternoon signups happen every day for either two one hour activities or one two hour period. The two hour provides a chance to extend that activity time and really experience the moment.
Tonight’s dinner was a delicious noodles and alfredo sauce , salad and vegis from the farm, and the GIANT COOKIE with each cabin’s name on it. We will move to our tables tomorrow at lunch where we’ll mix up ages and programs and you’ll have yet another group that you belong to at camp.
We got a little rain and thunder before dinner tonight and the meal was postponed for about 30 minutes, so our after supper activities were put on hold and campers and staff went straight to campfire. Normally we have after supper activities which are a free time for campers to choose one activity after dinner. Activities are rotated each evening so there’s a lot of choice. Usually there’s a ball game or two of some sort, games on the green, some kind of arts & crafts, story telling, and any number of other activities.
Tomorrow brings our first full day of camp and as we move into the session. Camp is a great place for your children because we offer a slice of their development that is hard to repeat at home and school. It would be nice if schools could offer some of the advantages camp has to offer. Camp is a place where opportunity knocks often with so many choices. It’s a place where you can just be you and you’re accepted by your cabin mates, program mates and table mates. There’s no pressure and you quickly learn that life is simpler here. For older campers who are tied to their devices, we’re unplugged. You also get to make decisions on your own and live in a large family like atmosphere. It’s a place where you’re under the watchful eye of staff who are younger than parents and pretty cool. It’s a place where you’re guided by enthusiastic and skilled staff. We maximize our time outdoors, playing hard, eating well and getting good rest by night. As many of you know we emphasize the “simple joys” of childhood. It’s a good time to be a camper here at GV for Session C! Stay Tuned!