Simple Joys of Childhood by Grant Bullard


We were sad to say good-bye to our C-1 session campers today but are so happy to have our three week campers from C, Mountainside, Riverside, and Young Leaders still at camp!  Riverside went to the Tuckasegee today and is heading to the Nantahala tomorrow to take the plunge (let’s hope not literally).  The Nanty is a cold and fast river with little to bore the paddler looking for constant moving water.  I was with Mountainside on their training day today and we went to a local section of the French Broad.  They got their first taste of moving water with several class I-II rapids, learning to ferry, peel out, and perform an S turn.  They still need some refinement but are certainly making progress after just two days on the lake.  Other MS groups were also out with Climbers at the Nose area of Looking Glass, Bikers taking on our hardest single track here, and Backpackers doing almost quite a few miles in Shining Rock Wilderness.  Earth Skills also stayed on site exploring our own little Pisgah and it’s many wonders.  They enjoyed a meal cooked over an open fire on the Hunt Farm this evening. Young Leaders were also on a campout at the Hunt Farm.

Creek hikes and tubing were the order of the day for some of our waterfront activities.   A creek hike is a fun exercise and today was no exception.  Our creek is spectacular as you ascend to the upper reaches of our property.  You feel like you’re out in the middle of the national forest but you’re only just a few hundred yards from camp.  We always take a lifeguard on the trip even though the pools are barely 4 feet in most places.  Along on any trip is a radio (or cell phone if farther away), a first aid kit,  and staff qualified in first aid and CPR. 

As C-1 campers left, the order of the day was program as usual.  Activities were up and running for the C campers.  A & C’s were crafting, The Mill was producing lots of grain from the corn crib, Thunderball was thundering, horses were prancing with children astride and pottery continued churning out works of art from the earth.  Bikers stayed in the cool shade of single track trails today and campers were seen making Kumihimo with feet in the creek.  Our SUP boards have gotten a lot of use this summer and all we need are some waves.

For those of you that still have children in camp, tonight is special.  We have ice cream on the Green and show a movie in the Lodge.  Tonight’s presentation is Brother Bear which I haven’t seen but did like the opening song sung by Tina Turner.  I doubt there are many campers who know of Tina from her earlier days in the music industry.    It should be an early night and then up in the morning regular time and off to activities for those C campers.

For those of you that have arrived home we hope that your child’s experience has captured all the magic of what camp can be.  We hope you will hear stories and songs as the weeks go by and camp becomes a great memory.  Placed in the hands of a mature staff, a child’s life is expanded by “playing outside which produces growing inside”.  From all of us, thanks again for a great session.  Wonderful children, great staff and the Simple Joys of Childhood at Gwynn Valley!  Hope to see you next year! For those with children in our C Session stay tuned for the latest news and hope you’re having as much fun as we are.