Special Day and More!

Dear Parents & Friends,

We’re just about to go into Vespers and I thought I’d start my daily rumination a bit early. On Sunday’s we have Staff Rec which is when our staff gets together to socialize and share some food. We hold it in two sessions so there is always someone left in the camper cabins. This is a great way to keep our troops happy, give them some free time with just adults and eat some really good food. They deserve it because they spend 24 / 7 with your children.

It’s been a great weekend and we held our Special Day today with a morning session of the Commonwealth Games, which by the way, are going on now. We were visited by the Queen and Prince Phillip just after breakfast to announce the games. We watched a short and informative video on the Commonwealth Nations and then it was off to the games after changing clothes and brushing teeth. Priorities, priorities! There were many events including: Long Jump, High Jump, Clay Pigeon Shooting, Javenlin Throw, Diving and Swim Races with Barrels?!, Kayak Races, Wacky Races, Cookie Decorating, Caber Toss, Amateur Soccer, Discus Throw, and Highland Dancing. Campers could go to any activity of their choice throughout the morning. This was just a warmup to an even bigger afternoon.

The afternoon brought a sense of ancient games, Spartan Games. It was a test of agility, strength, motivation, and most of all teamwork and cheering for you fellow competitors. It all started on the Green with a warm-up and stretching. The run, walk, trot started in front of the lodge with youngest cabins going first. Just around the corner you had to crawl underneath unbarbed wire through the mud and then into the Mill Race creek up to Mountainside where you found your way through a dark crawl and back to the volleyball court where you threw spears like you were part of the Three Hundred. From there, it was on to the lake where you had to leap from the dock to an overturned raft and then to another and then swim to another raft – hauled aboard and swim to the far shore (PFD’s required). From there to the riding ring where teamwork and strength carried loads meant to build pyramids and if you were hot in the process you crossed the cool and refreshing waters of Carson Creek which runs right through the center of camp. Everyone took the Farm path to the Day Camp Circle and juiced up and got refreshment before the uphill slog back into Main Camp. Just as you crested the hill Spartans had to leap across a large smoke screen hidden by hay bales and then to the Finish Line where everyone cheered your achievement.

I’m just tired thinking about it. It was such a fun day and the campers loved the fact that it was a sort of race with other cabins and everyone was so supportive no matter where you finished. Counselors were all along the route to help and cheer your spirit when it seemed there was a hill or an unsurmountable task. You can’t replicate these things at camp. Sometimes it’s so spontaneous and you can’t even capture the magic on video on in pictures.

I’ve been talking this past week about outdoor play. Our play increases children’s physical activity level and we certainly did that today. Children who play outdoors are more likely to be active learners. Children who move and play when out of school are ready for the attention often needed for classroom learning. Time spent outdoors increases persistence. Outdoor games often require persistence. Children must try and try again if their experiment fails. If the branch doesn’t reach all the way across the stream or the bark doesn’t cover their fairy house, they must keep trying until they are successful. Persistence and resilience were certainly present today. 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. We are playing outside and growing inside at GV. Stay tuned!