Special Day at a Special Place!

Dear Parents & Friends,

It’s been a fun and beautiful day here at camp.  As you may or may not know Sunday’s are what we call “Special Day” here.  It’s a day when all of our activity leaders have a day off and it’s a break from the normal routine of camp Monday – Sat.  Sunday’s are a bit more leisurely starting with waking up a half hour later and breakfast a half hour later.  By the end of a long week everyone needs that extra time.  We also try and get campers in bed a little earlier on Sunday night.  Each week when a Sunday falls over a session there’s a theme and today’s theme is Super Hero’s.  There are many stations and each station presents a challenge for all the cabin groups.  There 12 different stations and campers went to 6 stations in the AM and 6 in the PM.

Giant Jenga with the Riddler and Iron Man was on the Basketball court and it was truly a giant version.  Our Maintenance staff made two sets.  Flexibility Limbo was the home of The Cheetah (I’ve personally never heard of this super hero. I do my best to stay up with pop culture).  Strength Station with Cap’t AmericaMemory with Bat Girl –Do you know all your Super Hero’s?  Invisibility with Batman.  Mind Control with Loki and Thor – campers get to tell their counselors what to do.  Will it be for good or just plain funny?  Precision with Hawkeye – Archery!  Rescue or Float Your Counselor (with the tools at hand and improvise) with Poison IvyBattle Ships at the Lake with Bat WomanHulk Smash with you know who.  Accuracy with Wonder Woman (basketballs and trash cans filled with water) and a camper favorite.  Water Accuracy with Black Widow using water guns.  Flying with Superman (one of my favorites) in the Lodge.  Agility Course with Spider Man (we brought this one in with help from the outside world and kids loved it.

It was a great day and certainly different than a normal day at camp.  But what is normal when you’re having a great time here at GV.  A normal camp day is filled with lots of interaction with staff and fellow campers, a chance to try new things, gain new skills, push your comfort level and more, in an environment where you can fail and try again.  Pretty good normal day, I’d say.  From time to time camp’s get portrayed in not such a good light as is the case with a new movie that is about to be released.  I sometimes see that we as a profession fall drastically short of the impact made by educators in such films as Dead Poets, Mr. Hollands Opus and Stand and Deliver.  The new release is called Wet Hot American Summer and just the title makes me cringe.  I’m no saint by any means but my work is my passion and I believe strongly about the power of camp and how camp does a world of good for children.  Frankly, except for the Parent Trap movies, most movies portraying camp life and our camp culture have fallen way short on the benefits of camp.  It’s rated R so I would hope the R means rocket into oblivion before any of our campers see it.  These attempts at “entertainment” motivate me to take it to the next level here at camp and keep it child centered.  I would however, recommend one movie by Pixar if you have not been to see it or perhaps taken your child (age appropriate from my opinion around 8 or 9 to adult).  It’s called Inside Out and it’s gotten rave reviews at the table here at camp.

It would be nice if our only screen distractions these days were the good movies discussed above, but as a society and generations coping with technology I wonder where we headed.  Nature Valley bars just released the following commercial and it’s well worth three minutes of your time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=is5W6GxAI3c

Because I am a grandfather and do the work I do, I can relate to all three generations and what they are saying.  I’m sure the generation before me said the same about television.  Friends, it’s vastly different and we have to keep our connection to nature, and nurturing nature in their lives.  You’re making a difference because your child is here with us and we appreciate that.  We are superb in telling our story to ourselves and our families.  We need to get the positive side of this message to more people.  I hesitated even providing the link because, it in some ways is an ad focusing on a negative theme that we hear about all the time.  Living in an environment like ours and away from screens is necessary for us all at times.  I urge you to promote more camp like experiences which enhances the all around/well rounded child.

To end on a more pleasant note and as a cyclist who road rides and mountain bikes I recently saw this while watching a stage in the Tour de France.  Get outside and if you have a bike and ride like the wind.  Enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzbvQMWd0es

Tonight after dinner we held our Vespers service or Sunday service.  Campers and staff participated and everyone enjoys our time together after a long day here at GV.  Riverside and Mountainside were there and both have fun weeks ahead.  Riverside leaves tomorrow for their paddling segment and Mountainside starts their adventure training this week with many other assorted activities.  Thanks for allowing me to get on my soapbox.  Stay tuned!