Dear Parents & Friends,
We just finished our Friendship Campfire for Session C, C-2. What a great time we’ve had tonight and all day long as well. At campfire we honored the campers who have many years of Gwynn Valley summers. As a tradition at our final campfire we honor those who are coming for their 4th and 5th year with a blanket for the 4th year and a wooden plaque for their 5th year. We also honor those staff, SIT’s and campers who’ve gone beyond the 5 year mark. It’s always fun to have them stand and be recognized. With our young leaders program beginning this year, we’re hosting some campers who have been here for 10 years. That’s a long time and doesn’t include Day Camp years but overnight camp only. Several drama groups performed skits they had written which were all fun. We watched a short video and saw photos from the session near the end after our Fine Arts group performed. Debbie finished off the evening playing, “Sheep May Safely Graze”, which has been a part of campfire for many, many years. It’s a beautiful song and if you linger after the end of our Closing Campfire you’ll hear it. It comes after the staff sing, “May the Road Rise to Meet You”. Hope you’ll linger and listen and then join us for lunch with most of that meal coming from our farm.
Looking back to an earlier part of our day the Main Camp Kayakers had a grand time on the French Broad. The campers did a great job and earned their river fins today. Other trips out today included hikers to Pisgah National Forest and the climbers went to the Nose of Looking Glass Rock which is probably the most famous climb there. It’s a good feeling coming back to camp after such a successful day. Our bikers also rode the trails of Dupont State Forest ending on Ridgeline Trail which is a roller coaster of fun. One of our bikers celebrated her birthday out on the trail today and exclaimed it was the best birthday ever. There were some tired puppies when these trips returned. A couple of the groups had a 7:30 breakfast to get out early and then hiked, biked and paddled through the morning and early afternoon. Groups made it back for afternoon swims at the pool (pillowcase day) and to finish up packing.
This morning in Main Camp at home we held our last signups for the session and there was lot’s to do. Campers fed the calves, and dug potatoes and picked corn, which was readied for tomorrow’s lunch here at camp. Mountainside had their MS Challenge where they bike, climb, canoe and build fires for time. I’m sure both Riverside and Mountainside got a swim into today. It was the perfect day for it. Tonight at dinner we had our usual meal of pizza and of course salad, grape salad and fresh corn. Brownies also came after pizza and the energy level was high. There’s nothing better than good food and good friends to makes spirits soar. As I walked up to start announcements several tables broke into song. A song which you will hear at tomorrow’s campfire. We usually don’t sing in the dining room but I couldn’t help but let the spirit rise up from the session and the feelings of many days together. One first timer to Gwynn Valley at my table tonight said he wished it wouldn’t end and 10 days was not long enough. I’m sure we will see him and his twin brother back again next summer.
Tomorrow when you arrive your children from C, C-2 will be waiting for you in the cabins. At 10:30 there will be a cabin friendship circle where all can join in. We do these each night and check in with campers to find out how their day has been. It allows staff to see how the children are doing since they only see them at morning wake-up, rest hour, before and after meals and bedtime. Our days are full and it’s a good way to learn about the children’s experiences. After the friendship circle there is our program in the Lodge for parents, friends and campers. Thank you for sharing your children with us this past 10 days and 3 weeks. We’ve had a wonderful session and hope to see all of these children back again next summer. It’s been a great session and a great group of children. Stay tuned!