Sunny Day and Twilight Play

Dear Parents and Friends,

Here we are at the end of another wonderful day at Gwynn Valley! After all the rain we experienced over the last couple of days, we are very pleased to have been graced with a cloudy (but dry!) morning and a few beautiful hours of sunshine this afternoon. We did not waste a minute of  “dry” today as we got all of our outdoor activities back into full swing! Climbers were seen in the trees practicing their arbortist ascent techniques. Horseback riders and mountain bikers were seen riding trails all over camp. Campers were also swimming, zipping down the zip-line, kayaking and lounging in the sun by the lake. Campers down at the farm were able to harvest veggies and play with all the baby animals (goats, chicks AND piglets!). OLS was seen building a flag pole out of bamboo —  I can’t wait to see a flag flying from the top! All of our indoor activities (tie-dye, candle making, pottery, weaving, corn grinding, etc.) carried on as usual but with doors flung open to greet the sunshine.

Our adventure programs were active around camp today as well. The Riverside crew came back from their most recent adventure all smiles. They spent the last few days in Foster Falls, TN where they were able to rock climb even in the rain thanks to some protective rocks that kept the cliff face dry. They will spend the next few days at camp before heading out again on Monday for their paddling adventure. Mountainside campers spent the day mountain biking on the camp trails, climbing and learning to belay on the tower, paddling canoes on the lake, and hiking in Pisgah Forest. Today was their 4th of 4 “Mini-Adventures” so at this point they have tried all possible adventure activities. Mountainside campers will be placed into Adventure Groups Sunday evening and will start training next week!

Today was also the closing day of our 4th week of Day Camp. Our 30 wonderful day campers proudly wore the tie-dye shirts they made this week and sang all the new camp songs they learned for parents when they were picked up for the last time this afternoon. We will miss this lively bunch, but we look forward to welcoming the next day camp crew on Sunday.

Sometimes it amazes me to think about all the different program areas and activities that are able to take place simultaneously here at camp. Day Camp, Main Camp, Mountainside and Riverside all work in tandem to create not only unique opportunities for each camper but also the incredible synergy that makes Gwynn Valley the special place that it is.

For all you food lovers — you should know that the kitchen really outdid themselves today. Breakfast was delicious and warm, which was welcome with our cool, cloudy morning. We had oatmeal, brown sugar, raisins, scrambled eggs, bagels, cream cheese and fresh fruit. For lunch we had tomato soup and turkey or tuna salad sandwiches along with orange slices, salad from the farm and kettle chips. For dinner we had pork chops with caramel apples, farm cabbage, farm salad, wild rice and crescent rolls. Everything was delicious and we saw lots of happy faces and full bellies walking out of the dining hall after each meal.

We finished up the day with a special evening program for Main Camp. Tonight after dinner, campers were able to do an extended after supper activity instead of going into the Lodge for campfire like we normally do.  Many activities were offered including kayaking and walking across the traverse line down at the lake; creating puppet plays in the lodge; doing the tower swing up at the climbing wall; going for an extended trail ride on horses or mountain bikes; candle making; sunset archery; a rousing game of Gold Rush; and much, much more… Mountainside and Riverside also had a special evening program tonight with Dr. Terry. Once each summer Dr. Terry leads a “Survival Campfire” which is world-famous at GV and is always eagerly anticipated by both staff and campers.

The secret serenaders have already made their way around to all 24 cabins, leaving camp a quiet place. All 200 campers are now sleeping peacefully in their bunks, resting up for all the adventures that tomorrow will bring. I guess it’s time for us to turn out the lights here in the office too!