Sunny Day – Evening Showers!

Dear Parents and Friends,

Today we began our activities and children started their Discovery activities in the AM.  Each campers has 4 activities they take in the morning.  In the afternoons you have a free choice of 2 one hour activities or 1 two hour activity and that changes each day.  Progressive skills in the morning and skills and variety in the afternoon.  Then of course there’s the after supper activity time when all kinds of activities are available for about 45 minutes.  Pick-up ball games to basic crafts and the like.  Tonight we were rained out of after supper activities.  We went to the Lodge for campfire and finished off our cabin skits and then sent folks home a bit early.

As we started program today it was interesting to go around to many programs and see them get off the ground with the foundations of the program.  I think most people who sign up for biking think that they’re just going to hop on the bike and ride off.  We go through a battery of fitting the bike and helmet and making sure that you practice shifting and understand cadence.  There are so many games that can challenge the child just on short grass to give you an idea of their riding ability.  You quickly learn what sort of terrain they can handle and whether or not they can ride single track.  Single track trails are rarely more than 3 ft. wide and take some skill to navigate when there are small roots, inclines and the occasional rock to ride over or dodge.  Sometimes children aren’t used to shifting gears on the bikes and one has to multi-task to stay balanced, monitor your brakes and shift when needed.  Guidelines and foundational teaching is so important throughout camp and even the waterfront provides info for the campers as to where they can dive in the lake and when and where they need to wear a PFD.  Progression of teaching and building on foundations of safety, skills and fun make for good programs.  Kayaking, Weaving, GV rescue, Fishing at the Mill, and many others started their day with the importance of foundational learning.

Today I worked with Riversider’s on the lake and preparing them for their canoeing component which starts next week.  Many had experience but we needed to go back to those basics to start anew and not get into bad paddling habits.  Paddling at the ripe age of 13 and 14 should be a dance on the water and finesse instead of power.  One can never really be stronger than moving water but only figure out best how to harness its strength to your advantage.  Even on the flat water of the lake that is in evidence.  They made great progress today and it was a joy to work with them.  They’re off to Foster Falls tomorrow for their climbing component.

We’re also working on adding another climbing tree at camp just behind the lodge.  It’s a nice hemlock that is healthy and would make a good alternative to the three trees we’ve used for years and years.  Climbing is a popular activity at camp.  I remember when we introduced more climbing at camp.  We started with tree climbing and then added some climbs to the Rock which is located on the upper reaches of the property.  One of our old staff members brought Arborist climbing to camp about 7 years ago and that’s been a very popular part of the program.  It seems that over half of the campers give climbing a try each year and some really excel in all aspects of getting off the ground.

I watched a tie-dye session with the boys from Raines Cove today.  It was interesting to see them choose their patterns and go about the dying their shirts.  They were after the most colorful and wild shirts and several chose the fireworks pattern – getting ready for the upcoming holiday.  I saw Rosebay leaving to go on a Creek Hike and they looked like they were going to enjoy an escape from the warm temps into the creek and up the mountain toward Connestee Falls.  We are so lucky to have so much water on our land.  It feeds our lake, runs our Mill, and puts us to sleep.  Tonight it’s running pretty high because of the rain this evening.  Clouds have settled in the valley and even though the sun is down our days at camp are long.  After a long day in activities, I’m sure that many of the children are settling into a deep slumber.  Stay tuned to see what tomorrow brings!