Sunshine and Smiles – A Session 2019

Dear Families and Friends,

After several rain showers the last few days, a warm sunny day was greatly appreciated by all. We continued with our third day of Main Camp discoveries where campers were able to build on the skills they were introduced to two days ago in activities such as weaving, climbing, and horseback riding to name a few! All around camp there were many smiling faces, grateful for the gift of sun, blue skies, and adventures to be had.

While main campers were busy with their discoveries, our Mountainsiders learned which three day adventure they will be a part of starting Thursday. The next few days will be filled with training and packing for these adventures along with other fun activities.

One of my favorite parts of the day are our mealtimes. Not just because of our delicious food cooked fresh for us by our incredibly talented kitchen staff, but also because of the variety of campers and counselors we share a table with each meal. Over the session we get to sit with a group of campers from Hillside to Young Leaders, along with counselors and Program Leaders from all areas of camp. During these meals we get a chance to share how we’ve spent our days. One Island Ford camper told me she spent a fun afternoon making animal themed costumes for Fine Arts while a Mountainside camper shared with the table his pride in finally conquering the Hunt Farm Biking Trail after years of it challenging him. Our conversation over dinner became even more elated as we discussed costumes for the Tajar Ball and the return or our Riversiders both happening tomorrow. These meetings three times a day are the perfect glimpse into the magic that makes camp happen, reminding all of us of the amazing things that happen at Gwynn Valley every day.

After dinner, we enjoyed a variety of After Supper Activities throughout camp, where the sounds of laughter could be heard all over Downtown GV. We spent our evening program with main camp playing Bingo and Mountain Dancing in the Lodge while a few cabins camped out at shelters around camp. Sleeping outside and listening to the sounds of nature after eating a delicious meal cooked over a real fire is one of the traditions of camp that many staff and campers recall as their favorite moment even years later.

As I’m writing this, with the sun setting over the Blue Ridge Mountains, I can see our Young Leaders playing Frisbee and catching fireflies together. Enjoying the beauty and simplicity of camp. I hope you all enjoy the little moments you can have with nature this week as we enjoy our last few days of our wonderful A session.