Sunshine in the Smiles of Our Campers


Dear Parents, Family, and Friends,

We hope you all have reached your homes or the place you are staying for the night safely. We had a beautiful day, if a bit overcast. This session we have a mix of both returning and new campers. Upon arrival, all campers were greeted and told which cabin they will live in for the next week, and were shown the way by our Young Leaders. 

Once all the parents left, campers were taken down to the dining hall for a lunch buffet of sandwiches, and to figure out which four discoveries they wanted to do for their time at camp. For our families and friends who don’t know, discoveries are activities where campers will focus on the accumulation of skills. This means that they will learn how to post on horseback, in addition to the care of a horse, how to properly shoot a bow at archery, learn the ins and outs of a jackson kayak, or make a variety of candles at the Bong Tree, named after a storybook, which is one of our arts and crafts buildings where we do tie dye, batik, candles, and all “messy” crafts. These are only a fraction of what is offered. Campers will learn which discoveries they are in tomorrow morning. 

Later in the afternoon campers moved as a cabin group to several areas around camp. Every cabin went to the pool for their swim test, six went to the Bong Tree for tie dye, some went to the soccer field or the Gatehouse green for sports and archery, in addition to several other areas. This first day always seems like it goes by in a matter of an hour or two, rather than 12.

It was such a treat that our Young Leaders got to Sliding Rock, located in Pisgah. Sliding Rock is a naturally made slide where the water has worn away harsh edges and is a popular spot for locals and travelers alike, to have a quick splash in refreshing mountain water. The Young Leaders are such a help to our community, by being an extra set of eyes at program areas, helping the staff with questions that the younger campers may have, to setting all the tables in the dining room for all three meals.

Following dinner, campers participated in After Supper Activities, this is an additional time where campers are able to choose from a variety of activities, ranging from active ones like Games on the Green, Jedi Training, or Tajar Spotting, and calmer ones like friendship bracelets, or wading in the creek. During this time, our Mountainsiders and Riversiders got some time to spend together before they head out for their adventures tomorrow. Riverside went to the center and packed while Mountainside played some games on the Gatehouse Green as the sun started to descend in the sky. 

It was such a wonderful opening of E and those of us on staff can hardly believe this is our final session of the summer. We are so excited for this last group of campers and can’t wait to impact their lives and share with them the joys of Gwynn Valley, from our youngest in Playhouse and Chipmunk Hut, all the way to our Young Leaders. This final week is going to fly by and before we know it, we will be seeing all of you to pick up your campers. But until then, we’ve got a week of memories to make, smiles to share, lives to impact, and friendships to be made. Till tomorrow we wish you all pleasant dreams.