Tajar Ball!

Dear Parents & Friends,

It was a sunny day here at camp that was bright and beautiful. We got a little rain this evening just after dinner but it didn’t deter activities and Tajar Ball (more on that later). By 10:30 the temps began to rise and so did the activity level. We started the day with a hearty breakfast of eggs and potatoes with fruit and cereal. I hope you are enjoying the photos each day as it hopefully provides a glimpse of our day here at camp.

Mountainside leaves tomorrow to head out on their adventures and we wish them well. I checked in with several activity areas today including The Farm, Arts and Crafts, the Mill, and Climbing. Because of the weather the waterfront was a great place to be today. Lots of boating action today on the lake and campers learning to paddle straight lines in sit on tops as well as whitewater kayaks. The Farm holds so much magic as there are so many animals to care for and get familiar with. Several baby chicks were just breaking through their egg shells today but not quite old enough to be taken out of the incubator. They have to fluff up a bit before they can join the other little peepers. Campers were milking the goats today and playing with their babies in the goat pen. It’s not easy to milk a goat but once you get the hang of it, it’s like riding a bike. Several campers quickly filled up the small bucket with fresh milk that was fed to the babies. Campers gathered eggs and were a bit timid about reaching under the laying hens to snatch the eggs. It’s all in the technique and he who hesitates is lost. The chickens sometimes peck you if you are too slow. Too fast and you really can’t make it happen either. What’s really interesting is our barn cat, who’s name is Sam. Sam came to camp when his owner had to move and couldn’t take him with him. He is the perfect cat for the farm. With all those baby chicks and small animals around he lays on top of the incubator almost guarding those babies as they await new life. He’d rather chase a barn mouse, wait on store bought cat food or receive a scratch from campers than bother with helpless little critters. He’s been the best barn cat we’ve had in years.

Shady Grove campers were weaving some pretty magical bracelets today. Those who had been weaving over the past several days were working on woven beaded bracelets. At the Mill they were catching fish like they were going out of style. The trout were biting worms and corn and no one went without catching at least one fish. The climbers were climbing our tallest trees today, both of which are close to 90 foot climbs. These are some of hemlocks behind the Lodge and have been at camp for many years. I brought tree climbing to GV and it’s been a hit with campers since then. Our tree climbs measure 40, 60, and the two 90 foot climbs. In climbing terms 90 feet amounts to what is called a pitch. Multipitch climbing is when it takes several rope lengths to get to top of a climb and requires a lot more skill from the lead climber as they set protection on their way up. Some of the Mountainsiders may get to climb a route at Cedar Rock this week called North by Northwest. It’s a classic three pitch climb.

Today we held Tajar Ball where everyone came to the Ball in costume. We eat picnic style around the basketball court and then hold a giant carnival on the soccer field after everyone has eaten. There’s more food there (mostly desserts) and games galore for the kids to participate in. This went on until about 8:30 with intermittent rain showers that couldn’t send us indoors. Everyone was a little damp but spirits were certainly high. Of course the Tajar comes to Ball as well, but no one knows who he is because he’s in masquerade. Ask your children about the Tajar. He’s a loveable camp creature and has been at GV since it started. Lots of traditions have held true here through the years and that’s what makes camp special. Each and every day we revisit some aspects that remind us of the things that are special about our time here and learning to understand that ceremony and tradition is a good thing, no matter the age. Stay tuned and have a great night!