Tajar Ball !

Dear Parents & Friends,

Another great day at camp with sunny hot weather!  We had a short thunderstorm just after 4:00 and it was a clear again by the time Tajar Ball started at 7:30.  We had dinner outdoors and it was a fun filled evening.  More on that later.  I’m so glad we’re in the mountains and it’s been quite hot for us even here.  Last summer temps didn’t go too much above 85 for more than a handful of days.  Quite a few of our activities are shaded which makes a big difference.  Of course waterfront is very popular all day long.  I can’t imagine how hot it must be where some of you live.  For years we’ve had complaints about our pool being too cold and that was true especially at the beginning sessions of the summer.  Last summer I decided to do something about it and purchased a pool cover to put on at night when you lose most of the heat you’ve gained during the day.  Well, it seems this summer we don’t need it and have had to skip some nights and leave the cover off.  A pool can get too warm to the point it’s not refreshing.  We could use some rain but then as a paddler I know that other activities suffer when we get a lot of rain.  At this point I’d like to have a bit more rain and a bit cooler.  We’ve put out water jugs in several locations at camp to encourage the campers to drink more and are really pushing liquids at meals.

Today was the perfect program day as we wind down the week.  Some of our expert horseback riders took two hours and went over to the Hunt Farm to ride in the open fields over there.  It’s a nice backdrop and is good for letting the horses move a bit faster than on the trails around camp.  I spent the morning visiting many activities in the center of camp taking pictures and shooting video.  I checked in on the Mill, all the Arts & Crafts, Pottery, Sports and Waterfront.  We also had a company come out and shoot some video for our next promo video which will be out this fall.  They will be visiting about 8 times over the summer and should be able to capture the footage we need.

Mountainside and Riverside returned today from their adventures and all is well.  Most groups were back by Tajar Ball time and enjoyed the cookout, games and carnival like setting on the soccer field.  From all indications trips went very well and you’ll get a full report on closing day.  Coming back to camp after several days in the woods is always fun.  I’m not sure it all sinks in until after you leave to go home.  Years ago when I still had some hair on my head, I worked for a couple of the Outward Bound Schools.  At our course endings, which usually lasted 21 days or more, we always told our participants that they’re experience really began when they returned home.  We do have a lot of fun here and I hope that our campers take some of Gwynn Valley home with them.  Our values are simple and our approach to outdoor education is based on the hope of self-realization and personal development.  These teachable moments are all around at camp and especially out in the field where these young people just returned from their adventures.

For those in Main Camp it’s having fun and cooperative living and learning.  Fun was the first order of business this evening and as you may or may not know, everyone comes to the Tajar Ball in masquerade.  There are a host of characters and it’s a time to play, dance, eat and try all kinds of games.  Traditionally we have a cookout with burgers and dogs with all the trimmings and watermelon.  After everyone has eaten, it’s off to the soccer field to try your hand at a multitude of games and things to do.  There’s lots of food and there’s good music.  It’s a good way to celebrate the next to last night of camp.  Tomorrow night is friendship campfire when we all gather and remember the great times from B Session.  We’ll certainly have a recap for you all on Friday so hope you can stay for the Parent/Camper Campfire starting at 11:00 on Friday morning.  Stayed tuned!