Tajar Ball!

Dear Parents & Friends,

It’s the Tajar’s birthday here at camp.  Everyone knew it this morning when they came down to the Green before breakfast.  There were kayaks on the roof, inner tubes on the Green, tables upside down in the dining room, teacups hanging in the trees and all kinds of Tajar mischief.  Campers are great because they reach a point where they obviously don’t believe in the Tajar, but they don’t spoil the fun for the younger campers who still “believe”.  I hope the mystique will always be there.

I was on the river most of the day with Mountainside.  They successfully navigated the Nantahala River today putting in at Ferebee Park and taking out at Surfing Rapid.  This group made some great strides over the past several days and it’s too bad we don’t have a few more days with them on the river.  All of Mountainside came home today and everyone was glad to be back at camp eating our delicious food and getting a hot shower.  I’m sure on the days when Riverside and Mountainside return from adventures our water consumption is at peak.  Camp runs off of three different wells and they’ve always been very reliable.  Riverside came home also and they had a super trip on the backpacking component of their adventure.  It was good to see everyone home and having fun together at the Ball.

I suppose the big news of the day was that the piglets were born.  There were 11 born and 10 survived at this point.  They were all born about 3 AM.  Mama Pig did a great job according to Jacob our farm manager.  Lots of folks will be going to the Farm again tomorrow and you’re welcome to go down with your children on closing day to see the little squeakers.   Jacob is an expert on animal husbandry and is so knowledgeable.  It’s fun to pick his brain and watch him in action.  He and his staff were helping Mama care for her babies putting them right on the teets because they can’t see at this point.

As most of you know we produce about 70% of our food at the farm.  Most all of our vegetables come from the farm.  In the past it’s taken some time to get certain types of produce up and growing and then harvesting comes later in the summer.  Our own farmer Dale built a Tunnel House last year and started many of our crops there so that we could experience squash, tomatoes, beans, and other vegis earlier in the season.  It’s been a bonus.  Because of our good weather corn has been on our table quite regularly.  We also harvested some of our chickens this spring and grew them from pullets.  They are taken away before the campers get here.  We also produce our own beef and this can be an interesting subject with campers.  If they ask, we tell them the truth but don’t advertise it.   I hope you understand this strategy because we have a lot of young campers here.  Our Mill has been cranking out some corn meal, grits, and chicken feed all summer.  Besides that they made all the ice cream for tonight’s Tajar Ball.  Let’s not forget our “meal from the Mill” consisting of fish, cornbread and coleslaw and other vegis from the Farm.  That happens several times a summer.

Tajar Ball was a great success tonight including the pre cookout meal with our usual fare of burgers and dogs with all the trimmings plus ice cream, cookies, snow cones and popcorn.  It’s a true carnival with all kinds of events happening.  The most popular event tonight was the slip and slide which will soon be up in picture form.  It’s taking a while to load pictures.  I think our photographer took over 500 hundred pics today but some of these don’t turn out as you would expect, so editing takes a while.

Seeing children grow in their skills carries so much satisfaction.  Tomorrow our  Main Camp kayakers, climbers and hikers will be going out to beautiful places surrounding Gwynn Valley.  Main Camp bikers were out in Dupont today riding a trail that has been revamped called Ridgeline.  It’s amazing! Our valley and beyond is a playground meant to be used by our campers and staff.  I can’t wait to hear about all their tales of adventure and special moments as they challenge themselves outside the boundaries of camp.  Tomorrow is our final full day for C/C-2.  We’ve had a great session with this crew.  Stay tuned!