Tajar Ball and All His Mischief!

Dear Parents and Friend,

Greetings from the land of FUN! The Tajar leaves lots of mischief around the center of camp the night before his day while we’re all asleep.  If you don’t know who the Tajar is, just ask your child.  Each session we celebrate his birthday and everyone comes to the party in costume.  This event has been going on at Gwynn Valley for a very long time.  We have a big picnic with burgers and dogs outside and then hold the giant carnival.  It started to rain just before the end of the Ball and it felt nice after such a hot day.  Our traditional after dinner carnival consisted of Face Painting, Smack the Rat, Soccer Shootout, Hayrides, Bucket Breakup, TP Toss, Frisbee Throw, free food including ice cream, popcorn, snow cones, Guess the M&M’s, The Penny Toss, Sponge Throw, a Giant Water Slide, Fidget Ladder, and Strongman Hammer Test.  There were all kinds of costumes at the Ball and Carnival.  I’m sure you’ll recognize some characters from your household.

Earlier today those Mountainsider’s and Riversider’s came home and are safe and sound sleeping in their own beds.  Each group had their fun and adventure while out since Sunday.  They all came back with smiles and stories to tell, memories to remember and that’s what counts.  We’ll look forward to having them back at our tables tomorrow at lunch.  They all get a big sleep-in tomorrow morning.

There will be several Main Camp trips out tomorrow with Kayakers, Mountain Bikers, Hikers and Climbers.  The kayakers will head to the French Broad on section Wilson to Patton.  It will be a half day trip for that group.  They were doing their final preps today on the lake and getting psyched.

I attended a slew of different activities this morning including the Mill, Pottery, Bong Tree, Shady Grove, Kayaking, Soccer, Horseback Riding, Arborist Climbing and Biking.  I carry a video camera with me and it’s my excuse to get to see what’s going on in various programs at camp.  I’m usually able to get to most all activities including time with Mountainside several times a week.  With the footage and time to observe programs, it helps me with assessing how staff are doing as teachers and are children enjoying these activities. I do have office work, which is not my favorite, but try and schedule that during the early morning and late evening hours.  Visiting programs also allows me to write about what goes on at camp each day although my assessment is the tip of the iceberg.

Tomorrow will be signups in the morning as all of our Discovery Activities ended today.  In the afternoon will be pillowcase day for all of camp when everyone goes to the pool (not all at once mind you).  There is a method to this madness.  Tomorrow evening will be Friendship Campfire and our last one for the session.  We keep things moving right till the end of the session.  I think the three week campers will need a couple of days of rest upon returning home.  We were up a little later tonight and tomorrow is a big day for us all as we wind down from a very active and fun session.  I wish we could keep them all for another week.  Camp does a world of good.  If you’re feeling a little “campsick” and missing your children we understand.  They’ve provided a great deal of joy in our setting.  We sent all of our children off to other camps when they were younger and we know how you feel.   Anne and I missed them and also knew how it would help them grow away from home and our familiar setting here.  Camp is a wonderful supportive environment where children can develop authentic relationships, unplug from technology, connect with nature, and participate in human-powered activities. Camp allows children to relax and enjoy just being kids. I truly believe there’s a camp for every child.  Thank you for choosing Gwynn Valley.  We appreciate you sharing your children.  Stay tuned!