Dear Parents & Friends,
Another great day at camp started off cooler and the weather was terrific. We had a high of 79 today here in Brevard, but usually it’s a bit cooler at camp. That high would have been at the farm which usually registers the high temps at camp. We’ve had a great year at the farm because we’ve gotten just the right amount of sun and rain. Our produce production is going great guns. All of our vegetables have been abundant this year and it’s been a good growing season. Activity at the farm has been at an all-time high especially in the last few days with the birth of a baby cow and 12 piglets being born this week. I was at the farm earlier in the week when 5 piglets had just arrived. A group of campers were there to witness this and after I left 7 more arrived as expected. We talk about the circle of life and the web of life at camp and this is one of those events that very few get to witness. Jacob, Sophie and Katherine were all assisting and catching the babies as they arrived. It was pretty exciting to see the staff clean the piglets up and in one case while I was there actually revive one of the newborns that wasn’t quite breathing on its own. They were cutting the umbilical cords and getting down to business by placing them right at Mom’s teets and without even opening their eyes, were soon nursing. My hope would be that all campers would have this opportunity but it was just a few.
As many 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 this 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. Lets not forget our Mill meal consisting of fish and cornbread from the Mill and coleslaw and other vegis from the Farm. That happens several times a summer.
As we awoke this morning the Tajar had caused mischief all through camp and there was Tajar Folly everywhere. Tajar Ball tonight was 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. I spent a good bit of time at the soccer shootout. We have some very talented soccer players this year at camp. We usually have several skilled staff members and presently have some campers who can take it to the staff at an early age. It’s fun to watch.
Seeing children grow in their skills carries so much satisfaction. I helped with some young kayakers today to see if they are ready for the Green trip tomorrow. It was fun putting them through their paces and seeing how their skills had improved. Tomorrow bikers, paddlers, climbers and hikers will be going out to beautiful places surrounding Gwynn Valley. 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. Stay tuned!