Tajar’s Birthday and Tajar Ball!

Dear Parents and Friends,

Today we awoke to a crystal clear and cool morning. It was around 54 degrees this morning and everyone came to breakfast in their sweatshirts. It was also the Tajar’s birthday. There is always Tajar folly on his birthday and today there was no exception. His folly includes putting things where they don’t belong, like kayaks on the path to the Mill, inner tubes hanging from the trees, spoons and cups in odd places, dining tables moved outside and balloons hanging from string in the dining room. The campers get a kick out of it and it’s fun to watch their reaction. The Tajar Ball is always a hoot and everyone comes dressed in masquerade. There were astronauts, princesses, monsters, dragons, kung fu fighters, aliens, unicorns, fairies, golfers, ball players, runners, brooms, turtles and much more. Let your imagination go wild. After the cookout we held a carnival on the soccer field with all kinds of booths, food, hayrides and games. As part of the Carnival there was the Tin Can Toss, Sponge Toss, Corn Hole, Duck Sling Shot, Guess the Number of M&M’s, Fishing, Fortune Telling/Palm Reading, Face Painting, Balloon Animals, Slack Line, Soccer Shoot Out, Penny Drop, Hay Rides, Toilet Paper Toss, Cookie Train, Dance Tent, Minute Challenge, Strong Man, and the Infamous Dunk Tank. Plus, there was food like popcorn, snow cones, and ice cream. Kids love it and staff have a pretty good time as well.

Main Camp kayakers went to the Upper French Broad today and had a great time. We also had bikers out today at Dupont State Forest and Climbers were out at Looking Glass. All three Main Camp groups had fun exploring various terrain and using human power to bike, climb and paddle in those areas. Tomorrow Mountainside continues their Training Days and I will be going out with the paddlers in the afternoon. Riverside will return tomorrow from their paddling component. We look forward to having them back. They really add to our program with their years of experience at camp. Another group of older folks that have been outstanding this session are our SIT’s (Staff In Training, aka Slaves in Training). They have just been fabulous and have been great additions to our cabin and program life here at camp. Again, all of these folks are old campers and have come through the ranks of Main Camp, Mountainside and Riverside. They are future staff members in the making.

I spent the morning going around to different activities including riding, pottery, the mill, two of our arts activities, sports, and of course the farm. Potatoes were dug today as was corn and tomatoes harvested. This time of year there is nothing better than corn on the cob and fresh tomatoes.

On a different note this marks the 153st year of organized camping in the US.  And with over 60 percent of parents reporting that their child continues to participate in activities learned at camp, we are planting the seeds that grow into a lifetime of service to communities.  Community gardens are a good example of one of those services that is thriving right now.  We started one at our church utilizing some land behind the church right downtown that is never used.  Camps are teaching great lessons and values that build on the same values you as parents are trying to instill.  I’m proud to partner with all of you to make the best possible young person that we can. Gwynn Valley is dedicated to that mission and we hope that you will reap some of the benefits when your child returns home.  Stay tuned!