The Dragon That Ate Gwynn Valley!

Dear Parents and Friends,

Another splendid day at GV and time is flying.  It’s hard to believe that we are winding down D session. Today was another beautiful day here at camp with sunny skies and all activities in high gear.  We had a little thunder and a sprinkle of rain but nothing to send us indoors.  This second week we have signups both in the morning and in the afternoon.  Today was also international day here at GV.  We celebrated with our all of international staff tonight and it was quite a campfire.  Steve Irwin showed up to identify a few rare species in the audience.  Several international rock stars were there, as well as Elvis was in the house!  Don’t ask me why, but he was here.  Also the Queen Mother showed up for several brief minutes and she flew in with James Bond.  Folks from Kiwi land showed us how to perform the Poi, which was hilarious when novices tried it.  Lots of laughter!  We also visited Denmark, Czech Republic, Poland and Ukraine.  It was a fun evening filled with lots of information and interesting tidbits from each country.  Tonight’s meal was authentic Mexican and was prepared by our Hispanic staff in our kitchen.  Juan came out and introduced the meal in Spanish and English.  This is Juan’s 8th year working with us here at camp.

Several groups were also out of camp today including Climbers, Kayakers and Hikers.  Each group came back with many stories. Kayaker’s went to the Green, Climbers were at the Nose at Looking Glass Rock and Hikers went to John’s Rock which overlooks the Pisgah Fish Hatchery and a wonderful view of Looking Glass.  With a telescope the Climbers and Hikers could have almost seen one another.  With all these great trips, one trip that stuck out was shared by a camper at my table.  We were talking about trips out and she said, “You don’t have go off site to have a good time.  I had the best day ever at Conesstee Falls today. “  It’s a waterfall on the upper end of our property and is about a 30 minute hike from Downtown GV.  There’s a big pool you can swim in and go right underneath the falls to get quite a shower.  I could tell she’d had a great time.  You could see it in her eyes.

In my meanderings this afternoon I videoed a small group of 8 campers and staff playing flag football.  They were into it and playing razzle dazzle rules which is always more fun.  The true highlight for the day was our insurance company came out today for a visit (friendly visit), and showing camp to some of their new employees and a company they are trying to align with.  As part of the tour, I had taken them through our Mill where the campers were making corn cob creations which campers can produce everything from cars to people to jet planes with a little glue and ingenuity.   Later, as we were walking along during change over of activities, one of our youngest campers came up with a dragon she had made at the Mill.  It was very realistic and I said, “looks like you’ve made yourself a nice dragon from the Mill” and she said, “Yep and also a villager for the dragon to eat”, pulling a small figurine from behind her back and sticking it the dragons mouth.  Everyone in our group roared and well, that’s camp.  Imaginations run wild sometimes.

I also helped out in biking today with a couple of campers who signed up and didn’t have quite the skills to ride some of our trails.  I happened to follow them to video and realized along with the instructor that they needed some extra help.  So, I took the two and we made our way around some of the easier riding areas in Main Camp. They gained some confidence trying some trickier terrain after some gearing lessons and just riding around on the grass.  Satisfaction comes easy when people are willing to learn and confidence can boost the experience for another go at an activity later on.

With all our good weather the Farm has been booming.  We’ve had the perfect mix of sun and rain this week.  They picked over 300 ears of corn this morning and we had it for dinner tonight.  Lunch was great today with fish cakes from our fishing at the Mill, fresh salad from the garden and other scrumptious dishes.  After lunch everyone leaves the dining room to help shuck all that corn.  It’s a bee hive of young people pulling shucks off, learning what it looks and feels like and finding the occasional worm that will end up as food for the chickens when the shucks are taken to the farm to be rummaged through.  Camp is a great place for self-discovery.  No one swoops in and says don’t touch that worm or maybe you just shouldn’t be biking.  Instead we say, yes you can and let’s try again and work up to this harder trail on another day.   Every day at camp is a day of opportunity.  Stay tuned!