The Layers of Friendship!

Dear Parents and Friends, 

It’s hard to top July 4th at camp but darn if we didn’t do it today.  It was a bit cooler this morning and everyone was enjoying the nice weather and sunny skies.  Big thunderheads moved in later in the afternoon, but we have our reliable Thorguard to tell us when we are safe to be outdoors and in the open.  Thor did go off today but while we were eating and again just after our 4th activity period.  We have the makings for a good sunset tonight after our very special all camp game.  The Ham Burglar came out to dinner tonight and proceeded to steal all of camp’s dessert, which didn’t go well with our campers in Main Camp.  Our desserts are much too delicious to allow them to be frittered away by the Hamburgerlar and his evil minions.  Our program leaders became superheroes and lent a hand to our cabin groups to get the dessert back from villian’s army.  It wasn’t an easy task, but everyone was still energized from our 4th celebrations. 

I want to drop back in time a bit to provide a little look into the C-1 Session.  Many of our campers are returning from previous years and as they move through each age group and program it’s nice to see them connect on opening day after not seeing one another for a year.  Many have made friends at camp and do make it a habit to stay in touch over the winter months.  I was struck by many meetings and one stuck out.  One of our young SIT men is from Spain and his name is Ignacio.  He was an SIT last year and at lunch on opening day several of his boys from last year recognized him and they gave him hugs.  Obviously, these boys had bonded with Ignacio in the cabin and everyone was a year older and it was nice to see them reuniting after a year. 

Friendship and making new friends is a big part of camp and I think in many ways is the essence of what camp is all about.  Some life-long friends are made here.  I had two young men visit us today who were at camp for several years and their last year being 1998, which was our first year here at GV.  They’ve stayed close these many years and have gravitated to different parts of the country and got together in NC to see one another and visit camp.  Both are married and doing well and have fond memories of GV.  Today was just one of those days when we had 4 different people come by camp who were alums.  Two brought their young children to tour camp and introduce them to GV.   I’m admitting my years of camping in this statement but already this summer I’ve had 4 children attend camp this summer whose parents were campers of mine many years ago.  One of those is actually a summer staff member. 

Tonight, Mountainside is enjoying a relaxed evening of extended Twilight Play where they are participating in a number of activities from Archery to the Farm.  Riverside returned home yesterday after 4 wonderful days climbing in Tenn.  They were on the lake this afternoon getting ready for their next outdoor component – paddling.  They will leave on Sunday to start their next adventure.  Mountainside finished up their mini-adventures today and will choose their end of session adventures in the next day or two.  There will be some training days next week as well as some prep work and good bonding time for those 50 campers up in the cove.  Main Camp heads out on Monday for various trips off site for kayaking, mountain biking, climbing and hiking.  Each will visit our landscapes around Pisgah National Forest and Dupont State Park.   

Our mountain view is a layered picturesque scene much like the generations of campers who have attended camp.  We will be celebrating 85 years at the end of next summer, so all of you are welcome to join that magic time after camp in Aug. of 2020.  Jeff, one our year-round employees who is a part of our crack team maintenance passed me on the trail tonight just before our evening ended and children were in many parts of camps enjoying one another’s time together and twilight activities.  Laughter and shouts permeated the air and Jeff said to me as we passed, “simple joys”.  He was right, another great day at camp and being outdoors.  Stay tuned!