Dear Parents, Family, and Friends,
The final night of B session is here at Gwynn Valley. It has been an amazing time with such awesome and awe inspiring campers. Those of us on the leadership team, counselors, and program leaders have seen growth in our campers. From trying new foods, challenging their fears and pushing outside of their comfort zones, it’s brings me joy when I get to see these campers broaden themselves.
Our Friendship Campfire has finished, where we recognized our campers who have been coming for 4, 5, 8, and 10 summers. In addition to verbally recognizing these campers, we give them a fleece blanket for four summers, a plaque for five, compass for 8, and step stool for 10 years. In addition to these campers, we also recognized our Young Leaders and gave them this years staff t-shirt as they transition from campers to staff. We also watched a video that our videography team put together, in addition to a slideshow with some of the photos taken.
Looking back at the beginning of the day, we had a delicious breakfast to supply energy for our morning of activities and in some cases, for the Brookside and Hillside campers who left after breakfast for their off camp trips. These campers were invited to go on these trips after demonstrating their skills in either biking, kayaking, camping skills and nature, or climbing through discoveries and/or sign-ups over the course of the session. For the Hillsiders and the other Brookside campers, they moved to the Lodge after breakfast for their final day of sign-ups. We offered horseback riding, bead babies, broom making, and candle dipping in crafts, tree climbing, and water mat on the lake to name a few.
Following morning sign-ups, we had a filling lunch of Mexican street tacos with adobe chicken, four and corn tortillas, housemade cabbage pico, black beans, rice, sour cream, chips, and fresh salsa. During lunch we even had our kitchen, maintenance, and housekeeping staff come out into the dining hall and gave them a large round of applause for what they do for us. It was such a heartwarming scene with all of the campers, program leaders, and counselors showing their appreciation to these staff for their hard work that helps make camp function. These staff members work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure our campers are fed, their cabins are safe and functional, and the buildings around camp are clean.
From lunch campers and staff went to shuck corn, and have their final afternoon of singing in the Lodge. After dismissal, campers went back to their cabins to begin packing their belongings for maintenance to pick up. It seems like many campers have mixed emotions during this time period. Many are excited about being able to go home and see their family and friends, while they are also sad because it means they will go home and have to say “see you next year” to the friends they made while at camp. Despite these mixed feelings, campers always seem to enjoy Pillow Case day. All cabins will go down to the pool with a pillow case to swim and enjoy the cool water. We wrapped the day with our tradition of homemade pizza, salad, and grapes with Chef Megan’s brownies.
Tomorrow when you arrive your children will be waiting for you in their cabins. At 10:30 there will be a cabin friendship circle where all can join in. We do these each night and check in with campers to find out how their day has been. These friendship circles allow staff to see how the children are doing since they only see them at morning wake-up, rest hour, before and after meals and bedtime. Our days are full and it’s a good way to learn about the children’s experiences. At 11:00 and after the gathering in the cabin there is our campfire program in the Lodge for parents, friends and campers. After this, family and friends are welcome to join us for our farm buffet lunch. Thank you for sharing your children with us for these past 2 or 3 weeks. We’ve had a wonderful session and hope to see all of these children back again next summer. It’s been a great session and a great group of children.