Dear Parents and Friends,
Today we awoke to the mischief of the Tajar. He moved tables around, boats upside on the Green, teacups hanging from trees and somehow managed to get the SIT’s to sleep walk to the Green and sleep in the kayaks. When we came down for breakfast they were snuggled in their sleeping bags fast asleep. His prank must have included a sleeping spell because they were very hard to wake. Well… I guess he knew we were celebrating his birthday so he preceded it with a bit of Tajar folly. The campers get a kick out of it and it is fun to watch their reaction. The Tajar Ball, held after dinner, is always a hoot and everyone comes dressed in masquerade. There were astronauts, princesses, monsters, dragons, kung fu fighters, skeletons, aliens, unicorns, fairies, golfers, Kings and Queens, ballerinas, ball players, runners, brooms, turtles and much more. What you can imagine you can be with a little costuming here and there.
We have a picnic on the pavilion before the Ball and everyone eats on the Green, weather permitting, which it was tonight. Burgers, hot dogs, baked beans, corn on the cob, chips, watermelon, lemonade and all the trimmings are served up by activity leaders. At the Ball there is ice cream, rice crispy treats, and popcorn. The ice cream is made at the Mill, the treats in our kitchen and the popcorn is grown at the farm. The Carnival portion of the Ball is on the soccer field. There are all kinds of things to participate in including hayrides and so many games you can hardly participate in all of them, plus a giant waterslide. Campers love it and staff have a pretty good time as well.
Mountainside held their first training day today and it was a good day to have it. They will have another day on Friday to get ready for Monday’s adventures. Bikers will be going out again tomorrow to ride the single track of Dupont. Camping and Nature Skills will also be headed out to John’s Rock which is deep into Pisgah.
Riverside will return tomorrow from their paddling component and a day on the Nantahala. 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. And let’s not leave out our program called Young Leaders, which just started last year. They’ve really added to the camp community and pitched in whenever there was a need. All of these folks are old campers and have come through 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 the farm. Besides tending to all the animals they picked the corn we had tonight at the Tajar Ball. I was able to get some good video from the corn field. This time of year there is nothing better than corn on the cob and fresh tomatoes which also graced the plate tonight for our picnic dinner. The Farm to table at GV is amazing. Our food is plentiful and tastes wonderful. Enjoy this pic of fresh bread just out of the oven this afternoon, which will be served in the days ahead.
On a different note this marks the 156st 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. Camps are teaching great lessons and values that build on the same values you 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!