The Tajar’s Birthday and Trips Out!

Dear Parents and Friends,

Today we awoke to a foggy and mysterious morning and it fit perfectly since it was the Tajar’s birthday.  If you don’t know who the Tajar is, well just let me tell you a few choice facts about him.  First of all let me help you parents with pronunciation of the Tajar’s name.  The Ta sounds like ta in tack.  The jar sounds like jur and put them together with more emphasis on the first syllable, you have Ta-jar.  He would appreciate you knowing that.  All the children can help when they arrive home which is coming up fast.  The Tajar is something like and the key word here is something, like, a badger, jaguar and tiger.  If you see him once you forget that you saw him.  If you see him twice you forget that you forgot and if you see him a third time, he becomes your friend.  Anyway, back to the Tajar’s Birthday, which was today.  In actuality he celebrates his birthday every session.  He’s old but as spry and limber as a counselor.  Like any other day that’s his birthday we go right on with program and it was another splendiferous day here at camp.  His folly includes putting things where they don’t belong, like kayaks on the path to the Mill, innertubes 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 you imagination go wild.  After the cookout we held a carnival on the soccer field with all kinds of booths, food, hayrides and games.  Kids love it and staff have a pretty good time as well.

It was a weather perfect day here after the fog burned off around 10.  Main Camp kayakers went to the Green today and had a great time.  Almost everyone turned over which means they were learning a lot. We also had bikers out today at Dupont State Forest and Climbers were out at Looking Glass.  Last but not least the Web of Life folks went up in Pisgah to explore a portion of the Davidson River and found some good swimming holes.  All four Main Camp groups had fun exploring various terrain and using human power to walk, bike, climb and paddle in those areas.

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.  Later in the day the farm picked the first watermelons of the season as seen in the picture.  We’ve been harvesting our cantaloupes but these are the first water melons.  Corn was also picked and is a GV staple this time of year along with fresh tomatoes.  Yesterday provided the right amount of rain for the crops that are thriving right now.  We had a little too much rain earlier in the summer which left us a little shy in the potato realm.  When the ground stays too moist the potatoes don’t do as well.  Other crops have done well this summer.

Watermelons for the picking

This afternoon Mountainside had signups and will leave to go on their second training day tomorrow.  I took a group on a creek hike today and several of them wanted to go because they hadn’t creek hiked in a while.  Our Carson Creek is spectacular to hike and it makes you feel like you’re very remote while out there.  We had a great group and everyone got thoroughly wet and water logged from hiking in the creek.

Update on Riverside:  They paddling the Tuck today and will be on the Nantahala tomorrow and hopefully on Section 9 of the French Broad on Friday.  I only wish I was with them.

On a different note this marks the 151st 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!