The Week Has Flown By!

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It’s been a full day at camp and unfortunately the last full day of Session A.  We just finished our evening campfire program by neighborhood which is always called Friendship Campfire on the last night of camp.  It’s been a super session and we celebrated by showing many of the pictures that you all have been viewing this week and a short video which will be loaded on our website tomorrow.  Our camp photographers have done a great job with capturing your children over the past 6 days.  Anne and I appreciate our staff who have guided and cared for your children this week and made sure that their experience at Gwynn Valley was one that will bring about great memories of the good times we all had. It was such a joy to gather in community again after the last 15 months.

Last night, we had a cookout and ate outdoors for Tajar Ball. We had the typical cookout food: hamburgers, hotdogs, baked beans, coleslaw, chips, and watermelon. After dinner, we had five zones set up with carnival games and one for cookies and ice cream!! Fortunately, the rain held out and we got to play outdoors for a long time. Tonight we had our traditional end of the session dinner with homemade pizza (with homemade whole wheat pizza dough), salad, grapes, and the best brownies in the world!

Mountainside began their adventures today and will be out until Saturday late afternoon and then back to camp.  Mountainside bikers are riding trails in Dupont State Forest; Earth Skills are at Wolf Den, Paddlers did section zero of the French Broad today, Climbers are at Looking Glass, and Hikers are in the Pisgah National Forest near the Pink Beds.

Riverside was back in camp today and also spending some quality down time after their 4 days climbing in Linville.   I spent a little time with them on the lake today  to hone their skills and see what they’ve retained from previous paddling adventures here at camp.  They will take off again on Sunday.

Backing up a bit in the day, we held pillowcase day at the pool where campers can bring their pillowcases and learn how to make them into a float.  Everyone in Main Camp comes to the pool throughout the afternoon.  All campers had sign-ups this morning since our Discovery’s were over.  All activities were open and many campers got to do things on the last day to complete their Tajar Card.  

It’s been a great session and the children have made lots of new friends, explored the world around them, and learned that “I can” is much more powerful than “I can’t”.  As I circulate through camp each day I witness the magic that is played out by those who are experiencing new things for the first time.  I’ve seen children turn from shy to talkative when I have shared a meal with them, show resilience in tackling new challenges, and push themselves in ways that help to raise the bar for future endeavors.  Camp is a stepping stone for life skills and building a sense of confidence in an outdoor world.  All of this has happened without the aid of screens or other distractions in this short session that will end tomorrow.  In an environment created just for them, they’ve learned real life skills, developed self-esteem, and gained a sense of independence and community.  By playing, exploring nature, conquering new heights, and becoming part of a camp family, they have created some memorable moments. I call it creating camp DNA.