Thirteen Days of the Simple Joys!

Dear Parents & Friends,

The last full day of Session B was spectacular. It was another beautiful day as far as the weather. Everyone soaked up the sunshine and enjoyed the moderate mountain temperatures. Some of today’s photos are from last night’s Tajar Ball. We haven’t loaded all the pics from today but they will be up no later than tomorrow evening. When Mountainside and Riverside came in yesterday we had a bunch of photos to upload from their adventures.

Tomorrow when you arrive your children will be waiting for you in the 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. It allows staff to see how the children are doing since they only see them at morning wake-up and just before and after meals. A lot happens in our day here at camp and it’s a good way to learn about the children’s experiences. After the friendship circle, we hope you will join us in the Lodge for our final campfire for the session. There will songs, stories and skits from the session. Lunch is just after and most of the food will be from our farm.

Morning program was sign-ups and everyone got to choose two activities that they maybe hadn’t done and wanted to try. There was a huge variety of things offered, plus there were a couple of off camp trips for tubing and one for climbing at Cove Creek. 6 Main Camp campers went with our climbing staff up into Pisgah for a wee bit of climbing. The Cove Creek climbs sit at the foot of a creek and rise up out of a small cove that is just beautiful. We took the staff up there for a picnic during training and had a blast just playing in the fields and wading in the creek. Main camp bikers were videoed today by Ben, one of our instructors who has a little GoPro camera that mounts to his handlebars or helmet. He’s putting it together tonight and we’ll try and get it up tomorrow. This session has produced some great bikers. I asked one little guy today if he bikes at home and he said he didn’t. His parents should get him a mountain bike because he’s got a knack for it given his age. There was zip lining, corn shucking, candle making, learning how to use an axe ( I know it sounds dangerous, but it was a great session), weaving, swimming, and the list goes on.

We had pizza for dinner tonight which is traditional on the last night of camp. After dinner we took the rest of the cabin photos which will go up tomorrow and then went on to friendship campfire. Lots of people sang and talked about what the past couple of weeks had meant to them. One of the best groups to chime in were our SIT’s. They’ve been just extraordinary and outstanding this session. They stay for three weeks and spend a lot of time working and watching and being sponges. Let me say that again, they spend a lot of time WORKING! We hope one day this group all comes back to be counselors. What a great bunch and if your camper had one in their cabin be sure to introduce yourself and thank them.

Friendship campfire was also about honoring those who have attended camp for a long time. We had our blanket ceremony and also the 5 year plaque ceremony for the “old timers”. As I said earlier in the week camp creates memories or as I call it camp DNA. Gwynn Valley is all about the “simple joys” of childhood and we celebrate that each and every day. We look forward to seeing you all tomorrow but will miss our campers from this session. Stay tuned!

Grant