Today is Wednesday and What a Day We’ve Had!

Dear Parents & Friends,

Another great day at Gwynn Valley and we’re just experiencing a little rain during after supper activities.  I’m on duty today so I didn’t get to as many programs as I wanted.  On duty means that you carry a radio all day long and into the night.  You attend all activity changeovers and you are available for tours (2 today), preside and announce at all meals and run singing and announcements after lunch.  You also put camp to sleep and make sure lights are out and everything is closed down at 12 midnight.  That’s our camp curfew and SIT’s are in their cabins by 11:00.  Despite that, I did check in with Mill, Pottery, Yanderside (A&C’s), Horses, Sports, Bong Tree and Climbing.  I know that a couple of Mountainside cabins were up on the ropes course today and experiencing life out of their normal comfort zones.  There’s a good bit of support that happens from the group when up high in the trees.

Two Mountainside cabins went to the Farm after dinner tonight and two MS cabins were there last night.  Seven cabins are camping out tonight so we had quite a few missing from the dining room dinner table.  Usually when a cabin camps out they also cook out.  It’s not an elaborate cookout but tasty none the less and certainly there’s always s’mores. What would a campout be without them!  When Anne and first came to GV, chocolate had been eliminated from the s’mores recipe.  One of our first acts was to reinstate chocolate back into the recipe.  Yes, it might hype the occasional camper but it’s definitely worth it.

Something you may hear about when your child gets home is that a Super Chicken ran through the dining room this morning.  It stopped grabbed the mic out of a counselor’s hand, sang the Super Chicken Song and took off for the far door.  As you might guess this was staged, however no counselor is admitting they saw anything.  We were all frozen (maybe because we’re adults) as soon as Super Chicken entered the room.  (It’s kind of like not hearing the jingle bell if you’ve ever seen the Polar Express.  Even though all my children are grown, we always squeeze it in during the holiday season.)  Back to the chicken, …we were supposed to freeze and react with no knowledge of seeing anything like a chicken in the dining room.   It’s just fun, the campers love it and they can’t believe or understand that we don’t see what they are seeing.

Hillside is delving into some imaginative realms tonight listening to Tajar Tales while Brookside is going Mountain Dancing.  Imagination is a big part of camp and imagination creates happy stories that your child can relish in while here and also at home.  We become hero’s in some ways that we can’t at home, we rise to the top of heap, we see that “I can” is much stronger than “I can’t”.  “Imagination can be more powerful than you think”, says parenting expert and psychologist, Dr. Randy Cale.  “It allows you visualize life situations and act them out mentally to decide what the best course of action is. With guidance, children can use their imagination to help them solve just about any problem. They can prepare for just about any situation and gain remarkable confidence. And the really cool part here is that each and every time that they practice, their beliefs and their skills grows stronger.”

Brookside had a great time Mountain Dancing tonight to Debbie’s music and calling of Hokey Pokey, Going to Kentucky, Paddy Cake Polka, Sasha (Russian Folk Dance) and the Virginia Reel.  Debbie’s hands were smoking by the end of the evening.  Many of these dances are mixers where boys and girls dance together for just a short time.  Obviously we’re not trying to attract the opposite sexes but we do want youngsters to feel ok about dancing together and holding hands and the like.  It’s downright comical to see boys avoiding any contact in a dance when you have to clap hands, elbow swing one another and promenade.  Most girls are good with this and comply with what the dance narrates, but the boys are exiting that highway every chance they get.  It’s also about making new friends while here.  You make friends in your cabin group, table group and activity group and even at Mountain Dancing.  Camp was made for friendship.  Some camp friendships last a lifetime.  Camp just does kids a world of good and we’re so glad they are here.  Stay tuned!