Dear Camper Families and Friends,
We had a beautiful and hot summer day here at Gwynn Valley! In the morning temperatures stayed temperate as campers enjoyed their second A day of Morning Discoveries. In the afternoon, it was perfect weather for swimming and the waterfront was a popular spot for afternoon sign ups. Campers were out having fun on the water mat, the zipline, the traverse line, sit on top kayaks, stand up paddle boards and just goofing around in the swimming area. The sunshine has been bountiful and we all basked in it’s summer glory today.
Our kitchen hit home runs at every meal today. As Grant likes to say, “You can’t buy food like this!” For breakfast we had homemade-whole wheat cranberry & orange scones, bacon, fruit, OJ, water, milk and cereal. At lunch we had fresh green salad, chicken, grilled eggplant and squash, pitas, olives, feta, homemade tzatziki sauce and fruit. Some people made gyros and others enjoyed a nice greek salad. Snack was a refreshing fruit and yogurt smoothie which really hit the spot when temperatures were high after rest hour. For dinner we had roasted chicken (raised at GV) with rice, gravy, homemade-whole wheat challah bread, green salad, local butter, and beet salad. Many campers at my table tried beets for the first time, and I think we may have a few converted beet lovers! At Gwynn Valley, we know that food nourishes not only the body but also the soul. We really emphasize the importance of slowing down to eat, conversing with those around you, and knowing where your food comes from. Our table groups sit together for one week at a time, and each group includes a mix of campers and staff, boys and girls, Main Camp and Mountainside. We have had a few days with our D session table groups and as you look around the dining hall you can tell by all the laughter and the noise level that groups have really gotten comfortable with one another.
The dining hall was very spacious this evening as nearly half of our cabin groups were on camp outs. Nine Main Camp cabins and two Mountainside cabins picked up food orders from the cookout kitchen and made dinner over an open fire at one of our many established campsites on camp property. Cabin camp outs are wonderful opportunity for cabin bonding and up close contact with natural wonders of Western North Carolina. Most sites have a shelter with a roof and three walls, which opens to the surrounding environment on the fourth side. There is also a fire ring and plenty of space to play in the surrounding woods or fields. Our closest shelter is Hidden Stall; it only takes 5 minutes to walk there from Downtown GV, but you really feel like you’re in the middle of the woods when you arrive. Our furthest campsites are over on the Hunt Farm and they are about a 15 or 20 minute walk from Downtown GV. Our younger cabins go to the closer sites while our older groups have a bit of a further or harder walk to the more distant sites. Every cabin camps out at least once during the session, so if a cabin group did not go tonight, they will be going at some point over the next few days.
Our Mountainside campers enjoyed their 2nd Mini Adventures today. During the first week of camp, each camper will try mountain biking, rock climbing, canoeing and pioneering. After today, everyone has tried two of the four adventure options. At the end of the week we will collect adventure preferences and sort them into adventure groups for further training before the big trip. After Mini Adventures today, half of mountainside went out for cabin camp outs while the other half ate dinner as normal in the dining hall and then went down to the farm. At the farm, MS3 campers set a record potato harvest, collecting over 400 lbs of potatoes! After working hard in the garden, our farm workers enjoyed some play time with the baby goats and the piglets. The piglets were freshly bathed and adorable as always.
Back in Main Camp, the remaining cabins enjoyed an evening of Twilight play. For those of you who are new to camp, Twilight play is an extended after supper activity period. Tonight campers went down to the stables for horses; swung like Tarzan and Jane on the tower swing; played a massive game of capture the flag all over Downtown GV; popped GV grown corn at the Mill; made bath bombs and hacky sacks with our crafty ladies Daisy and Kelly; went on scavenger hunt for Debbie; tried their hand at wheel throwing with Hannah; or played camouflage with our OLS / WEB team.
After a full day of playing in the sun, all our campers are now sleeping peacefully in cabins and camp out shelters. We’re excited to hear about camp out adventures over breakfast tomorrow when all our table groups will be complete once again. Until then… we’ll all have to dream of the adventures that tomorrow will hold.