UK Day and the Royals!

Dear Parents and Friends,

Today was UK Day here at camp and the Union Jack’s spirit filled us all day long.  Who, none other than William Wallace showed up this morning to greet the loyal citizens of Gwynn Valley to try to enlist them to roll for freedom, roll for truth for Scotland.  His men from Echo and Chipmunk Hut roared down the hill just before breakfast to show their allegiance.  After Wallace’s speech we were all ready to take on any army.  It was typical UK food today with Bangers and Mash for dinner and for snack this afternoon we had scones and jam.  This evening the Royal Family was at Gwynn Valley and reenacted the recent wedding of Phillip and Kate just for us here at camp.  All the family was introduced and much merriment and song surrounded the evening.  Possum Manor cabin performed a Scottish Dance, Echo Boys were the choir for the ceremonies and Blue Ridge cabin sang a song.  At the end of the ceremony the newest royal couple drove away in their carriage (the kitchen truck) to live happily ever after.  Fairy tales do come true, even if your blood is blue, at Gwynn Valley!

Blueberries are starting to come in at the Farm and you might see a few pickers and grinners among the pictures.  The Farm is always a busy place and is not only a great place to visit but it feeds us too! Did you know that a baby chick’s heart beats about 400 times a minute.  That’s just one of many tidbits you‘ll learn at the Farm.  Another favorite animal at camp, among the many, are the horses.  I can’t think of any young person who doesn’t want to go riding.  Sometimes our campers legs just barely stretch over the backs of those critters.  The Web of Life went bird watching this morning and were identifying many varieties of flying critters and learning what they look like as well their calls.  Emma, who leads that program is a dedicated birder.

It’s staff like Emma and many others that make the camp experience so rewarding.  A camper who bonds with the counselor and other campers wants to return. That is the magic of camp. Well trained staff who understand the “magic” of what is developmentally appropriate and the importance of an intentional program dedicated to the values and mission of the camp will bring both campers and parents back to camp year after year. What changes lives? Relationships! Sure, sprinkle a little magic and program into that formula, but never underestimate the staff’s role which I think is the essence of camp.  Camp abounds with opportunities for social, emotional, and physical development while practicing, failing, and learning in safe, intentional environments.

Camp is a wonderful institution in our Western NC region.  Gwynn Valley is among many great camps in our area and we’re so glad you’ve chosen us to host your child.  Gwynn Valley was recently chosen by our local NPR station as a camp that represents the strength of camping in our region.  If you go to the following links you’ll find a two part story, that aired yesterday and today, about camping in our part of the state and how it impacts the area.

Part One

http://www.wcqs.org/news/wcqs-local-news/camp-industry-has-365-million-impact-in-wnc

Part Two

http://www.wcqs.org/news/wcqs-local-news/the-benefits-of-summer-camp

Some of our parents and staff were interviewed and you can hear some wonderful sounds of Gwynn Valley.  The station is hoping that the story will go nationwide on a show called Market Place.  That would be great for them and us.  Of course camp is great even without our 20 seconds of fame.  The simple joys are what it’s all about!  Stayed tuned!

Grant