UK Day at GV!

Dear Parents & Friends,

Sorry to miss our daily communication last night but some days are just too full. Lots to write about tonight as we get into our last week of C, C-2. Never a dull moment at GV.   Today was UK Day here at camp and as you may know, every Tuesday we celebrate our diversity through our international day. We started the day with William Wallace and his boys of Pimavera charging across the Green with faces painted declaring their independence from England. Michael, our Head Counselor for Hillside, led the charge and then read excerpts from Wallace’s speech from the Movie Braveheart, “they may take our lives, but they’ll never take… OUR FREEDOM!”

At lunch, we were treated to boat races on the Thames by Oxford and Cambridge Universities. Both started a bit slow but it became more exciting as the race went on. By the end of the race both teams had capsized and it was an unofficial GV tie. A picnic was held on the Green for lunch with sandwiches, pasta, and chips. You could choose a variety of sandwiches including cucumber. While the campers were eating they were entertained by a Cricket Match on the Green. As the campers finished their meal they were invited to join in the game. Everyone who wanted a turn got one and then it was off to sign-ups for the afternoon. Cricket was also played during after supper activities tonight for those who wanted a bit more.

Our Main Camp Kayakers took a trip down the French Broad today and will hopefully be able to go out again on Thurs. They were a mixed group of beginners and some with experience from last session. We’re trying to get them to the Green in a couple of days. All Mountainside groups will return tomorrow but will be up early to climb, paddle, hike and bike on their last day. We’ve had good weather for their adventures. The hikers got a bit of rain yesterday but nothing they couldn’t handle. Each group will de-gear as they come in and then run for the showers. It’s not often that campers this age go without showers for such a long period of time. I suppose the paddlers have it the best because they get to go swimming (most of the time by choice) whenever they want. It’s always nice to take a dip on a hot day to wash the sweat and campsite crude off.

I was down in the dirt today with OLS (Outdoor Living Skills) as they utilized their Hobo Stoves this session. A Hobo stove is a number 10 can that you can cook on if you want a small fire and have a pretty good supply of small wood. The campers and staff cooked pancakes on top of the stoves. The beauty is you don’t have to build a whopping big fire and we have plenty of cans here at camp. The key is getting your fire started and keeping it going with just a small amount of wood. The campers really enjoyed doing this and it’s also something they could construct at home with supervision in cutting out a #10 can in all the right spots.

As we get into the middle of our week we are also preparing and bringing closure to a lot of our crafts. Pots are being glazed, weavings finished up, shirts and batiks being washed to set the dye and other crafts that will be coming home. You wouldn’t think that corn cobs would have much value at the Mill. We take those and make a variety of objects utilizing some hot glue, sticks, and cut pieces of cob. I’m sure you’ll see some of these creations coming home. One of our crafts on Mountainside this session has been to build a primitive stool for the campers who participated. They used traditional tools, drawknives, hand saws and their own strength to create their stools made from cherry and red oak. On Thurs. the group will be putting the finishing touches on the stools they made with a lot of hand sanding.

Camp is all about hands-on activities and getting campers to realize they can do some pretty amazing things with the proper tools and supervision. We see amazing creations every day and know that when working on projects and seeing them through completion, it builds confidence for trying other new endeavors. We are opening the minds of tomorrow’s engineers, lawyers, doctors, teachers and others who may come to camp and find their passion early on. Stay tuned!