UK Day at GV!!!!!

Dear Parents and Friends,

It’s UK day here at camp.  Every Tuesday we celebrate a country or several countries as part of our international focus at GV.  We started off the morning before breakfast by meeting the royal family who all showed up and stood before us we came into the dining room.  The Queen greeted all the campers from Hillside on the way in.  She’s getting ready to be a grandmother again for the latest arrival to the family and wanted to mingle with the younger campers.  There was a sign on the door to the dining room that reminded all staff and campers to “Keep Calm and Be Polite”.  I suppose we should be on our manners with the Queen visiting.  Just after Breakfast we were entertained to an archery match between Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham. Of course we all know who comes out on top.

But, on to better things about program.  I stopped by Shady Grove this morning to watch the felting process.  They take raw wool and turn it into pouches and other artistic creations.  Really interesting mix of colors and texture.  Just around the corner was pottery making their first coil and slab pieces which is foundation work for later expressions of artistry.  Next door the lads and lasses were working on marbling, which is very interesting splash art on a small scale.  It’s small and very controlled and you can create some great stationary and fun paper products by marbling.

On the waterfront a new group was getting used to the kayaks and being comfortable upside down in the water.  Wet exits come first and then they progress to the spray skirts which prevent you from falling out of the boat when you turn over, so you have to be ready to find and pull the tab on your skirt in order to wet exit.  This is a prerequisite for paddling even on the lake and certainly on the river.  It takes a while but most folks get it.  After that then we start working on strokes which are much different from the canoe.  Kayaking is easier starting off but gets a little harder as you progress.  It’s easier to paddle in a straight line vs being in a canoe even with a partner.  Having two blades simplifies and confounds at the same time.  The kayak in the right hands is very maneuverable and can run circles around most canoes.

On the high adventure scene the climbers were scaling the tower again this morning and learning their knots and commands along the way.  There’s a lot communication that goes on between the climber and belayer (who holds you safely).  It’s definitely a team effort and a skill that’s good for working with other people and maybe someone you don’t know.  Our tower is nice for all levels and teaches the basics right up to overhanging challenging wall climbs.  It’s only one of four kinds of climbing at camp, which we can talk about at a later date.

The bikers were getting their mountain legs today on the Green learning to use their gears and attack position as they rode up and down to try and attain the top of the Green hill.  It’s harder than it looks but it prepares you for positioning over the bike as well as understanding cadence and gearing.  We have three trails here at camp, a new beginner loop just completed over the winter, a Hunt Farm loop where we host an off season race each year for youngsters and the Main Camp Loop which is fun but more difficult.  We’ve also added a small skills course near the climbing wall that weaves its way around many obstacles and bridges.

Just before lunch today the Loch Ness Monster appeared on our Lake but James Bond went off the Zip Line and put asunder Nessie.  Never a dull moment at camp.  Riverside left today for their climbing adventure and will return on Friday.  Mountainside continues their mini-adventures and are here in camp all day tomorrow.

It’s a full day here and tonight at our campfire the Brits outdid themselves.  Campers from all parts of camp participated in lots of skits and music.  There was the British Wax Museum, British TV shows that are the equivalent to our Dancing With the Stars and American Idol and there was a wonderful medley of Elton John’s tunes sung by our camper choir.  The kids and adults really put a lot of practice into tonight’s performance.  It seems that rock concerts started in England and with that in mind our small venue was the perfect setting for an English group called “One Direction” to stop by and do a short concert to end the evening.   It was brilliant as they say in the motherland.  Everyone had a blast and at the end balloons came down from the ceiling.  Of course we always calm things down before bedtime and our British staff sang Old Lang Syne to end our evening.  It’s only the beginning of the week and it didn’t rain a drop today.  We’re having Fun with a capital F.  Stay tuned!