Dear Parents & Friends,
Wow! I feel like a camper because it’s been such an exciting day around camp. Sometimes at the supper table you’ll be asking campers what they did that day and they’ll have trouble remembering because there’s so much going on. If they can’t remember, I’ll just ask, “well did you have a good day”, and the answer is yes! Today was UK day at camp so we celebrated all the countries from that part of the world, Scotland, England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. We started out the day with William Wallace (of Braveheart fame) raiding the morning breakfast line-up to give the speech to his men just before he went into battle with the English. In our pictures today, you might spot some young lads who were a part of Wallace’s men that had their faces painted blue to commemorate this event. We had a traditional English breakfast of eggs, sausages, beans on toast, cooked tomatoes and cereal for those that didn’t take to the English way.
I spent a good portion of my morning at the farm shooting some video which I’ll share at some point. The campers gathered eggs, listened to the heartbeat of baby chicks, bottle fed the young calves, visited and hung out with our baby piglets, and picked almost 400 ears of corn. Did you know that female chicks are called pullets until they’re about a year old and that’s when they start to lay eggs. And… did you know that while a chicken’s egg may seem solid, it actually contains about 8,000 pores large enough for the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. Our farm is amazing and you learn so much while you’re down there. It was hot at the farm this morning but everyone really enjoyed our time with the animals and the farm crew.
To continue UK day, the Queen showed up just before lunch and gave us a re-creation of her Jubilee boat ride down the Thames River. At the original event, there were 8000 boats. We had quite a lot on our lake but we were a bit shy of that unbelievable number. Lunch today was a picnic on the Green just after the Queen landed after debarking from her flotilla. I feel quite lucky because the Queen sits at my table and while it was very exciting, we had to be on our best table manners. She doesn’t put up with any foolishness from her royal subjects. No soccer hooligans were allowed in camp today! Throughout the day and meals there were questions and facts on each table about the UK. I learned a great deal and I was surprised that the children knew so much about that part of the world. We learned a good bit about Wales just after lunch because Bethan and Wyn are both from there. They talked about their lives and sang a couple of neat songs. Wyn works at the Farm and Bethan works at the Mill. Afternoon activities were slightly delayed today by a short thundershower but the sun came right back out. I went with our creek hikers to shoot some video. I takes about 2 hours to do the hike and then you walk back into camp via a trail. We start just above Mountainside and hiked through the creek all the way to Connestee Falls. When you’re out there you could easily be anywhere in Pisgah. There are many cascading falls between Connestee and camp. We had a great time and our lifeguards did an excellent job of keeping everyone together and making sure we had three points of contact with the ground. The rocks on a creek hike can be slippery. Hopefully I’ll get some video up from this special part of camp. We got back just before dinner.
Dinner tonight was roast beef, roasted potatoes, carrots and cabbage, bread, mint jelly, and a Wimbledon favorite, strawberries and whipped cream. One little girl who sits at another table and lives in Cabin Playhouse, had her birthday today at camp and we always have a cake at the end of the meal for the birthday boy or girl and their whole cabin. When asked if she wanted some dessert at the end of the meal she said, “No, I’m having cake after the meal and two desserts are probably too much”. Andy, our assistant director said, “you’re at camp and allowed to have two desserts”, and gave her a just a taste to see if she liked it and wanted more. She took a little taste and said, “I think I’ll be having both tonight, may I have some more?” Priceless!!!
Tonight at campfire was a British invasion of music from the UK. Michael Caine was our host and I’m sure no campers knew who he was but he was brilliant as they say over there. Between performances by several cabins we had the Spice Girls, several songs from the Beatles, Elton John, and not to be outdone we had One Direction. If you’re a parent of a female camper you hopefully know who this boy band is. I only learned about them from campers in the past couple of weeks. We had flyers up the last two days that they were coming to GV. I was in the 7th grade when the Beatles invaded our shores and can still remember the girls squealing when they were introduced. One Direction topped the Beatles by far. All day the anticipation has been rising and tonight we reached that crescendo. It was a supercharged atmosphere when they appeared. It was really fun for our campers and it’s good for staff morale to shine in those ways. Our pop culture is huge and once in a while we allow that to creep into to our camp utopia. Done in small batches it is good. Our UK staff did a fantastic job tonight and with the London Olympics just around the corner, they earned a gold medal. The campers loved it and if you are a girl camper you might just dream about One Direction tonight and being on stage with them. Stay tuned – we’re back to reality tomorrow!