We’ve All Made New Friends!

Dear Parents and Friends,

It’s been a full day at camp and unfortunately the last full day.  We just finished our evening campfire program which is always called Friendship Campfire on the last night of camp.  It’s been a great session and we celebrated that by showing many of the pictures that you all have been viewing this week.  Our camp photographer Natalie has done a great job with capturing your children over the past eight days.  Be sure and thank her for the great pics that she has put up on the web site.  Most of all, Anne and I appreciate our staff who have cared for your children this week and made sure that their experience at Gwynn Valley was one that will bring about great memories of the good times we all had.

Tonight’s campfire allowed our little thespians to put on a shadow box play about how the power of the Sun.  It was a Native American story that had many characters (puppets) and many twists and turns as people tried to tame the sun and not make it so bright.  Two groups of campers led the two act play.  After and before the play music and skits were shared by campers, staff and SIT’s.

Backing up a bit in the day, we had the perfect weather day for camp; mid 80’s and a hint of breeze with some clouds and no rain.  All activities were humming along and several groups left camp for day outings as well as overnight forays into the forest.  The Mountainsider’s started their adventures today.  Paddlers headed to the upper French Broad, climbers ventured up to Cedar Rock which you can see from camp, bikers to Dupont State Forest and pioneers across the road on the river to the Hunt Farm site of the Island Ford.  Riverside was back in camp today cooking and also spending some quality down time after their 4 days at Linville Gorge climbing.  They spent about 2 hours working on their canoe skills and getting ready for next week’s canoe component.  It’s always good to have them home and in camp.  They seem so old and big compared to many of our young campers this session.  All total the twelve of them have about many years of camp experience.  We look forward to having them as staff one day.

It’s been a great session and the children have made lots of new friends, explored the world around them, and learned that “I can” is much more powerful than “I can’t”.  Magic has happened in their short time with us.  In an environment created just for them, they’ve learned  real life skills, developed self-esteem, and gained a sense of independence and community.  By playing, exploring nature, conquering new heights, and becoming part of a camp family, they have created some memorable moments this week.

As you arrive tomorrow morning, we look forward to seeing you and hope you hear many good stories over the next few days from camp.  This session is always full of lots of new campers.  Eight days is such a short amount of time in our adult world but to many of our campers it is perfect for their first experience.  We wish we could keep them longer but it’s good to leave a place when the timing is right and you want to come back.  Gwynn Valley is 76 years old this summer and we hope to see everyone back again for another year of the simple joys of childhood.  Stay tuned!

Grant