What a Great Day at GV with Sunshine, Some Rain and Ending With Sun and Stars!

Dear Parents & Friends,

Another day has ended here at GV and we’re about to end our E Session and summer with your arrival tomorrow.  Our campers rose to a foggy sky but it didn’t take long to see the sun peeking through and burning away our river bottom haze.  We held our last day of Discovery this morning to warm sun and blue skies which is always a plus in our Pisgah Rain Forest.  I thought it might not rain today, but it did during our afternoon packing time and while campers were at the pool.  It didn’t last long but it sure rained hard for about 30 minutes.  There was no thunder and lightning to send us scurrying from the rain clouds that did contain a silver lining.  With the waterfront open many campers took to SUP boards, kayaks and several finished off their Jr. Lifeguard certs.  In other parts of the camp, children were ascending trees, finishing off art projects, mountain biking on the Mountainside Trail, building fires, making more ice cream at the Mill, getting ready for tonight’s play and a host of other activities.

We run a half day of the program because everyone packs in the PM after lunch, singing and lost and found is handed out in the Lodge.  It’s also a time when the whole camp goes to the pool or lake for a final swim.  Despite the rain this afternoon everyone went and it was a great water day falling from the sky and all around us.  Campers come to the pool with their pillowcases and learn to wet them and then capture air inside and twist the end to form a floating pillow.  It’s a great trick and it really works.

About 5:00 this afternoon the skies cleared and the sun came back out to bring some bright closure to our day.  After supper activities went as planned with a little extra mud here and there in places.  The Thunderball court was in standing water but it didn’t deter play and everyone loved it.  Many dedicated campers went to look for the Tajar but didn’t find him.  My guess is he had too much fun at his own Ball last night and slept through the day.  He is rather old you know but has the energy of whirlwind when he’s awake.  He loves to sleep and once he dozes off he’s hard to wake up (even with all the commotion of camp).

At campfire tonight we honored the many campers who have attended camp for years.  As a tradition at our final campfire, we honor those who are coming for their 4th and 5th year with a blanket for the 4th year and a wooden plaque for their 5th year.  We also honor those staff, SIT’s and campers who’ve gone beyond the 5-year mark.  Milestones are now 8 years with a compass and 10 years is a sturdy stool that has our logo and name on it.  It’s made by our own Team Maintenance crew and wood from camp.  It’s always special to have these campers stand and be recognized.

Our fine arts group put on a play tonight called “The Stars in the Sky” and they are truly shining this evening.  The children wrote the play and incorporated several aspects from our E Session.  I imagine they will sing a song tomorrow at our campfire and hope you’ll stay to hear it.

Tomorrow when you arrive your children will be waiting for you in their cabins.  At 10:30 there will be a cabin friendship circle where all can join in.  We do these each night and check in with campers to find out how their day has been.  It allows staff to see how the children are doing since they only see them at morning wake-up, rest hour, before and after meals and bedtime.  Our days are full and it’s a good way to learn about the children’s experiences.  Mountainside and Riverside parents will gather earlier at 10:30 as well.  After the friendship circle, there is our program in the Lodge at 11:00 for parents, friends, and campers.  You can stay and enjoy a wonderful GV lunch at noon if you like.

Camp is a place where children can find their direction by learning about new skills that they uncover.  Camp is a place that puts them in direct touch with the outdoors and makes them feel more comfortable in those surroundings. The warmth of the community wraps around you like a blanket and reminds you of all the memories that are created here.  We call that “camp DNA”.  Growing up has never been harder and camp is a great place to learn about oneself and those around you as you grow.  Relationship building is the keystone here and so important throughout life.  Learning to live with those who are different and learning to accept one another for who we all are.  It’s a place of challenge and “successful failure” where you pick yourself up and try again.  It’s a place where “I can” replaces “I can’t”.  While E Session is only 8 days, I hope you’ll see some positive outcomes from your camper’s GV experience.  Drive carefully and see you tomorrow!