Dear Parents & Friends,
I heard a brand new sound a camp today and it was beautiful! I wish I had a recording to share with you. At the end of morning discoveries, ringing out over the sounds of chatter and footsteps and laughter and the turning Mill Wheel, the musical clinking of delicate metal cut through the noise of activity changeover. I looked through the crowd of campers returning to their cabin meeting spots, trying to determine the source of this new kind of music. It was a group of campers returning from blacksmithing with their finished wind chimes! We have been running blacksmithing for a few summers now, but this is our first wind chimes project. It was a big hit! Each camper had a set of 5 or 6 delicate pendants hanging from a wooden wreath. Campers were so proud of their finished works! I could see them showing them off to friends in their cabin as they rejoined those groups. I asked to check one out as well – each camper had delicately twisted and hammered patterns into each pendant and then drilled a hole into the top. Having been to blacksmithing a few times, I can tell you this process is harder than it sounds as I write it out here from the comfort of my chair.
Today marks the 3rd session or the end of our A day Discoveries, so all campers were finishing up a series of lessons in their chosen activity areas. Some of these program areas have tangible finish lines like the blacksmiths and their wind chimes. Campers in other craft activities went back to cabins with screen printed bandannas or woven place mats or ceramic candle holders (with a handmade matching candle!). Other program areas leave campers with new skills, which are evident as you walk around through program on the 3rd day. Kayakers were looking looking strong on the lake as they worked their way confidently through the river gates. Bikers were doing hill drills on the green then tackling part of the Main Camp trail. Other activities are still working towards their final project, for example the Fine Arts actors sounded great as they ran through lines in preparation for next week’s performance. As a group, the C /C1 campers seem to posses an incredible drive to focus and persevere as they grow in their skill sets and confidence in many different activity areas. They’re having fun, but they are serious about their learning. It’s been amazing to see all they can accomplish when they put their heart and mind into an activity.
Despite a big thunderstorm at lunch (and through rest hour!) we still managed to get out for 2 hours of activities this afternoon. Another new activity – quilling – was quite popular at Crafts. For those at home opening a google tab, I can spare you the search. Quilling or paper filigree is an art form that involves the use of strips of paper that are rolled, shaped, and glued together to create decorative designs. Campers were making flowers and other designs out of rolled up paper. With sock puppets in fine arts and corn cob creations at this mill – creativity seemed to be the theme of the afternoon! Down at the farm, sweet corn is coming in fast and campers were busy picking! Rumors are floating around that our pregnant pig may be in the early stages of labor, but more on that in the next few days. All the normal activities were running as well – archery, horseback riding, rock climbing, etc.
Tonight for evening campfire we had a special outdoor game. These big camp games are always a bit hard to explain, but I’ll try to explain. The short version is that the Tajar stole a pot of gold and it made rainbow fall apart, leaving all kinds of color bouncing around camp. Out special guest for the evening, a unicorn who looked very much like our Fine Arts program leader, fell ill (as rainbows are her life source) and asked for the campers help to catch the rainbow and put it back together. Campers ran around camp trying to collect red, orange, yellow, green, blue AND purple to complete their cabin rainbows by finding program leaders hidden around camp and answering their riddles. There were pixies and leprchauns and walking clouds and many other characters along the way trying to help or complicate the process of collecting the rainbow. At the end of it all, campers cured the unicorn and celebrated with a sweet, frozen dessert.
All in all, it was another magical day at Gwynn Valley. Stay tuned for more news tomorrow.