Winding Down and What a Great Day!

Dear Parents & Friends,

Our last day for C-1 Session and it was a good one.  The big news this morning at breakfast was that the piglets were born on the farm last night.  There are six babies clinging to their mother at this point.  Many children were able to go to the farm today to see them.  If your child is leaving tomorrow be sure to visit the farm and see the newborns.  I was at the farm this morning shooting some video and as well as just visiting that special place.  Campers fed calves, milked Bessie the cow, gathered eggs, picked fresh corn from the garden and visited with mama pig and her babies.  No matter the weather the animals must be cared for and fed and crops must be harvested.  The farm life goes on and one has to think how hard some farmers work.  We have an army that helps out down at the farm.  Thanks to the children harvesting and feeding, we can afford extra time to teach and talk about all the aspects of living on a farm and working the land.  You can’t just go on vacation and not milk the cow for a week.  My uncle was a dairy farmer and it truly was one of the most demanding lifestyles I’ve ever witnessed.  He loved it and was very good at what he did.  Our farm crew is great and each day brings us the fruit of our labors.

From there I headed up to the climbing wall to watch some of our climbers try the toughest side of our outdoor wall.  It’s an overhanging section that pits the climber against more gravity than usual.  The campers did a great job as they scaled the tough section.  To beat the heat, the zip line, pool and lake were in full action today.  Everyone flocked to the water mat and the zip line for a refreshing dip.  No matter the heat and weather, there’s always a game of Knockout and Thunderball going on at the B-ball court.  It’s an everyday favorite and one where the girls take on the boys and win about half the time.

We had pizza for lunch today and it was all you could eat.  If that wasn’t enough there were brownies for dessert.  Earlier in the morning I had stopped by the Mill to see what was going on there.  As luck would have it they were making chocolate ice cream cranked by the power of the Mill.  It was delicious and everyone was treated who helped.  Monday afternoons are reserved for our weekly team meeting but I did squeeze out in time to be with a couple of programs.  Folks were playing checkers at the Mill while waiting for the ice cream to finish.  I learned some “new rules” for checkers while playing with a couple of campers.  Pottery class surprised me as I walked past the soccer field by running out of bushes covered in clay.  Slip and swim on the last day of the session is a GV favorite.  The campers and staff take the left over clay and cover themselves with it.  At first glance you would think that you time traveled to the stone age when man looked this part.  It’s a fun and wild thing to do.

After dinner we took the rest of the C-1 cabin photos which will go up tonight and then went on to our final campfire which included much camper talent.  Anne and I took some time to honor those who have attended camp for a long time.  We had our blanket ceremony for those who have attended camp for 4 years.   As I said earlier in the week camp creates memories or as I call it camp DNA.  Gwynn Valley is all about the “simple joys” of childhood and we celebrate that each and every day.

Tomorrow when you arrive your children from C-1 will be waiting for you in the 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, bedtime and just before and after meals.  A lot happens in our day here at camp and it’s a good way to learn about the children’s experiences.  After the friendship circle, we welcome you to visit a while and maybe walk around camp to see the some of the activity areas.  Thank you for sharing your children and hope to see you next year.  Stay tuned!