World Peace in Our Hands Here at Camp!

Dear Parents & Friends,

Another great day at Gwynn Valley and a bit hot but a good day to stay wet.  No rain was in our plans and that was a bonus.  Two Mountainside cabins went to the Farm after dinner tonight and three MS cabins were there last night.  Several cabins are camping out tonight so we had quite a few missing from the dining room dinner table.  Usually, when a cabin camps out they also cook out.  It’s not an elaborate cookout but tasty none the less and certainly there’s always s’mores. What would a campout be without them!  When Anne and I first came to GV, chocolate had been eliminated from the s’mores recipe.  One of our first acts was to reinstate chocolate back into the recipe.  Yes, it might hype the occasional camper but it’s definitely worth it.

I spent most of my day in program today videoing and going around to a multitude of activities.  I started at Mountainside watching our biking group get acquainted with their iron steeds.  From there it was on to the climbing wall where the crew was working on wall problems.  Climbing is a great sport to support one another and those on the ground make for good cheerleaders.  Not everyone is of the same ability so it helps to have that moral support.  In the vicinity was soccer and these are heady times with the World Cup going on.  Today when England scored a win on penalty shots the staff who had time off literally erupted from the staff living room to celebrate.  All of camp knew what had happened within minutes.    At PM activity time I checked in on the mill, pottery, and back to the waterfront.

Everywhere I went there were teachers teaching and doing a great job.  Our staff shares a lot of information each day.  I often hear from staff that children ask a lot of questions.  This is a good thing.  Staff utilize different teaching methods that we discuss during staff training.  It’s group, weather, subject matter dependent and so many other elements that enter into to teaching.  Learning how to belay for climbing or changing gears on a bike takes practice and understanding all the steps that go into the process. We all learn differently and we have to throw out a big net to make sure we’re getting on everyone’s wavelength. For many years while teaching paddling, I taught using the whole-part-whole method.  Show the stroke, then break it down part by part and then show it again and talk about it and what it does to your boat.  We can sometimes get into analysis paralysis when teaching skills and I’m always adjusting my technique with each group I work with.  Teaching is a gift and at camp, we’re working toward the betterment of our teaching techniques and the way we impart information to children.  You know pretty quickly if you’ve perked their interest and if you have them wanting more.  It’s a good feeling when you know you’ve hit the target.

We held after supper activities tonight and after that, there was a group challenge to seek world peace through the venue of the current world cup.  Campers were searching for the world cup nations to deliver a soccer ball which represented world peace and once all the countries were found everyone came together to celebrate together.  It wasn’t easy because there were referees (counselors) everywhere and some players were not very sportsmanlike and were trying to foil the peace effort.  As you might guess there was a positive ending.  Hey, it’s camp, you have to have a happy ending.  Stay tuned!  It’s 4th of July tomorrow!  Yahoo!