By Sandy Schenck
The Polar Bear club continues to grow at the GRP! Another hike headed up to Uncle’s Falls today, and several more campers braved the cold water. They saw some more salamanders and a crawfish so big, they said you could eat it, like a lobster, for dinner! Hikers down the Bear Trail didn’t see any bears, but they did see a tree where a bear had left its mark, scratching horizontal lines across the tree and prying off the bark. They also found the body of a crow and retrieved the skull for further examination. Campers who hiked up to Peggy’s Rock looked at some cool fungi, played some fun ecology games, and got to walk over the Postman’s Walk, sort of a swinging rope bridge over Big Laurel Creek.
After lunch and rest hour, campers changed activities today, beginning their last two days of activities. One group started learning about fly fishing; while they were practicing casting, one camper caught a beautiful “blue-gill,” a bream with gorgeous coloring—blue-ish around the gills and yellow on its fins; Sandy explained that it was a female. We looked at the sharp spikes along its dorsal fin and felt the sandpaper-like texture of its teeth, and then released it back into the lake. In guitar, campers reviewed basic chords, including the 3 main chords necessary to play “Paradise,” a country song GRP campers and staff love to sing at campfires. One camper also learned how to play the beginning riff of “Smoke on the Water” on the ukulele! In theater, they played improvisational games, assuming characters ranging from warriors to people doing yoga to cheerleaders. So much to do and so little time left to do it….
For evening program, we enjoyed seeing a wide variety of camper talents. Several campers told or read stories; others played musical instruments and sang songs. We heard a beautiful rendition of the Les Mis song “Castle on a Cloud”; a camper-and-staff ensemble rocked the house with a spirited performance of “Hotel California.” And two campers had the whole house up and dancing by the end of their dance routine to “Play That Funky Music”! Other campers and staff showed us their “stupid human tricks,” and we also saw a neat demonstration of juggling with devil sticks.
We can safely say that at the GRP, we are constantly inspired by nature and by each other. It has been a wonderful day!