By Sandy Schenck
The animals are out in full force around the GRP! And we are taking advantage on our mentor hikes, examining all sorts of fauna, as well as flora, of course. In addition to the big salamanders seen again today up at Uncle’s Falls, campers and staff have spotted millipedes, centipedes, dung beetles, at least two snakes (one of which appeared to be a very pregnant black snake), more crayfish, and the list goes on. Those who hiked from the Upper Bald to the Lower Bald and then down to the lower road this morning also got to feast on wild blueberries, which are just beginning to ripen. At the farm, we planted onions, beans and squash, and also found two spearheads. Quite a productive morning, in terms of GRP experiences!
Not so many animals wandering through activity sites this afternoon, but that is just as well. In knitting, campers were practicing their stitches and working on projects like scarves. Several climbers made it all the way to the top of the climbing tower; one camper reports that climbing has helped him get over his fear of heights. BB Skeeters took on the challenge of trying to hit the “dream” shot, a shot that is far away and in a small frame, and many of them made it. After activities, campers signed up for GLP’s (Group Learning Projects); there are many exciting options this session for GLP’s, including making pies, fly fishing, and water day, which will be a day of fun activities centered around learning about stream and other aquatic ecosystems. More on those in a few days!
Tonight for evening program, we had a fabulous time at the Appalachian Shindig, also known as contra dancing! We put on cowboy boots and raided the costume closet for straw hats; the Ortgoblins played for us and Em was our caller. The energy level was high; almost everyone danced for every song. We circled to the left, alamanded to the right, gypsied around each other, and swung our partners. When the dancing was finished, the band played “Paradise,” a country song that has a lot of meaning for GRP campers and staff; it was the perfect finish to an awesome day!