Simply Delightful

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The counselor skits last night were a huge hit. It never ceases to amaze me how much delight arises from the simple fun of camp. A typical Netflix show is highly produced and features talented actors with mind-blowing special effects. It costs millions of dollars to make a 30-minute episode, and many/most shows can’t hold our attention for 5 minutes. Yesterday we sat entranced for an hour as the counselors did their little acts. Girls were literally rolling with laughter after some of the acts! It capped off a day where we had a blast doing things like sliding down a plastic sheet, playing ga-ga (Jim-ball), swinging, stomping in mud puddles, playing tag, and just standing in a creek. Time flew by, and we loved every minute.

No technology of any type. The entertainment is us! We talk, we play, we dance, we sing… then walk to a new location and essentially do the same thing again. Why is it that we don’t get bored at camp?

Honestly, nobody gets “too much” camp. We always want a little more (even when camp was 7 weeks long the campers would say it was too short). It is amazing. We miss our families, our pets, and our hometown friends. We miss a lot of things, but we LOVE CAMP! Why is something so simple so satisfying?

It is a question that is worthy of an answer. If we can “crack the code”, perhaps we can duplicate this wonderful feeling when in other circumstances. The solution is very simple (anyone can do it) but has many facets, one of which is the weather and our relationship to it. Specifically, why it’s good for us to be outside.

At camp, we spend most of our time outside, even if the weather is bad (like the rain yesterday). In the imperfect weather conditions, we connect with the world and find moments of wonder and delight. Like when a flock of geese landed on the lake as we walked up the hill after EP last night. This kind of thing happens all the time, but in the real world we don’t see it because we are distracted by screens and closed off by walls… always working and often distracted. Might I suggest taking more time to be outside and just play or do nothing? I bet you end up noticing interesting things, making some friends, and having some great conversations.

At its core, this is part of the magic of camp. We gather a community of great people and give them a structure to their day which includes time to just be with each other. Almost none of our facilities are air conditioned… everything is “outside”. We experience the world without filters, and it is wonderful… it brings us together! We LOVE hanging out and celebrate the impact that people have on each other over time. It is so very good.

About homesickness. Some of you are VERY worried about this subject, because you don’t want this “bad feeling” to negatively impact your daughter. It is a valid concern. We agree that homesickness is not a good thing and we take it very seriously. We also filter occasional tears with the experience of running a really great camp. A camp with over 90% return ratios. A camp that campers absolutely love! We know “good” camp experiences and we work very hard to ensure every girl loves her time at Greystone.

A good experience might involve occasional tears, particularly during the beginning of the session. Our first days of camp are often marked by moments of uncertainty and adjustment. This is a good thing. This is completely natural and leads to resiliency. A resilient girl will get past moments of sadness or discomfort with ease- for she has learned what to do when she feels that way. Our counselors teach this throughout the day by their actions (always positive and encouraging) and by their words (DMCs during a teachable moment are powerful). The campers learn it quickly. That is what some girls are doing this first week… learning resiliency. It works beautifully!

If a camper is not adjusting in a healthy manner, we immediately call you and seek your insights. You always help and we always work our way through the situation. This does not mean we call you if your daughter ever has a sad moment. We expect sad moments, but also expect the girls to quickly get over such moments and have a great day. If you aren’t getting a call, it means things are OK! We partner with you in these things and quickly reach out. With your help, it is always a great experience.

Breakfast this morning was baked apples, fried ham, grits, blackberries, cantaloupe, grapes, cereal, juice, milk, and great coffee. Gervais (our food director) also has a coffee roasting business. We only drink freshly roasted coffee (less than one week old) ground just before brewing. Each day the counselors joyfully go through about 20 gallons!

A word about the food - homemade, simple, savory, fragrant, food… it is fantastic! This morning’s biscuits were perfect (flaky, hot, buttery, slightly crunchy, slightly chewy), the ham sweet and savory, baked apples with a hint of cinnamon, and the fruit bar (every table gets a full fruit bar delivered to their table) is amazing. A four-star resort could not provide a better fruit experience! As I write this, the first loaves of bread are going into the massive deck ovens. We bake about 120 loaves a day and are famous for the effort. Our bread is amazing because it only has 4 ingredients (flour, water, yeast, salt) and is eaten about as quickly as it is baked. Heavenly.

YIKES! Too Many Words… potentially more than you are ready for! In the future…. Never hesitate to just jump to the summary that I always will include at the end of the Blog… I consider them my “Cliff Notes”

  • Breakfast Ham & Apples, Grits
  • Lunch: Sloppy Joes and Tots
  • Dinner: Pizza
  • EP: Tentalow Lip Synchs… the cabin bonding that happens when we perform on the Pagent Court stage is a vital part of a good camp session. The girls come up with their theme and practice their dance moves together. The work started yesterday morning and the resulting performances are very impressive!
  • Weather Beautiful sunny 84-degree day.
  • To send an email to your camper, log in to your Greystone account and click the Email button. We print emails at 11 a.m. each day.
  • To see photos of your camper, log in to your Greystone account and click on the Photos button. You can download photos for free! We take thousands of photos every day, so you should see photos every day or every other day. If you aren’t seeing photos of your daughter, send her an email to remind her to jump in front of the camp camera.

Thank you for checking in!

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