To The Dogs

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We awoke to another perfect day. Cool temperatures (about 65 degrees), sunny “Carolina blue” skies (not a cloud in sight), very little wind, and a chance of afternoon showers. Our weather will take this predictable path for the rest of the summer. We love it.

Tonight’s EP will be our world-famous Counselor Talent Show (counselors hamming it up with each other). These counselors might be very talented musicians, dancers, and gymnasts, but they will not use those skills at the show tonight because they are more excited about doing silly skits. Frankly, that suits the girls just fine. Their appreciation for sophisticated talent is not as great as their appreciation for a simple skit.

Most of these counselors have dreamed of this moment for many years… imagining what they would do when their time as a counselor finally arrived. It is a highlight moment of their summer, and this is the last show of their counselor summer. They are giddy with excitement, and their delight is contagious. The campers will quite literally roll over laughing when they see the “If I were not a Greystone Counselor” skit or watch their favorite counselor getting shaving cream piled on her head. I love this night (for the counselor’s sake as much as the campers). Seeing their delight is a beautiful thing.

Program focus of the day… DOG CAMP! I love this department and take full credit for inventing it about 20 years ago when I recognized the healing power of kittens and puppies. My children LOVED cats and dogs, we had lots of them! One of our “go-to” weekend activities was a trip to Fish and Pets in downtown Hendersonville. In those days, you could handle the kittens and puppies… and we loved doing just that over and over again. It never got old. So I thought to myself… why not do this at camp?

Our first summer featured kittens and puppies (all from the local shelter). It was a ragtag group of animals and the program was a complete mess (we didn’t think through a teaching plan and our facility was not optimal), but the girls loved it! A huge hit… except for a couple of details. The kittens got sick a lot (turns out kittens can not deal with all the handling) and the puppies were not adopted very quickly (we had to keep the dogs for several months after camp seeking someone to adopt them). The next year we only had golden retriever puppies… no kittens… and a good program plan. All dogs were adopted immediately after the summer and we have never looked back.

Kellie (a camp mom from Nashville) has been running Dog Camp for seven years and has turned it into a phenomenal program. The puppies this year are golden doodles (standard size) from a wonderful local breeder who we absolutely love. We buy 6 puppies in late May and make little girl dreams come true all summer long! Ellen Anne (our Program Director) coordinates the adoptions which will happen next week as parents from all over the country stop by the camp to pick up their chosen dogs. We love seeing our dog camp graduates from time to time (the camp doctor this week brought their puppy camp labradoodle “Pete” for a reunion). It is a wonderful program of which I am very proud.

The Details:

  • Breakfast Pancakes and Sausage
  • Lunch Shepherds Pie
  • Dinner Poppyseed Chicken
  • EP Counselor Talent Show
  • Weather High of 82 degrees, partly cloudy, a chance of afternoon showers

Thank you for reading… Have a GREAT DAY!