“[At the gathering] I was reminded that the Spirit of Rockbrook is ageless, timeless, and omnipresent. And while we may find ourselves having moments where we forget about it in the un-real world, it never forgets about us. It connects us all no matter what “school or name or fame” because at its core, the Rockbrook Spirit has the uncanny ability to gather and welcome hundreds of women (and the select irreplaceable male figures) with wide open arms whenever we feel like going home.”
During the recent Rockbrook reunion there were several sets of Mothers and Daughters in attendance. It was such a special experience for Moms and Daughters to finally get to be campers together, sharing bunk beds, singing camp songs and dining around the green tables in the dining hall.
During the activity portion of the reunion there were lots of Mother and Daughter sets spotted sliding into the lake on the water slide, hiking together, playing tennis or making crafts. Overall though, the favorite experience for everyone was just sharing time with their loved ones in such a special place. Sharing the gift of Rockbrook with your daughter is definitely the gift that lasts a lifetime.
Each summer we are always thrilled to have campers in attendance whose family members are also former campers. This year we were especially excited as we had three campers during our Third Session who are the great-great granddaughters of Nancy Carrier, Rockbrook’s founder! It was so great seeing their enthusiasm about camp and knowing how proud their great great grandmother would be to see them as campers!
The Spirit of Rockbrook is with you always!
Check out this great page from a 1941 Rockbrook Catalog. Campers had the opportunity to go on lots of different adventures including overnight camping trips. Camping trips now follow the principles of Leave No Trace, but back in the 1940’s you can see that the camp outs were quite elaborate. Don’t you know those S’mores tasted delicious?!
Did you know that Rockbrook’s home Transylvania County is also known as “The Land of the Waterfalls?” Transylvania County contains over 250 waterfalls thus earning it’s nickname. Whitewater Falls is one of the highest waterfalls on the east coast and is only a few miles from Rockbrook. We even have two waterfalls on Rockbrook’s property- Stick Biscuit Falls and Rockbrook Falls.
Click here for a local waterfall map. Have fun on your adventure!
One of the most common memories shared with us from our former campers is their recollections of Polar bear swim in the chilly lake at camp. Campers would get up at the rising bell, and with their counselors would run down to the lake for a quick dip. What a refreshing way to start the day!!
We found a great write up about Polar Bear in our Rockbrook Memories Book. Jerkey, a much beloved Rockbrook director would lead the girls in their morning plunge.
“Much of the fun at camp that summer stemmed from Jerkey’s leadership. I can see her now as she led us during those wee hours of the early morning in a series of setting up exercises before we jumped into that icy cold pool. Somehow, even in my shivering state, she made it seem glorious thing to do.”
You will be glad to know that the Polar Bear tradition continues today and that the camp lake is as chilly as ever!! As the camp song states: “Polar, polar, polar bear, you can be a part of it all, if you dare!”
Many campers and staff from the early days of Rockbrook often mention Mrs. Carrier’s dog and sidekick, Peggy. We were thrilled to find a photograph of Mrs. Carrier and Peggy together so we could “meet” the girls favorite mascot during those early years. Here is a great excerpt about Peggy, written by a former camper:
“All the campers knew and loved the Great Dane, “Peggy”, who followed Mrs. Carrier wherever she went. She seemed in her canine way to be part director, for she watched the girls as though responsible for their safety. She was a harlequin, the bright patches of white over-lapping the black spots, and though her bark was frightening, she had the gentlest of natures. Seeing her bounce up the hill at the side of Senior Lodge, one knew that Mrs. Carrier could not be far behind and that as long as her mistress stayed in the camp area Peggy would be nearby.”
If you have any Peggy stories you would like to share we would love to hear from you!
In a time when we all lead such busy lives it is nice to have a place like Rockbrook where you can step out of the hustle and bustle of the modern world and live a more simple and thoughtful life. We recently discovered a chapter in the Rockbrook Memories Book that was written in the 1960’s that expresses this same thought. Whether it be the 1960’s or the 2010’s, we all appreciate that Rockbrook provides a haven for girls to reconnect with themselves, friends and the natural world.
“Living in a world so filled with change that it is difficult to communicate with one’s grandchildren, it is good to know that girls still enjoy living close to Nature, hiking down mountain trails, sleeping under the stars, cooking over an open fire and swimming in a rocky pool. It is refreshing to discover that there is one area, at least, where time has stood practically still. That area is summer camping where a cardinal is still a cardinal and although one may picnic on plastic instead of paper, one gets the same thrill from a mountain sunset or a flamboyant rainbow covering the earth with its semi-circle of jeweled colors.”– Mary Bissell McIver Thompson