“[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.”
We have just mailed the 2012 Rockbrook Carrier Pigeon to this years campers and staff. The Carrier Pigeon is the camp’s annual yearbook featuring stories, poems, drawings and photographs of the summer. The Carrier Pigeon has been published each year since the camp was founded in 1921. This makes this years copy the 91st edition of the Rockbrook memory book. The Carrier Pigeons are wonderful treasures filled with Rockbrook memories and fun times. Here are some samples from over the years:
The Aim of the Pigeon
“Like ghosts passing to and fro, good times come and good times go.”
Good times do come and go as swiftly, but the Pigeon is going to help us keep our good times with us. The little funny incidences and all the pleasures that go toward making up this happy summer of ours are going to pass more slowly because of the Pigeon. Certainly, time will pass as quickly, but the memories will remain.
In the long winter to come, we will be able to laugh and talk over the good times at camp. Not only that, but we will be able to pass on our happiness and share it with others- the others that are not with us now. All because of the Pigeon that will bring back our memories at Christmas time.
We will never forget it it, this happy summer of ours, It is the aim of the Pigeon to do this, to serve as a record of happy memories. With your help it will succeed. – K. Wallingford, Junior Editor
To Me Rockbrook Means-
togetherness around a campfire
Jean and Sarah Scott playing their guitars
And everyone listening and enjoying the soft music
Making crafts and going home and sharing them with your family
Sitting on the hill in the evening watching the sun slowly
fade behind the proud tall mountains
Rockbrook I thank you for the Happy days you gave me. – Muffy Howard
We hope you have many happy memories of your time at RBC and if you have any copies of your old Carrier Pigeons we would love to hear from you. Please share with us any of your favorite camp poems, memories, stories and photos.
What is your camp experience?
Each year the Rockbrook staff participate in the American Camp Association Annual Conference. It is held in different locations around the country and features different speakers, camp suppliers, and opportunities for networking and sharing. Last year we had the pleasure of traveling to San Diego, CA where we really enjoyed the keynote speaker, Michael G. Thompson, Ph.D. Thompson has written several books about raising happy, healthy children. He is currently writing a new book and is looking for input from former campers and counselors. He is compiling a huge sample of summer camp experience. And the results are in! Read about it in his book Homesick and Happy.
We recently found another Rockbrook photograph during our search of the archives at The Transylvania County Library. In their records they had this photo of the original tennis courts at The Carrier House. The Carrier House or Rockbrook House as it is now known was the home of the owners and directors of Rockbrook, Henry and Nancy Carrier. Here at their house many camp activities were offered including tennis and lawn dancing. Tennis was a popular activity from the beginning of camp and quickly outgrew this first court as the number of campers increased. In the late 1920’s two more courts were added and then ultimately three more courts were built. This original court was removed from The Carrier House lawn and was turned into a beautiful side porch. Note the small boxwood hedge in the background of the picture, those same boxwoods are now over 9 feet tall! Here is a previous blog post that tells you more about our current tennis program.
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