Out and About with Eva

I’m excited to start a new camper spotlight segment on our blog called, “Rockbrook Girls: Out and About”.  It will allow us to keep up with our camp friends throughout the year, learn some new fun facts about them, and to hear about all of the cool things Rockbrook girls are doing outside of camp.

I’m happy to introduce our first participant, Eva, from Brevard.  Eva will be coming to our third session this summer.

Eva in her role as Cinderella for her school's production of "Into the Woods". She was awesome!
Eva in her role as Cinderella for her schools production of “Into the Woods”. She was awesome!

Check out Eva’s answers to our interview questions below.  I think it’s a safe bet that she will be signing up for archery as often as she can.  She’ll be shooting like Katniss in no time!  Eva also listed Peter and the Starcatchers as her favorite book.  If you’re looking for a new book to read, this one is a real page-turner.  Learn more about it here.

EvaCinterview

If you want to be part of our camper spotlight, email us for more parent information.  We can’t wait to hear from you!

Top 10 Reasons Every Rockbrook Girl Misses Camp

Every Rockbrook girl knows the bittersweet feeling that comes along with leaving camp at the end of the session.  We’ve had such an awesome time meeting new friends and trying new things, and leaving it all behind seems impossible.  The friends and memories made keep camp on our minds all year long.  We all know the truth behind the words, “The summers fly by, but the winters drag on.”  So, in an attempt to lessen the pain of children being “campsick”, this is an ode to every Rockbrook girl who misses her days in the heart of the wooded mountain.

The Top 10 Reasons Every Rockbrook Girl Misses Camp

1. Simple Days

simple life in the creek

I know what you must be thinking- camp isn’t SIMPLE!  No way!  We do fun things all day and wear crazy costumes to lunch and paint our faces and dance in the dining hall!!  Allow me to clarify: camp is really the only place where having fun is our main job.  We don’t have to worry about finishing our homework, making it to basketball practice on time or keeping up with our Facebook page.  It’s nice to escape the pressures of home and just enjoy ourselves.  At Rockbrook, time slows down, life is easy, we find fulfillment in the simple things — wearing crazy costumes, painting our faces, and dancing our hearts out.

2. Muffins by Katie

camp muffins

Our awesome baker, Katie, is the best of the best, the cream of the crop, at the top of the totem pole when it comes to making muffins.  Whether it’s a fancy mint chocolate chip recipe or a more simple “funfetti” or blueberry muffin, we can’t get enough!  Katie’s muffins are just what we need after first period, and muffin withdrawals are no joke after we leave camp.  Check out this video that shows just how important muffin break is at Rockbrook.

3. Counselors Like This

camp counselor and camper

We all know what it feels like to have that counselor.  You know the one I’m talking about — she makes you feel special because she truly cares about you.  She’s interested in you and is there to make your camp experience the best she can.  She’s cool because she understands that camp is cool.  She’s like a fun older sister, like the most awesome baby sitter you’ve ever had.  Most importantly, she’s a role model and a friend.

4. Friendship Bracelets

girls friendship bracelets

Chevron.  Twist.  Totem pole.  Diamond.  Ladder.  No matter how old we are, making friendship bracelets is a hobby enjoyed by Rockbrook girls far and wide.  We spend countless hours at camp making bracelets for our friends.  The only thing better than receiving a friendship bracelet is giving one.  Free swims and twilights spent on the hill making friendship bracelets are when we make some of our best memories- memories that stay with us long after our bracelets become dull, and after many years, eventually fall off.

5. Dolly’s Ice Cream

sophie dolly's

I’d be lying if it weren’t included on the list.  I’ve heard Rockbrook girls describe Dolly’s as the “best ice cream place in the world” on more than one occasion.  Whether you choose to order our very own flavor, Rockbrook Chocolate Illusion, or to go a different route, chances are you won’t be disappointed.  There’s no doubt that Rockbrook girls are missing Dolly’s this time of year.

6. Friends Like These

little jrs

Camp friends are the best friends.  Ask any Rockbrook girl, and she will tell you that this is true.  It is because at camp we get to know one another for who we really are.  The relationships that we form are based on real feelings, not on superficial things.  At camp, it doesn’t matter what brand our new shoes are, or if we have the coolest new cell phone.  It doesn’t matter if we are big or small, tall or short.  What matters is how we treat people, how we make them feel.  Camp friendships are built to last a lifetime.

7. The Songs

laughing

“Are you a camel, a good looking camel, and say, have you got a hump?”

“The rosy mist of the morning, veil it anew at dawn, like a fairyland of beauty…”

“I wish I was a honosorarius a ratamatatamy, a ha-ha-ha.”

“(Insert all lyrics to Oh I Was Born here)”

Yes, the Rockbrook songs are filled with silly lyrics like these.  We all know that we’ve randomly started singing these songs at home or at school on more than one occasion.  There’s nothing like singing along to a good Rockbrook song in the dining hall or around the campfire.

8. Moments Like This

grace and elley

Camp is silly.  Camp is carefree. Camp is relaxed, and camp is totally FUN! Ask any Rockbrook girl where her happy place is, and I bet she thinks back to a moment like this.  A moment in which nothing matters but the present, you feel totally accepted as your truly are, and time stands still. It’s special beyond words.

9. The Rockbrook (Harlem) Shake

harlem shake

Things like this happen at Rockbrook.  A lot.  They are wild and magical and unheard of everywhere else.  We miss having the opportunity to dress up in crazy costumes and dance with all of our friends. Pure fun and energy among friends.  This video of the Rockbrook Shake reminds us just how wonderful camp is.

10. The Spirit of Rockbrook is Real

spirit fire

There is a feeling that we get as Rockbrook girls — one that we can’t really describe.  A feeling of belonging, a feeling of certainty, a feeling of self-worth.  It’s this feeling that causes us to miss each other throughout the year, that causes us to yearn for the days of summer.  We know it’s real, because we’ve never felt a love like this.  It’s this feeling that assures us that no other camp is like our own, that no other place can do for us what this one has.  It’s the Spirit of Rockbrook, and it’s with us always.

New Orleans Camp Girls

New Orleans Camp Party
New Orleans Camp Girls

Yes, that’s what we’ve got at Rockbrook…!!! New Orleans camp girls!!! You might find it odd that girls from Louisiana would go to summer camp in North Carolina, but there’s a long tradition of exactly that, with generations of New Orleans and Baton Rouge children representing their cities at Rockbrook every summer.

And this is the time of year when we gather current NOLA girls (and alumnae!) for a Rockbrook party to celebrate the great time we had at camp last summer. Miriam and her sister Susan, who both attend Rockbrook’s 2nd session, hosted the party at their home in Carrollton. Chase and Grace brought plenty of photos and videos to present, and with a great crowd of both current campers and new girls interested in attending camp next summer, it was a really fun time. Thanks everyone for such a fantastic event!

These events are probably the best way to recharge your Rockbrook spirit, and if you’re new to camp, parents and children, to learn what makes Rockbrook so special.

We have more parties in other cities planned, so check the schedule to see if you can attend!

Friends True and Faithful

What is it about Rockbrook that makes it so special?  That’s a pretty loaded question- certainly one that has no right or wrong answer.  Some of us may say that it’s the beautiful mountain scenery, others may agree it’s the fabulous counselors, and many may decide that muffin break separates Rockbrook from the rest.  However, we think that the friendships made at Rockbrook are a good place to start when discussing what makes camp so wonderful.  Though we may only spend a few weeks each year with our camp pals, none of us would hesitate to call them some of our best friends.  Sarah and Evie, two Rockbrook girls who met last summer, are a perfect example of ‘true friendship born to last’.

Just last month, Sarah flew from Florida to Maryland to visit Evie and to celebrate her birthday with her.  According to her mom, who wrote to tell us about the trip, Sarah’s winter break was “full of firsts that wouldn’t have happened if she had not attended camp this past summer.”  Sarah and Evie spent a week together and had lots of fun along the way.  The girls saw Les Miserables, played in the snow, went skiing, and counted down to 2013.  What a fun trip!  Check out some pictures of Sarah and Evie during their trip below, and be sure to let us know about any adventures you have with camp friends during the year- you might just make the blog!

Evie and Sarah
Evie and Sarah reunite at the airport
Evie and Sarah skiing
Evie and Sarah hit the slopes!!!
Ready for the show
They don’t look Les Miserables to us!

On the Road Again

Howdy All!

Charlotte and I recently returned from a Rockbrook Roadtrip, and I wanted to share some of our highlights with you.  We traveled far and wide looking for RBC girls.  In just seven days we landed in five different cities, spent time with six awesome host families, met eight new canine friends, filled the gas tank close to ten times, saw nearly 150 slices of pizza be devoured, and laughed with countless Rockbrook campers, alumnae, and new pals. Needless to say, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

camp party girls

On day one, we headed south from Brevard and made it to Atlanta where we had a Rockbrook party at camper Kate’s house.  Kate hosted the party with her mom, Betsy, a RBC alumna.  We had so much fun! We weren’t ready to leave Georgia after we had such a great time in Atlanta, so we made stops in Columbus and Macon.  In Columbus, we laughed all night with Emma, our host camper, and her brother Cam.  We fell in love with their new puppy, Tank, but Emma wouldn’t let us take him home.

girl camp event
tank resting
Tank resting in his basket!

Tank wasn’t the only furry friend that we wanted to take home with us.  We had a party at Anna Kate’s house in Macon where I was introduced to her sweet dog, Ollie.  I had heard rumors that Ollie was one of the best dogs I would ever meet.  Let me assure you, THE RUMORS ARE TRUE.  We saw lots of Rockbrook campers at the party in Macon, and Anna Kate’s mom Kathleen, a former camper herself, built a fire so we could all make s’mores.  Yum- talk about a crowd pleaser!

Anna Kate and Ollie
Anna Kate and Ollie roast a s’more
Georgia Camp Girls

We visited Charlotte’s mom’s house in Georgia before heading North for our last two shows.  It’s only necessary that I mention this because I was able to snap a picture of LITTLE CHARLOTTE that I feel I must share with you.  Enjoy.  

Charlottesville VA

After three fabulous shows in Georgia we made the eight hour drive to Charlottesville to catch up with camper Hannah Margaret and her parents, Wendy and Ed.  We loved seeing so many Rockbrook girls in Virginia, and a couple of loyal counselors, Lyndsey and Greer, made appearances also.  However, it was Hannah Margaret and her dog, Freckles, who stole the show in Charlottesville.  Freckles, a show dog in his own right, has won ribbons in a couple of local dog shows with Hannah Margaret as his trainer.  Go Freckles, Go!!! 

Camp party friends
Camp Alumni gathering

We were sad to leave Charlottesville, but excited to make it to DC where campers Tia, Wiley and Sarah were waiting for us!  The DC party, hosted by Alison and Jill, was such a blast!  The energy was amazing, and everyone was so excited to hear about camp.  We gave all the girls some RBC shades, and they rocked them To wrap our trip up, we had dinner with some of our favorite Rockbrook counselors in DC.  Elizabeth, Katie, Christine, Jane, Kendal, Charlotte and I laughed all night long.  It was great to catch up! We had such a great time out on the open road, and we loved seeing so many Rockbrook faces- new and old!  Thanks for coming out, y’all!  We hope to see you all again soon!

Favorite Place in Nature

Place in Nature Child Essay

When 8-year-old camper Sarah was asked recently to write about her “Favorite Place in Nature” for her Science and Social studies class, she chose Rockbrook. She wrote about and illustrated what she loved about camp this past summer. Sarah’s mom passed it along to us, so we’re glad to share it with you.

“Have you ever wanted to go to the mountains? Have you ever wanted to smell a fresh summer breeze? Have you ever just wanted to let go and have fun? If so, I have the place for you! There are a lot of different activities like archery, horse-back riding, and mountain climbing. There are two mountains called Castle Rock, and Mt. Rockbrook. If you like to just relax, than the creek is the place to go. There you can have shoe races or just hang out. I went to the top of Castle Rock. There were these exotic plants that I never saw before, and I am a total plant lover. I stayed for sunset and it was the most beautiful thing I ever saw. I saw the cutest bunny in the world! The sun was beautiful. When my Dad picked me up, I didn’t want to go home! Rockbrook is a memory that I will never forget.”

Favorite Place in Nature

What’s your favorite place in Nature?

Meeting you in Charlotte for Camp

Summer Camp Charlotte

Are you ready for summer camp Charlotte girls? Judging from everyone’s enthusiasm at last weekend’s camp party at the Beltz’s home in Charlotte, the answer is “Yes!” With the new Rockbrook Camp movie and slideshow from last summer’s sessions all set to go, Sarah and Mandy met so many of our Charlotte NC campers and a bunch of their friends interested in learning more about RBC.

For returning campers and parents, it’s always fun at these parties to see the new camp movie, spot yourself and your friends in the photos, and just to recharge your Rockbrook spirit.

And for new campers, meeting all the people, talking with the families, having the camp directors answer your questions, these parties really are one of the best ways to see why so many girls love Rockbrook.

It’s wonderful to see that Rockbrook is the girls summer camp Charlotte families are buzzing about.

Camp for Teens

Camp Teens Girls

Often when parents begin researching a camp for teens they have some kind of growth experience in mind, something they hope their teen will gain from his or her time at camp. Sure they want the experience to be fun, but parents also believe it will be formative too. There’s a lot to go through in your teen years, so having a place in the summer that helps is a good thing.

Some camps are explicitly designed to address these kinds of issues and provide specific activities to help teens gain “personal power,” build “self-confidence and self-esteem” and develop “deep friendships.”  Others, and Rockbrook’s teen program fits in here, emphasize creating a friendly and noncompetetive environment where teens can relax, be themselves, and try new activities.  In this kind of setting and with true encouragement and support, teens find they have hidden talents and abilities and they do grow more confident and capable.  The culture of camp, as the foundation for the excitement and fun, is the driving force for the transformation our teenagers experience and parents appreciate.

Letters Home from Camp

overnight summer camp campers

Here’s an interesting article that caught our eye over at the Christian Science Monitor, “Mom to Dad: ‘Think Jimmy’s Doing O.K. at Camp?'”  It’s a short piece written by Dave Horn about his time as an overnight camp counselor in the 60s.  While parents today have online photo galleries and blogs to see how their children are doing at camp, he notes just a few years ago there were only letters.  Parents had to mostly wonder and wait to find out about their camper’s camp experience.

But what if the campers didn’t write home much?  After all, they’re having too much fun to stop and write a letter.  Camps helped by asking the camper’s counselors to write quick notes to parents, reassuring them that all is well at camp (a tradition Rockbrook still follows).  To help his young campers even more, Dave Horn turned this letter writing into a game.  He had each camper take turns playing the “boss” and dictating a letter home.  The camper would sit down and recite what he wanted to tell his parents and Dave would type it out on his portable typewriter.  In this case, 1960s technology helping kids communicate from overnight camp.

I wonder if he mentioned hula hooping in your bathrobe? 🙂

Photos of Summer Camp Friends

Here’s a set of photos taken one Sunday afternoon at camp. We were queuing up for our cabin photos and took these at the same time. They show our traditional uniforms (white shirt and shorts, plus a red tie) that we wear on Sundays and at other special events. Children becoming such good friends at camp!