Shoulder to Shoulder

Willy Wonka JR Camp Play

This afternoon the entire camp, plus a few of the invited parents of girls performing, gathered for a special event in the gym, which, like last night’s banquet, was the culmination of creativity and hard work spread over many days during the session. It was this session’s camp musical, Willy Wonka JR! Throughout the session the cast members have been learning songs, rehearsing choreographed dances, and memorizing lines for the main characters in this well-known story of Charlie and his quest for a golden ticket to tour the Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory. We had campers of all ages playing the main parts: Willy Wonka, Charlie, Grandpa Joe, Augustus Gloop, Veruca Salt, Violet Beauregarde, Mike Teevee, and an entire crew of Oompa-Loompas complete with orange skin and green hair. The songs were wonderful too— “Cheer Up Charlie,” “Pure Imagination” and the “Candyman,” standing out as favorites. Watching the performance, I could really tell the girls were enjoying themselves. Thanks to everyone, particularly the drama instructors, for making it an enjoyable afternoon for everyone!

Campfire Closing Night of Camp
Camp Spirit Candle Girl

We closed the day, and the session, tonight as Rockbrook girls have closed their session every summer since the camp was founded in 1921— with a special campfire we call our “Spirit Fire.” Different from the zany exuberance we’re more accustomed to around here, this is a chance to slow down a little, clean up a little (We wear our “whities” uniforms.) and enjoy a campfire together paying tribute to the experiences we’ve shared, the deep relationships we’ve formed, and the personal strides we’ve made together at camp. The scene is beautiful— counselors and campers gathered around the fire, squished shoulder-to-shoulder, maybe sitting on a welcome lap, inching as close as possible together, stars and tall oaks high above, crickets chittering about, all glowing a dim orange from the fire and nestled in the woods we have come to know and love so well. Adding to this are the traditional songs sung as part of the Spirit Fire program. Here’s a 1-minute recording of a song from last night.

The program also included campers and counselors from each age group presenting short speeches summarizing how they feel about Rockbrook and relating what they’ve learned during the session. Sarah also spoke, tonight giving everyone a challenge to enliven their “Rockbrook Spirit,” their kindness and generosity of attitude, their authentic selves, back home and at school. We closed the Spirit Fire with everyone lighting their own small white candle and forming a row around the lake, singing softly. With the water reflecting candlelight back onto everyone’s faces, surrounded by all these friends, and filled with so many great memories from the last few weeks together, this was an emotional, beautiful moment. I can’t think of a better way to mark the great camp session we’ve had together.

Have you ever tried acting?

Summer Girls Acting

OK. So you’ve always thought it would be fun to act… perform a short scene, maybe create a character or personality, develop a story line. You’re a secret performer at heart. Sure, but the problem is, when do you do it? Who’s going to be watching? What will people think if suddenly you turn into a sweet old lady, or a glamorous Hollywood starlet, or a cranky bus driver?

That’s another fun thing about camp; there’s plenty of chances for acting. In addition to the Drama activity that meets most every day, you can join the group of girls producing the end-of-session musical (Did I mention singing too?). Also, some of the evening program activities provide opportunities to perform for your friends.

A great example of this is “Fractured Fairy Tales,” a fun game where each cabin of girls presents a skit combining more than one classic fairy tale. Can you imagine Little Red Riding Hood and the Three Little Pigs in the same story? Needless to say, it can be pretty funny. Each cabin takes a turn performing its skit. With so many characters, everyone plays a part. It’s also fun to watch the other skits when its not your cabin’s turn.

Once you try acting at camp, it could become one of your favorite things to do!

Summer Camp Musical

Into the Woods Summer Camp Musical DramaLast year our summer camp musical was Into the Woods. Each summer we select a musical for the girls to produce, practice and perform at the end of the main sessions, and in 2008 it was this wonderful play by Stephen Sondheim. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a story that integrates aspect of Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Jack and the Bean Stalk, and Rapunzel. With so many characters involved, it’s a great summer camp drama production because so many campers can have a part, even a singing part. Then the girls are also designing and making costumes, painting scenery, and pulling together all the details of the play. It’s always a treat to see the wide range of talents the Rockbrook campers can show off.

In the next few weeks we’ll be considering different plays for this summer’s camp sessions. If you have any suggestions, let us know in the comments.