Completely Foamy

Camp girls shaving creamed
smiling with shaving cream
Groups of Shaving cream camp girls

Sometimes you have to get a little messy to feel this good. Like tonight after dinner when we had a shaving cream fight down on the landsports field. Chase announced the optional event in the dining hall, and from the cheering it was clear we would have plenty of girls ready to romp about with the slippery white foam.

The point of a shaving cream fight is simple— spray the contents of your can both on others and on yourself. Then run around smearing, wiping and rubbing the shaving cream into everyone’s hair, on their backs, and ultimately everywhere. Beyond that, the goal is to have fun, be silly and enjoy the mess of it all. It’s as simple as that.

There are no teams, and this is not a competition where we pick a winner at the end like some games. So it’s not much of a “fight” really. It’s more cooperative since it’s just as much fun to be attacked as it is to splatter others. Part of the fun is surprising someone, sneaking up to them and planting a blob right on their back, shoulder or leg… as you race away grinning, and secretly hoping, but also looking out for, someone who will do the same to you. No score: just the fun of playing the game.

And it’s absolutely hilarious! Once the spraying begins, you can’t hear anything except shrieks of delight and laughter. We all (yes, counselors and directors too!) quickly begin to look pretty funny, our hair sticking up, with white beards and mustaches, if not completely foamy.

A shaving cream fight feels liberating too. It’s a little mischievous and outrageous, but still sanctioned, even celebrated at camp. It’s a harmless way to go a little crazy, while at the same time laugh and play with your friends.

What to learn from a shaving cream fight? I’m not sure, but I’d say it’s a wonderful way to experience uninhibited joy, a deep feeling that in our ordinary lives too often struggles to find expression. At camp though, it’s pretty easy; we find it everyday.

shaving cream girls posing

Good Goofy Fun

Camp girls painting ceramics pieces

Going around camp today, visiting the different activity areas, you could tell that the girls have really settled in and begun to make camp “a place of their own.” That’s a phrase from the Rockbrook Camp mission statement. It’s an attempt to summarize one of the real values of a camp experience for young girls, and it’s part of the magic of why campers love their camp. The ingredients are simple: really good people who are eager to make friends, broad opportunities to be creative, sporty, and adventurous, and a caring environment where everyone can relax and be themselves. Combine these with the girls making their own activity selections, having plenty of free time to enjoy the wonderful natural beauty of Rockbrook, and simply enjoying time with their friends, and we have something special, something very different from home and school (where parents and teachers call most of the shots), and something truly their own. This is their camp and they love it.

Funny girls skit during evening program

Of course, at camp a big group of girls can get pretty goofy and really let their silly side come out. Singing crazy songs outrageously loud in the dining hall, dressing up in a costumes for dinner, and making up skits with cabin mates are quite ordinarily part of the fun around here. This photo of an evening program cabin skit shows a little of that. Each cabin group is given a topic and challenged to come up with a group skit that they’ll perform for the rest of the age group in their lodge. It can involve singing, dancing, acting and audience participation, but whatever it is, the funnier it is, the better. A lot of the fun is working together to create the skit, as well as performing it for your friends.

This afternoon we had our Wednesday “Cabin Day.” This is a special day when after a morning of regular activity time (where the girls follow their individual activity selections), each cabin group sticks together for some special group event. Today, cabin groups were hiking to Rockbrook Falls and Castle Rock, building campfires to make S’mores, playing games in the gym and on the landsports field, cooling of by playing in the creek, and even making smoothies with the help of the kitchen. The mini session senior cabins took a trip to Sliding Rock, had a picnic and capped everything off with a stop at Dolly’s for a sweet treat. Dinner was some of Rick’s homemade fried chicken and warm yeast rolls.  Good stuff.  On cabin day, there’s always a lot going on!

Oh! I forgot to mention the muffins today… White Chocolate Raspberry. They were awesome!

Goofy camp girls having fun at Dolly's

Tetherball Games Strategies

Tetherball Playing Strategy

Do you have this in common with Napoleon Dynamite— being a tetherball champ? Sure you’ve played before at camp, and you know how to play tetherball, but maybe you need a few more strategies to really pump up your game. Here’s a couple of things to practice.

The most important strategy is mastering an extreme angle when serving. By hitting the ball sharply down, it can swing high over your opponent’s head. This is always a good tactic.

It’s also important to use both hands when playing tetherball. You can hit the ball more powerfully, but also add unexpected spins and hits by changing which hand hits the ball. You can surprise and confuse the other player with different fast/slow, open/closed, left/right hand maneuvers.

Equally important to mastering tetherball is being quick on your feet. Moving forward and backward quickly, and knowing when to move sideways. This not only makes it difficult for the other player to decide how to serve or hit the ball, it gives you a better chance to make defensive hits.

Of course, being a tetherball sports champ takes practice, but that’s what the games at camp are for!

OK, do you have any other tetherball tips, strategies or tactics?

Crazy Games and Fun!

Crazy Painted Camp Kids

Whoa, what’s going on here!?

Is it a craft project gone horribly wrong? The results of a crazy painting game?  A strange spa treatment of some sort?  A super intense outdoor food fight?

Nope.  It’s actually a glimpse into one of our all-camp afternoon games we played last summer.  This one was a camp Olympics.  We divided all the girls into four countries (teams) and gave each a different color: red, green, glue and yellow.  As you can see, red was China.  All the teams then competed in all sorts of field games and races.  We had the crab walk, an obstacle course, an egg toss, a 3-legged race, a hopping race, and so many more.  Lots of running!  Cheering! Excitement!  Crazy Camp Fun!

These three girls showed a little too much enthusiasm, it seems, with their team colors.  Everyone painted themselves a little bit, but this might be a little over the top! 😉

How to Play Tetherball

Outdoor Tetherball Games at Camp

Lately we’ve been getting a few questions about how to play the game tetherball.

So, how do you play tetherball?

The main goal is for each player (there are only two kids, one against the other) to hit the ball in a direction that will wrap the cord up around the center pole. Each opponent is hitting the ball in an opposite direction, so that’s the contest— you hit it one way and she hits it the other way. The trick is to hit the ball so that it’s hard for your opponent to reach the ball and hit it back. One strategy is to hit the ball downward so that it goes high (and hopefully out of reach) when it wraps around to your opponent’s side. You win when you wrap the cord completely around in your direction and the ball hits the pole.

After you play a while kids can add rules that make the game more challenging and fun. Maybe you can allow only certain kinds of hits, or require that the ball wrap around high on the pole, or create funny penalties for “carrying” the ball or grabbing the string.  Like all great games, there are loads of options!

Tetherball is one of those amazing outdoor games kids love to play at camp. Got a free minute? Let’s play!

P.S. Want to learn more about tetherball? Check out this article.

Summer Games for Kids

Summer Kids Games

What is that thing?! Well, the kids at camp have named it “The Toy,” but it’s basically an aqua ropes-course, a climbing structure made of wood and rope suspended over the water on one side of the Rockbrook lake. The most popular game kids play on it is really challenging— you try to reach the farthest of 5 rings (like the girl in the photo) as you go out hand-to-hand over the water.

This is just one of the options at camp and is something you don’t have to do if you don’t want to. If swimming is more your thing, that’s fine.  Even if you don’t want to get in the water, that’s fine too.

Of course, if you don’t make it to the 5th ring, there’s a fun splash at the bottom! But if you do make it to the last ring, and only a few kids have, we announce your name in the dining hall and reward you with a special treat/prize.

Do you know what the prize is? Let us know in the comments!

Childrens Camp Games

Summer Sports Camp

Basketball! Dodgeball! Kickball! Four Square! Volleyball! And more versions of tag than you can count! There always seems to be some kind of gym sports camp game going on— counselors and campers running around and having fun in the Rockbrook gym. One of the best things to do is to make up a game. Take something you already know, like dodgeball for example, and then change it up somehow, like by having 3 or 4 teams instead of 2, or playing with a really huge ball, or having a “come back to life” ball. Gosh, the options are almost endless!

Activities for Girls at Camp

Dressing up at summer camp

One of the best parts of being at camp, and particularly an all-girls camp, is how easy it is to relax and find yourself acting kind of goofy. With less judgment and a non-competitive community vibe, there seems to always be a chance to dress up in some crazy costume or combine some silly things to wear for a creative game.

When everyone’s into it, and there aren’t any guys around, it’s great to just let loose and try on a different look. Thinking back on it later, back at home or school, it shows how what you wear really doesn’t matter that much to who you are. 🙂