Evening Program Writing

Girl Teen Sleepover Camps

We found this great old photo in the Rockbrook archives the other day. It’s not exactly clear when it was taken, but we’re guessing that it was sometime in the 1950s. It looks like the girls are all writing for the camp yearbook, “The Carrier Pigeon” during an evening program in the upper Lakeview Lodge. It’s when all the girls in an age group take time to jot down a favorite memory (sometimes as a poem or drawing) from their time at camp that summer. We later compile them all and publish the “Carrier Pigeon” each year.

From the photo, you might think it’s a sleepover, since the girls are in their pajamas, but that’s just life at an all girls camp. Nice and relaxed.

The Rockbrook Camp Bell

Girls Summer Camp Bell

Here’s something that all the girls who attend Rockbrook will easily recognize— the camp bell! This is the bell we ring to signal the whole camp when it’s time to change activity periods, come to meals, and of course, wake up in the morning. It has such a clear tone and is easily heard throughout the entire camp, even up on Castle Rock.

It’s actually a very old bell (1895), well over 100 years old, and older than the camp itself by more than 20 years. For as long as anyone around here can remember it’s been perched up in the big oak tree at the front of the dining hall, ready to be rung by pulling on the rope that leads to the dining hall porch. It’s one of those very familiar parts of camp that everybody loves.

Vintage Postcards of Camp

Here are two more vintage postcards showing the historic character of camp. Like the others we’ve posted, the Albertype Company produced these postcards in the 1930s. The first is a view of Vesper Rock looking out across the camp lake, and in the background you can see the Lakeview Lodge. The second card is even cooler because it shows what the Carrier’s (Rockbrook’s original owners) waterwheel looked like. It was dismantled many years ago leaving only the stone foundation which you can just barely spot down in the woods below the lake.  Wouldn’t it be cool to rebuild it?  Maybe someday we will!

P.S. Want to see more historic photos of camp, including another view of the waterwheel?  Check out these.

Remembering Camp in the 1930s

Here’s something cool. Back in the early 1900s, the Albertype Company of Brooklyn, NY produced a number of postcards documenting scenes all around the country. Rockbrook Camp was apparently a favorite subject because we’ve found several cards from the 1930s highlighting scenes of camp. They are just excellent archival documents showing what camp was like in the early years.

Here we see a scene of the old horseback riding barn and paddling canoes on the French Broad River as it passes by camp.  Don’t you just love them?!

North Carolina Stone Hotel, c. 1840

Dunns Rock Stome Hotel

It’s always fun to bump into a surprising historical connection to camp. Here’s a great example we spotted recently— a photo of what was called the “Stone Hotel.” It’s on display in the Transylvania County Courthouse (that’s the North Carolina county where Rockbrook is located) with the caption “Built circa 1840.” But do you recognize the big rock up above and behind it? It’s our very own Dunn’s Rock! The junction of Island Ford Road and US276 (Greenville Highway) was once a bustling little town with houses, this hotel, and a general store called “Powell’s Store,” which is still standing and is currently the Mud Dabber’s Pottery. An 1870 census of the Dunn’s Rock Township, as it was called, recorded 80 men, women and children living there. You have to wonder if the hotel was still open when Rockbrook was founded in 1921, and if any Rockbrook Camp families ever stayed there. Pretty cool.

RBC and the Brevard Music Center

Nancy Barnum Clark Carrier

Here’s a cool bit of Rockbrook Camp history for you. Nancy Barnum Clarke Carrier, the founder of Rockbrook (and who by the way is the great grandaughter of P.T. Barnum), is also one of the founders of the Brevard Music Center. The Music Center is a summer camp in Brevard for teenage musicians who come to collaborate with professional musicians, practice, perform, and just enjoy the wonderful mountain setting of Brevard. It was originally founded in 1936 at Davidson College and later moved to Brevard in 1945, only a few years after Rockbrook was established in 1921. Mrs. Carrier was also the Music Center’s first president and a director of its board until her death in 1977. Here she is in this great old photo.