Attempts can be made to replicate a camp, stories retold, even plagiarized, but the spirit of Rockbrook can never be duplicated.
So what makes a camp distinct, different from the rest, making it a place that generations of girls, from all over the world, count down the days until they can return? What is it that sets apart a place that mothers long for their daughters to experience what they did as children?
As a camper, counselor, mom of campers, and now camp mom, my answer to this question comes from reflection over my life, and how much camp builds character and develops skills used for a lifetime. Although, through the years, my perspective has changed, Rockbrook’s legacy is untouched, its heritage valued, and its spirit stronger than ever. Girls from Rockbrook have an indescribable bond, a link to one another, bound by the fact that they were “camp girls” together.
Girls from RBC enjoy sharing what they love about camp. From a parental perspective, here are a few of my favorites:
CHOICES-When else in life do young ladies get to decide for themselves how to spend their entire day and what hobby, talent, or new experience to pursue? In my opinion, this teaches decision-making skills and develops a sense of independence they carry with them to adulthood. It also facilitates adventure, encouraging them to try new things, step out of their comfort zones, and embrace new opportunities.
SIMPLICITY-We live in such a fast paced world that we forget to notice the beauty around us. Simple domestic life at camp creates an atmosphere to better appreciate the natural surroundings. It eliminates distractions, so campers and staff notice the magnitude of the mountains, sound of the streams, and smell of the mountain laurel. This less busy, slower paced environment also aids in the development of new friendships.
LIMITED TECHNOLOGY-As the mom of a teenager, I have noticed a real void in the communication skills of teens today. Because there are no computers, TVs, or phones at camp, girls communicate face to face, an invaluable lifelong skill.
TRADITION-A place rich in tradition binds girls together despite their differences. A camp deeply rooted in traditions gives girls the comfort that some things are “unchanging” and safe place, despite their changing circumstances around them. They look forward to the things they do every year down to the songs, Spirit Fire, and ice cream.
And finally, LAUGHTER! It’s good for the soul. Girls are free to be who they are, uninhibited from the pressures of the outside world. Loud songs are encouraged, costumes welcomed, and all personalities accepted.
In conclusion, my gratitude has grown as I’ve come to appreciate the camp experience. The more time I spend here, the more I realize that Rockbrook Camp has helped shape and mold me into the person I am today, and no matter how old I am, I’ll always be a Rockbrook girl!
Bentley Parker–Auburn, Alabama
Rockbrook Girl 1979-2013