Special events happen just about everyday at Rockbrook. Often announced as a surprise, they could be special craft workshops like a woodworking demonstration. They could be a costume theme for a meal, like tonight when the girls dressed like their favorite celebrity. Of course, there are always special outdoor adventure trips announced in the dining hall each day— canoeing on the French Broad River, rock climbing on Looking Glass Rock, or an overnight backpacking trip into the Pisgah National Forest. During the period of free time after dinner that we call “Twilight,” we often announce surprise events, for example a drum circle, or when the girls could build “fairy boxes” down at the camp garden, or head to the gym for 45 minutes of Zumba.
Meanwhile, everyday at camp there’s amazing things happening in all of the in-camp activity areas. For example, the Alpine tower provides our girls with fantastic climbing challenges. With more than 30 different ways to climb up (all 50 feet to the top), it takes quite a while to “do it all.” Plus, some girls are now climbing the tower blindfolded… just for the fun and the added challenge. Some of the routes up are already really difficult with swinging obstacles and overhanging sections. So, it’s incredible to watch some of the girls successfully climb without being able to see! Swinging on your belay rope (sometimes upside down) while being lowered down is a nice thrill that comes after each climb.
The Lakeview Lodge (one of the three stone activity lodges at camp) also serves as our dance studio. Each of the four dance classes happening this week has been a mix of learning individual dance moves of various styles and working on choreography, synchronizing individual moves into a complete dance routine. There will be an opportunity to perform their routines at the end of the session during the intermission of the camp musical.
The ceramics classes have been really showing off this week too. The girls have been decorating tiles and plaques (rolled out slabs of clay) with texture impressions, small clay coils, and carvings. They’ve made small animal sculptures, cupcake and mushroom boxes, as well as wheel-thrown vessels like cups and bowls. Later next week, the girls will begin glazing their creations so they can be fired in the kilns in time to have fully finished pieces to take home. Bright and colorful, it will be exciting to see the final results.
The painting and drawing classes have been concentrating on watercolor paints, and experimenting with color theory as the girls blend their paint. They’ve been using different brush types as well, creating interesting effects for their pictures.
Fire building is one of the skills the girls are learning in the WHOA activity this week. If you’ve ever tried to build a fire, the wood you use matters a lot. The girls know how to select dry wood, but also how to gauge that by listening for a distinctive snap when a twig breaks. Some have been able to achieve a “one-match” fire without using any paper…. a real accomplishment. Of course, the possibility of roasting marshmallows and making s’mores can be a powerful motivator, as well!
Outdoor adventure, sports, and creative arts are daily experiences at camp, and this has been a full and rewarding week of each. As your girls sample these options, learning from the challenges they represent, they’re not just enjoying themselves. They’re also growing a bit, becoming more confident and accomplished, developing skills and perhaps surprising talents. All this and more, in the name of fun. It’s very neat to see.