Busy in Every Way

Today was the first day of activities for this session, a day when camp was busy in every way. Last night the girls were presented with the different options, and after much discussion among their friends decided on their first set of four activities.

summer calendar project

This practice of having the girls select their own activities has long been a part of Rockbrook. We believe that having to choose on their own, away from parents, is a really good experience for the girls. It’s empowering for them to make this decision, to make it based entirely on their own desires and interests. It might mean doing lots of crafts, or perhaps spending extra time at the barn with the horses. Or it might mean taking a break from tennis since that’s a regular thing at home. Parents are sometimes surprised to learn what their child selects, and they may even wish their camper would branch out more, or be inspired to try something different. Some of that variety happens on its own as the various options are limited, and peers often encourage each other to do things together. But the girls really appreciate this independence. Wednesday night, all the girls will select a new set of activities, giving them a chance to switch things up. Horseback riding operates differently. Girls can keep riding on the schedule arranged with Kelsi our riding director. They can switch up their riding days, but most don’t want to.

With the campers schedules set, they were off…. off to shoot arrows, to climb the alpine tower, and to twist, tie and dye white t-shirts. They were calming down and stretching out in a yoga class held in the stone hillside lodge. They were learning tricks to perfect a cartwheel in the gymnastics activity. They were getting the hang of operating the floor looms in weaving and the feel of cool clay in the two pottery studios. They were swimming in the lake and riding horses in the rings, smacking tetherballs and gaga balls, making friendship bracelets and painting flowers. They were busy!

There were trips happening too. Two different kayaking trips went out to the French Broad river, one in the morning and one after lunch. The CA campers (9th graders) took a hike in the Dupont State Forest to discuss and select their secret Banquet theme. Starting with about 80 different ideas, they narrowed down the options and ended up with a single theme that will focus their planning for the end-of-session party they host for the whole camp. Now, they have a theme, and it’s a good one.

In camp, zipline trips were happening all day as well. Different cabin groups were assigned specific times. This allows us to make sure that everyone, even the smallest Junior, has the option to take a ride through the course. Wearing a harness tethered to a dual-wheeled pulley and a steel backup carabiner, the girls also put on a helmet before following the adventure staff up into the forest where the course begins. With three zips and 3 different challenge bridges strung between huge boulders, the course is uniquely thrilling and beautiful at the same time.

I should add that despite this busyness, our regular daily schedule also includes three periods of “free time” when the girls can just hang out. They can join various clubs, swim in the lake, or play several games during these times, but they can also sit and read under the walnut tree on the hill, goof around in the creek by Curosty, or just sit and chat with a friend in one of the red porch rocking chairs. Here too, the girls decide for themselves how to spend this free time. Unable to default to technology or passive entertainment, it’s interesting to see them be more creative and active than they might be otherwise. They have plenty of friends to do things with, so their “free time” can seem busy as well.

Yes camp is busy, but it’s a good kind of busy. It’s self-directed and fun, filled with extraordinary opportunities to experience new things, and includes built-in companionship and support. It’s a busy that helps a girl grow.

camp nature girls exploring

A Spectacle of Excitement

An opening day of camp is a spectacle of excitement. It’s the start of something we’ve all been looking forward to, and is something that’s filled with possibility, great feelings and new experiences. Just about everyone involved knows this feeling— the parents driving into camp with jittery children in the backseat, the campers themselves who’ve had to wait for many, many months for this day, and the enthusiastic cabin counselors literally jumping up and down to greet the campers as they arrive. Even the directors! All of us at camp were very excited this morning to open our second session of camp.

summer camp arrival

I want to thank everyone for managing all of the pre-camp tasks we asked of families this year. In addition to all the regular health forms and camper information forms, this was another year that included covid-19 concerns and this created an added burden leading up to camp. We know that is was a lot, but we’re also very thankful that everyone, without exception, took care of the details. We done!

The parents being prepared helped make the check-in procedure go smoothly too. Our staggered arrival times and “drive-thru” stations kept the line of cars moving steadily ahead all morning. The highlight of the process was hopping out the car and meeting each camper’s counselors. Our crew of luggage guys worked steading all morning as well, quickly moving trunks and duffles to the cabins where the girls could begin setting up their cabins together.

Setting up the cabin has become a fun group activity now that the different aged girls are arriving at similar times. It really helps make everyone feel included as they arrange trunks in the cabin, share decorations, and pick their bunk more collaboratively. In fact, this whole day is an extension of this process as the girls spend most of their time with their cabin group.

camp cabin group tour

Lunch was Rick’s signature homemade mac-n-cheese. This is a perpetual favorite for open day. And Rick does it right. Mountains of shredded cheese, pounds of elbow macaroni, mixed with a roux of butter, milk and flour, and baked until bubbling hot. Everyone loved it.

The cabin groups also spent time walking around and touring camp. This was a chance to visit the different activity areas and to learn where to find the Health Hut, the Office, the Dining Hall, the Gym and the Lake. We also spent time visiting the camp store to pick up the items parents ordered for their campers. Soon you’ll start to see those new sweatshirts, bucket hats and water bottles in the photo gallery.

The afternoon brought all of us to the lake, all the counselors, directors, lifeguards, and campers too. It was time for our “swim demos,” which is the process where we ask everyone to demonstrate their ability to swim. The lake has various areas that are appropriate for different swimmers, deeper and more shallow areas for example. To make sure everyone finds the best area, we check how well everyone can swim, tread water, and be comfortable in our chilly mountain lake. We all take turns jumping off the dock (cheering support!) swimming and treading water for a minute, and then receive a colored wrist band and tag. The three different levels are easily identified with this color coding.

The lake is such a popular place to be, we want to make sure everyone has a chance to cool off on those sunny summer days. We now have a full board of tags, one for each person who can swim in the lake, maybe take a ride down the waterslide, or just float lazily in a tube.

We’re off to a great session, and the girls are ready to dig into their first rotation of activities starting tomorrow. They selected their activities tonight, so they are eager to say the least!

Let me remind you to send mail… lots of it! The girls check their mailbox after lunch each day, and it’s a big deal to see something waiting for you in your box. Likewise, it’s a little disappointing to see your box empty. So write those letters! And send those emails (Instructions for sending mail are here). Everyone loves mail at camp.

A Special Energy

Every camp session has a certain momentum to it, a feeling of accelerating energy, that becomes incredibly powerful with each passing day. The girls enjoy themselves more and more, are more quick to laugh at things, and are more eager to dive deep into camp life. All of those great camp feelings— enthusiastic support from everyone around you, friendly encouragement, a general sense of belonging and wellbeing, a joyful approach to whatever arises —become more regular and true. Part if this is because we are simply more familiar with camp life and therefore we come to expect these feelings. But, of course, the quality of our camp experience is mostly derived from the the deepening friendships we form while here. All this time together, doing so much together, creates a special kind of energy that builds on itself, day after day.

monsters camp party

The end-of-session all-camp events, for this reason, are particularly exciting and powerful. One such event is the camp play, which this session was “Shrek the Musical.” This was a chance for campers to play their favorite Shrek characters, including that beloved green ogre, the princess Fiona, the evil Lord Farquaad, and Donkey. In addition to spoken parts telling the story of Shrek rescuing Princess Fiona, the show included singing and fun dance routines.

The other event held at the end of the main sessions is the “Banquet.” This is a BIG deal, and is something everyone looks forward to. It’s essentially a huge party with music and dancing, decorations, special food, and costumed characters entertaining. The 9th grade campers (our CAs) plan and present the banquet, keeping its theme a secret until revealing it on the second to last day of camp.

monster camp party costumes

This session the theme focused on the Pixar characters from the movies Monsters, Inc. and Monsters University. They called it, “Monsters Incamporated.” This was a colorful and fun banquet theme. Taking styles from the movies, the dining hall was decorated with painted doors, Monster University sorority and fraternity insignias, well-known characters from the movies, balloons and streamers. The CAs themselves dressed up too. We saw Mike Wazowski, Sully, Randall, Celia, Art, Janitors, Members of the PNK (Python Nu Kappa) Sorority, Hardscrabble, Johnny, Roz and others. There were skits enacting a couple of scenes, and dance numbers combining several characters.

The tables of the dining hall were arranged to leave plenty of space for dancing, which everyone enjoyed between scenes performed by the CAs. The tables had decorated cups for everyone, a variety of candy treats, and small cans of soda. The meal was “Ears and Eyes” (tortellini and meatballs), “Mini Mikes” (green grapes), and “Green Goo” (Chips and Guacamole). Dancing and singing, eating and drinking, colorful and loud— it was a fabulous party.

candle ceremony campers

The final event of the session, which occurred on the last evening, was the closing campfire. This “Spirit Fire” is a tradition reaching back to Rockbrook’s very first summer more than 100 years ago. It’s a chance to reflect on the session and what we’ve all learned from being together at camp. Different campers and counselors take turns giving short speeches, alternating with traditional songs sung around a roaring campfire. Tonight we heard a camper talk about feeling immediately accepted at Rockbrook. Another said that she had found “another home” at camp. One staff member was surprised how much camp meant to her after taking a few years off from being here.

The Spirit Fire brings up these sorts of feelings. Sitting shoulder to shoulder with so many friends with whom you’ve shared so much— it brings up emotions. It makes you appreciate what’s special about camp. It makes you feel good about yourself and your place in this positive community. The Spirit Fire ends with each person lighting a small white candle and then processing around the lake. This creates a beautiful ring of candlelight reflecting off the water of the lake. The girls sing softly and after a few minutes head back to their cabins for their last night at camp.

Thank you everyone for being a part of camp this session. Thank you for recognizing the value of camp, and for trusting Rockbrook to provide the kind of summer experience your girls need. It’s been a wonderful session, and we look forward to seeing everyone again very soon.

First Session Highlights Video – Part Two

Robbie Francis of FrancisFilmworks worked his filming and editing magic again this week to produce another short video for us. He spent the day last Thursday filming, and now we have this wonderful glimpse into life at camp. The video does a great job of depicting the mood of camp… so much action and so many happy girls!

Take a look, and let us know what you think.

Frolic with the Foam!

Tonight we witnessed how these Rockbrook girls know how to let loose! After dinner and signing up for next week’s activities, we had an all-camp shaving cream fight and slip-n-slide dance party down on the grassy sports field. It has a gently sloping area for the long sheet of plastic, a couple of water hoses to keep it slick, and a large area for everyone to romp around in.

shaving creamed trio
shaving cream fight laugh
shaving cream hairstyle
camp shaving cream kids

First we piled up about 150 cans of shaving cream (not menthol!). We lay out the slip-n-slide plastic and soaped it up a bit. We got a water sprinkler going. We set up our sound system. Add a bunch of excited camp girls, and you have a shaving cream fight!

They came dressed in their swimsuits and wearing their water shoes. They tossed their towels in a pile, grabbed a can of shaving cream and were off!

Some first sprayed a little of the foam on themselves, as if testing the can. But most immediately began chasing someone else, can outstretched ready to fire away. Of course, that’s exactly the point, emptying every can of shaving cream on everyone there. Frolic with the foam! Squirt it, slather it, and smear it everywhere and on everyone.

Yes, there’s running to get away from an attacking friend, but really, everyone realizes its fun to slow down just enough to be caught and splattered with the white slippery stuff.

The mood is complete hilarity, laughter turned up as high as it will go. Laughing perhaps as hard as they have ever laughed. There’s a mischievous twinkle in their eyes as they sneak up on people with a handful of shaving cream, ready to strike. There’s also a sly grin as the girls enjoy themselves, since getting this messy is ordinarily “not allowed” at home.

And messy it is! Unavoidably so. In about 5 minutes, there’s white foam everywhere— no person unscathed. Getting the shaving cream in your hair is part of the fun. Friends help each other with that goal, and soon there are mohawk styles, helmets of foam, twists and random blobs decorating almost everyone’s head. Some of the littlest girls made it a goal to cover every inch of themselves with shaving cream, while some of the oldest girls want to draw on each other and pose for a group photo.

Throughout this “fight,” the girls would take turns sliding down that sheet of plastic. All that shaving cream covering them made the ride fast and easy. Yes, messy here too, as the water and foam sprayed up during each slide. Some of the girls really loved the slip-n-slide, taking ride after ride.

Even though we made participating in all of this optional, this was one of the largest shaving cream fights I can remember. It was most popular with the Middlers and Juniors, but there were plenty of Senior girls enjoying the event as well. All-ages fun!

As the sun was setting and the many cans of foamed had been emptied, a few girls took their last ride down the slip-n-slide as others began hosing off. The temperature was dropping and these girls needed a warm shower.

Letting loose like this with your friends feels really good. It’s all smiles from the girls because I think it taps into a basic urge to be completely silly and experience a moment free from regular decorum. It’s the messiness of it all. We can’t be messy like this ordinarily, so when we can, it’s hilarious and fun. There’s really no other feeling quite like a shaving cream fight at camp.

shaving cream fight sunset

A More Authentic Life

The other night I had a conversation with our current CITs, the “counselors in training” who help at camp each session. There are 7 of them this session and they are all 17 years old. These are folks who have been at camp for many years, growing up at Rockbrook, and now are ready to take their first step toward being a counselor, working directly with children. It’s fun to hear how they are liking the experience. I often just ask, “how are you finding it?” or “what’s been surprising about life as a CIT?”

summer camp free time

One CIT answered, “I love how my campers are so real. They are so open and genuinely themselves.” Such a great description of what happens at camp! I think she meant, “compared to others I know,” these young kids are living a more authentic life. Compared to older people, these camp girls are more free to simply be kids, to not worry about things generally, and to romp through their day enthusiastically ready for anything.

I think this CIT was surprised by this because it was a new experience for her to spend this much time getting to know a group of younger children. Instead of kids, her world of high school students and adults seems less authentic, less open, less comfortable being OK with just being. It was interesting that this CIT admired her girls for this. She thought they were awesome! And I think, wished she could be that way too.

So how do these young campers do it? How do they live at this level? Do they have some kind of hidden strength? Some degree of moxie? Or, do they lack a certain maturity, seasoned insight into life, or assumptions about what is “correct” that most others possess? Or, can we attribute it to the environment of camp, the social landscape and culture they enjoy here?

summer camp tetherball game

We can probably assume all of these play a role for these kids.

They certainly do have inner strengths— a sense of curiosity toward the natural world, a playful energetic attitude that seems easy to apply, an inherent trust shown to everyone around them. Kids have a special power to laugh at almost anything. They can be entertained by almost anything, and be fascinated by the most “ordinary” things. Young children in particular are generally accepting and can make friends quickly and easily, happily able to join any group of other kids doing something together.

As we get older though, other tendencies take over. We begin to understand that praise and reward come from meeting certain standards and thus we feel some pressure to do that. We become aware of social expectations. We compare ourselves to others, making judgments about our self-worth. We learn what’s proper in various circumstances. We develop habits where convenience and comfort are the highest ideals. Each of these aspects of being an adult, it seems, work against the authenticity that CIT found remarkable about her campers. Kids have the joy of being themselves and ignoring most of this… while they’re kids.

summer camp relaxation

I think the camp environment plays a role too, and helps even the older campers here tap back into their childhood spirit. Our camp culture provides a real sense of freedom to be your true self without too much social pressure, attention to “perfection,” or worry about being accepted. So much of the day at camp is self directed, girls have more opportunities to follow their own interests and explore everything camp has to offer. We encourage silliness, joyful experimentation, and giving things a try just for the fun of it. The girls can sense that Rockbrook is a place that applauds creativity, self-expression, and positive relationships. We’re not competing with each other or making comparisons to assign value. Instead, it’s a place that celebrates no matter what the outcome… no matter the winner or the weather.

When the power went out yesterday during a truly giant thunderstorm, first there were screams of surprise but then plenty of delightful laughter. We hunkered down in the dining hall, sang songs, and made a dash back to the cabins for an extended rest hour waiting for the storm to pass. Some of the adults were scrambling to make sure the generator was working properly (thankfully it was), but the kids were in the moment and having fun.

Rockbrook is a place to put aside some of the assumptions, concerns and habits of being a “grownup,” and to experience the freedom to unearth more essential ways of being your true self… your sense of wonder and joy, your compassion, and your optimism. It’s place for kids to be kids.

Of course, the older we get, the more difficult that can be, and we might not be capable of fully embracing the openness of childhood. Worry has a way of wiggling in. But camp has a special ability to move us closer to that childhood truth. It can provide an enticing glimpse into living life more authentically.

Perhaps, that’s another reason why we all love being at camp. I think it is.

An Energizing Jolt

It’s hard to beat a summertime trip to Sliding Rock. If you haven’t heard of the place, it’s a spot in the Pisgah National Forest where Looking Glass Creek flows over a sloping outcropping of granite. Over eons, as the creek has cascaded over the rock and splashed into a pool below, its surface has been worn (mostly) smooth. Fun seeking humans at some point discovered that a person could sit down at the top of the rock and have the force of the moving water send them accelerating down the rock ending in a splash at the bottom. The ride is 60 feet long!

Tonight we took a big group of Middlers and Seniors to Sliding Rock so that everyone could experience this classic summertime activity here in the mountains of North Carolina. Like last week, we loaded 6 buses and vans, filled them with 6 lifeguards and all their equipment (e.g. rescue tubes and a backboard), 18 counselors and the rest of the seats with campers. We again arrived “after hours” when the area is officially “closed.” This helps avoid the crowds common during the day and allows us to essentially “take over” the place with our own staff and procedures. Plus, when we show up, it’s quite a sight. We end up making a long line of excited girls, clapping and cheering for their friends as they slide two by two.

The sound of this crowd, plus the roar of what is essentially a waterfall, makes being there intensely exciting. There’s also the temperature of the water, which is typical of the mountain streams around here. It’s what some describe as “refreshing” and others as “shockingly cold.” Either way, the water provides an energizing jolt that seems to launch each ride into a scream inducing thrill.

Needless to say, the girls love Sliding Rock! Even the senior girls who have come to camp for years are excited to brave the slide again. It might be a little scary, and it’s definitely kind of chilly, but the overall feeling is not to be missed. One camper said she looks forward to sliding every year. Most of the girls want to slide multiple times, hopping right back in line after swimming out of the pool. In fact, if it wasn’t for the fading light of the evening, we’d slide for hours. But after everyone slid 3 or so times, it was too dark to continue.

But that wasn’t the end of our evening. There was one more stop to make, one that also has become a highlight for just about every girl who attends Rockbrook— a stop at Dolly’s Dairy Bar. The girls literally run from the buses to join the line to select their flavor. Dolly’s has unique combination flavors named after many of the area summer camps. For example there is “Gwynn Valley Vortex,” “High Rocks Arctic Slide,” and “Rockbrook Chocolate Illusion.” There is one flavor, “Chosatonga Cheer,” that has an intense blue color, so intense that it leaves your teeth and lips a distinctly blue tint. It’s fun to eat and apparently delicious too!

This was a night of great camp fun— singing camp songs in the bus, catching the adventure of sliding rock, and enjoying a yummy sweet ice cream treat. And all with loads of laughs and good vibes from dozens of friends. Such genuine exuberance! It can’t be beat.

camp girls sliding

Raising a Successful Child

What is a parent’s role in raising confident and successful children? What matters in a child’s life that helps them grow up and find satisfaction as an adult? What can we parents do to encourage the habits, character and understandings that children need as they face challenges later in life? We all want our kids to be successful grownups, but is there something specific we can do to give them the best odds?

kids yoga class

These are the questions asked by Margot Machol Bisnow in her recent article, “I talked to 70 parents who raised highly successful kids—here are the 4 hard parenting rules that make them different.” The whole article is online here. In her research for writing a book about “raising an entrepreneur,” Bisnow identified several trends in how successful entrepreneurs were raised as kids. Their parents provided certain experiences that made a difference for these kids as adults.

When I spotted the article it was clear that summer camp, certainly at Rockbrook, aligns perfectly with all four of these “parenting rules.” Our camp philosophy and culture inspire these same experiences, which we hope encourages the girls here to grow and be more confident later in life.

Here are Bisnow’s 4 “rules.”

1. Give kids extreme independence

Kids need to practice acting independently. When faced with choices, we want our kids to make good decisions on their own, without the guidance of authority figures like parents and teachers. Camp is great for this! The kindness and support kids find in the camp community bolsters their confidence to act independently. Everyone here is making independent decisions, and finding encouragement to give things a go. And with “success” at camp being defined more as process than a particular “win,” there’s less fear of failure and a more joyful approach toward new experiences.

2. Actively Nurture Compassion

Bisnow suggests compassion is a character trait that correlates with being a successful adult. This means being aware of how those around you are feeling, and responding positively with a desire to help. It means being tuned into the needs of others. This kind of compassion goes a long way, and at camp, it’s the core of our community. Here at Rockbrook, we are all focused on caring for each other, pitching in to help, and being friendly to everyone. We work to keep others in mind when we make decisions. We strive to include people, and to be generous with our selves. This air of compassion at camp is one the main reasons it feels so good, so freeing, to be here.

3. Welcome failure early and often

Most adults don’t do well if they focus too much on avoiding failure, or on removing personal feelings of discomfort or frustration. Life is bound to present occasional setbacks, and often great opportunities include an obvious amount risk. But if we are to grow, we need the courage to accept those risks and to lean into challenges rather than to retreat to the comfortable and the familiar. Here too, camp teaches this lesson everyday by presenting girls with chances to go beyond what they’re familiar with. Everyone here is expanding their “comfort zone” by trying new things and meeting the challenges that presents.  In this kind of caring community, “failure” is not even a concern. Instead, we’re resilient. We embrace the possibility that we might not “get it perfectly,” and just keep moving ahead.

4. Let go of control and lead by following

Kids need space to explore who they really are. They need the freedom to reveal their passions and talents. They need to be trusted to understand themselves without too much outside pressure to be a certain thing. Camp is the perfect environment for this too. It’s supportive and actively accepting. We celebrate different interests and applaud every kind of creativity. Simply sending your girls to camp, letting them go, allows them to tap into this authenticity and to know they are still valued. This is a really empowering step on their path toward being strong, confident and well adjusted.

tetherball smiles

All four of these impulses are woven into our daily life at Rockbrook. It’s the type of community we have here—rooted in kindness and generosity —that makes this possible. It’s this safe and supportive environment that is ideal for kids to build these character traits, to grow personally and socially stronger, and to experience first-hand that being a little brave pays off. Of course the girls love how all this feels too. They’re eager to experience it and grow in these ways. At least partly, it’s what’s “fun” about camp.

And all of this happens away from their parents, which is the other crucial component here. Practicing these four “rules” can sometimes be hard at home (hard on the parents!), but at camp, they’re easy.

So is there something we parents can do to help our kids be more successful later in life? Is there a way to inspire them to be more independent, compassionate, resilient, and true to their authentic self? There is. You can send them to camp.

First Session Highlights Video

It’s always difficult to describe camp life to those who haven’t experienced it. Of course, we try all the time —by writing blog posts and posting hundreds of photos to our online gallery— but the experience is far too rich, complex and emotional to convey like that.

Fortunately, we have some video as well. We’re happy to say Robbie Francis of FrancisFilmworks is again working with us this summer to produce short videos each session.  He came to camp on Thursday and now has his first edited short of 2022 ready for you to see.

Take a look! You will love it.

P.S. Be sure to have the volume turned up. Hearing camp is amazing!

Competent and Worthwhile

Looking around camp, it’s hard not to be impressed. If you step into any activity area, you’ll find campers and counselors busy with the task at hand. It can be something simple like selecting colors of paint for a painting project. It can be girls showing incredible concentration and focus while aiming their rifle down range. During muffin break, there’ll be easy conversation and laughter bubbling up from genuine, unfiltered friendships. High up on the Alpine Tower, girls will be grunting a bit as they pull themselves up through a strenuous climbing move. There’s determination too— swimming laps in the lake, centering clay on the potter’s wheel, and serving tennis balls over the net. It’s all pretty astonishing.

I’m a little used to it (and really privileged to see it every year!), but I bet you’ve never experienced anything like this. There simply aren’t very many places designed to allow girls to develop their competence and demonstrate accomplishment like they do at camp. Rockbrook is a place where they get to explore, to practice and learn new things. It’s a place with opportunities to be creative, to be physical (even sporty!), and to be outdoorsy. Perhaps most importantly, camp is place to become more socially competent, to succeed at making friends, to relax into knowing you can be good friends with a diverse range of people.

In some ways, this is what we do all day at camp; we prove to girls that they are successful. But it’s not an “everybody’s a winner,” “blue ribbons for all” sort of thing. Instead we create the conditions where we’re not competing against each other, but instead are approaching everything without a fear of failure or judgment. Rockbrook’s culture is rooted in a joyful enthusiasm that inspires experimentation. We provide steady encouragement to support girls when they doubt their abilities, or are worried about if something they do will be “any good.” We’re not measuring anything, or giving out a grade of any kind. Around here, success comes from simply doing things, from taking that first step. And from what naturally follows as a second step, and so on. The outcome we’re seeking is not a final result, but rather a process that leads in a good direction.

The examples are endless. There are first steps everywhere at camp: close encounters with nature, communication between horse and rider, new pieces of art imagined, singing with friends on stage, or inventing a silly dance for a cabin skit. Simply navigating all of the daily decisions of camp life while away from parents —being good on her own— is a significant accomplishment. Just imagine the power of feeling good about all of this! It’s a feeling that motivates the girls to do even more, and to be proud of themselves.

The result for your Rockbrook girls is a growing positive self-esteem. In this environment infused with daily feelings of success and accomplishment, the girls strengthen their belief in themselves. Surrounded by people who care about them and who like them for who they really are, they know they are valued no matter how something they try turns out. This support from the community provides a freedom to explore how each of them is worthwhile. In this way, simply being at camp is a powerful boost for girls.

Once again. It’s astonishing!

horseback riding lesson