Her First Jovernight

It’s no surprise that camp has a lot to do with embracing new experiences. The girls are meeting new people, often eating new foods, and trying new activities. They’re away from the familiarities of home and immersed in a uniquely exciting environment, but feeling some uncertainty along the way. Naturally, younger campers, or those who have never attended camp before, feel this novelty even more.

A great example happened last night when the full session Juniors were offered an overnight camping trip where they would sleep out in the woods at the “Junior Outpost” instead of in their cabin. This is a dedicated campsite on the Rockbrook property that’s located a short hike along a wooded path leading toward Rockbrook Falls. It is a unique area below the base of Dunns Rock among a field of massive boulders and old trees. It has the feel of being an ancient campsite with a very obvious gathering point around a fire ring. There is also a flat area for sleeping where we’ve built two raised wooden platforms with tin roofs. We know Rockbrook girls have been camping here for decades and before that most likely early settlers and Native Americans too. It’s that special.

The Juniors started their overnight, their “Jovernight,” by gathering their essential gear after dinner. They brought a sleeping bag and pillow, a flashlight, water bottle and for many a carefully chosen stuffed animal as well. Altogether with their counselors, they carried these items in their arms, chattering with questions as they filed along the trail to the campsite.

They arrived at the campsite and immediately got to work arranging their sleeping bags on the platforms. The counselors helped with the discussion and compromise this required, hung some battery-powered fairy lights for everyone, and soon had the crowd settled. The counselors lit a campfire in the fire ring so everyone could roast marshmallows for s’mores. The girls sat around the campfire and enjoyed their sweet treat while singing a few camp songs.

small overnight camping group

The highlight of the night was sleeping on the platforms. Since they are open on the sides, the girls feel immersed in the woods. When they quiet down, they can easily hear the wind in the leaves above, and the nighttime sounds of the forest. This can cause a twinge of worry at times, especially if they spot a nearby spider with their flashlight or hear something loud out in the distance like a falling branch or an owl, for example. The counselors are there on the platforms as well, being quick to reassure the girls and help them grow more accustom to everything.

Later asking them about the experience, one girl said sleeping outside was “cozy and peaceful.” They were out there together, “having fun with friends in Nature,” another one said. Despite it being most of these girls’ first camping trip, they really enjoyed the experience.

These Jovernights are more than just overnight camping trips, however. They’re yet another chance for Rockbrook girls to step toward something new and a little bit challenging. In the company of their friends, this trip helped them become a little more comfortable, a little more confident, and more empowered. Sometimes the simplest thing, like spending your first night camping in the woods, can really make a difference.

cozy outdoor camping platform

Inside the Photo Gallery

The daily Rockbrook photo gallery available to parents in their online account is always great fun to see. Long ago we realized that even though camp is inherently an experience for the campers, parents want to be a part of it too. They at least want to see what’s going on. In fact, many parents “live” for the photo gallery, they tell us, checking for newly uploaded photos throughout the day. Most days we upload a batch of photos just before lunch and another just before dinner. Some days, when a special event of some sort has happened, we’ll have other batches uploaded as well.

That’s great! We’re happy to provide all the photos, and while we can’t possibly show everything going on at camp, or take a photo of every camper every day, we try our best to cover things. On most days we have two photographers roaming about the camp trying to capture the action. We prefer two because there is so much going on at camp simultaneously. If we’re down at the barn taking pictures of riding, we’re missing the zipline kids, and so forth. So we need to divide and conquer! Still, we’re bound to miss a few things.

We use a 3rd-party photo display system that’s part of CampMinder, the camp registration service that handles our online registration, forms, and payment processing. This company creates the display grid and handles the photo prints and downloads, setting the prices for this service. Unfortunately, we can’t control all of that.

Sometimes, the photos can be confusing to parents. Not knowing the background of what’s happening at camp, you won’t know what’s going on in a particular shot. You might see a couple of girls running, but not know they are jogging by as part of a group, “The Rockbrook Runners,” that covers a 2-mile loop before lunch most days. You might see a girl standing next to a horse smiling, but not realize she is leading her horse from the barn to the riding ring to begin her mounted lesson. Likewise, you’ll see three girls wearing helmets and PFDs and not understand that they are listening to the safety talk just before going rafting on the Nantahala River. If every “picture is worth a thousand words,” there are some days on the photo gallery where almost a million words are there to be read!

shady summer camp tennis court
girl camp weaving at loom

Here’s another example, a photo taken one sunny afternoon at the tennis courts. The instructor is just out of view, but you can see girls with an empty ball basket after practicing forehand and backhand volleys. The court is nice and shaded, a definite plus on a warm afternoon, and you can see the clay playing surface that also helps keep things cool. The courts need to be brushed every so often and the taped lines hammered into the clay need to be cleared off as well. With a rock wall on one side and the trees lining the other side of the lower court, playing on these courts feels very old fashioned and campy.

The same can be said for all the weaving going on in the Curosty cabin just up the hill from tennis. This is one of the historic log cabins on the Rockbrook property. It’s full of all sorts of looms, full-sized floor looms, smaller tabletop looms, and even smaller frame looms. Any time of the day, you’ll find campers busy on these looms, running some sort of weft back and forth through some pattern of warp held tightly on the looms. In this photo, the camper is pressing the keys with her hand to change which strings in the warp move up and down allowing the weft to be passed through horizontally. It only takes a few passes to begin seeing the design in the woven cloth. In this photo, you can also see hanging on the wall some of the colorful woven projects created, and in the background, a cabinet of weaving supplies.

Well, we could go on and on like this, but I hope you can see how it will be fun to revisit the photo gallery with your camper after she returns home. Take some time to sit together and have her explain what’s going on in the photos. I think you’ll enjoy learning more about camp, and love hearing her enthusiasm and excitement for all the little details you probably missed on your own. You’ll be able to ask questions and hear even more stories about her experience at Rockbrook. Highly recommended!

wild whitewater rafting trip

Peace and Love

Sundays are different at camp. Our regular in-camp activities and out of camp trips pause so that we can focus on all-camp events. Instead of campers and staff moving in all directions, we come together. It’s a nice reset and an opportunity to celebrate our sense of community, usually dress up in some way, and enjoy a big afternoon event.

It begins with sleeping in an extra hour, a welcome change of pace right from the start. After a full week of big adventure and the go-go-go of activities, everyone seems to really enjoy the extra shut-eye. The wakeup bell then brings everyone to breakfast in their pajamas (and often a cozy sweatshirt) to enjoy our breakfast of eggs and sausage, cereal, fruit and yogurt with fresh Krispy Kreme donuts as an added treat.

smiling summer camp girls

After breakfast, everyone changes into their red and white camp uniforms for the main morning events— flag raising and chapel. The hi-ups lead the flag raising ceremony. The entire camp lines up around the flagpole, watches as the flag is raised, and then sings “The Streams and the Mountains,” one of the oldest Rockbrook songs. Single file, everyone then walks down to the end of the lower line and finds a seat in the Chapel area of camp.

What we call “chapel” at Rockbrook is not a religious ceremony. We want everyone at at camp, no matter what their family religious background, to feel comfortable at our “chapel,” so lately it has been understood as an acronym for “Celebration of Happiness, Adventure, Peace, Earth and Love.” The idea is that we benefit from the chance to slow down a bit and think about what’s important at Rockbrook, the positive aspects that we value. Each chapel has a theme, chosen by the campers, that focuses the short program of songs and camper reflections on what the theme means to them. Past themes have been happiness, honesty and friendship, for example.

Peace and Love Rockbrook
We Heart Rockbrook

Today’s theme was “Peace and Love” and was led by the Juniors. Girls took turns talking about peace (“You can find it anywhere and doing almost anything.”) and love (“Every one of you is loved by people here.”). The whole Junior line sang “Peace Like a River,” complete with hand motions. A group of campers played ukuleles and sang “This Little Light of Mine.” Sarah read the classic (1936) children’s book, The Story of Ferdinand. You probably recall it’s the story of a peace-loving bull who enjoyed smelling flowers, and who refused to fight when brought to the bullfighting ring. Being surrounded by the forest and sitting so closely with all of our camp friends, it wasn’t hard to feel that camp is a place of peace and love.

Our afternoon plans —two different all-camp events —had to be postponed because we were hit by an afternoon thunderstorm right when the events were to start. We held off for a bit, hoping the storm would pass quickly, but it was big enough that we decided to switch gears and move into the gym. Gathering this many excited, enthusiastic people (who were ready to burn some energy) is really all you need to create a fun event. Add some dance music, and a few small snacks, and you have an impromptu dance party. That’s what we did! While the rain tapered off outside, the girls jumped and sang, twirled and flicked all around the gym. Spontaneous and fun, it was a great way for all of us to spend the afternoon.

Sunday night is “Movie Night” at camp. After signing up for a new set of activities that will begin Monday morning, all of the campers come down to the gym to watch a movie projected on a big screen. The whole gym floor becomes covered with sleeping bags, pillows and blankets, crazy creek chairs, and a mob of girls eager to watch. The Hi-Ups and a director are there to assist while all of the counselors and other directors have an all-staff meeting in the dining hall or one of the lodges. We love showing musicals at movie night, especially ones where the girls know the songs, because that turns the movie into a singalong, making it even more fun and a real treat to hear.

summer camp all girl dance

Simpler Things

Time at summer camp provides a unique opportunity for campers to rediscover the joy in life’s simpler pleasures. After a few days away from the distractions of screens and electronics, campers start to immerse themselves in experiences that often go unnoticed in their daily lives. Whether it’s savoring a favorite dessert (Rockbrookies!), marveling at a beautiful flower, bonding with the camp dog, or creating a special craft to bring home, these simple activities become cherished moments.

camp child basketry

Kids at camp learn to appreciate the beauty of nature, the value of human connections, and the satisfaction of creating something with their own hands. These simple pleasures not only bring immediate happiness but also cultivate lasting memories and skills that will extend beyond their time at camp, hopefully into their lives as adults.

Camp is a place where imagination can run free, and anyone will happily join you in whatever game you’ve cooked up. With all of nature as the playground, we regularly see games of school, babysitting, pretend shopping trips, and so much more! Costumes are worn for no reason (hey, it’s a Tuesday, let’s all wear tutus!) and no one bats an eye at wacky hair, nicknames, or silly hats.

For example, this evening at 7:30pm, I had a dinner reservation at one of the finest establishments in Brevard. I was warmly greeted by the host, enjoyed a seat with a magnificent view of the mountains, and was served up a plate of whatever I requested by the friendly wait staff.

camp imaginary food

This “restaurant” took place in the bubbling creek that runs through camp, and my “dinner” was mud pies of various sizes, decorated with leaves and flower petals. All the while, the campers played the various roles, chattering excitedly about their plans for expansion, hours of operation, and menu offerings. Restaurants are a serious business!

It’s so much fun to watch the campers settling into their authentic and creative selves, being joyful and silly and playful. New friendships are formed as imaginations go wild.

Here at Rockbrook, the shrieks of joy at dessert time, the wild cheers from the tetherball court, and the sweet talk whispered to the chickens show us how quickly kids adapt to camp life and bring their exuberance to the smallest of moments.

As the sun slips behind the blue-green mountains, we all find joy in the slower contrast to the fast-paced, technology-driven world. We slow down and engage with our surroundings more deeply, and look forward to another day full of small joys in the heart of a wooded mountain.

—Miranda Barrett
   Camp Mom, former camper and counselor

The Ritual of Packing for Camp

The anticipation of camp time approaching can create as much joy and excitement as actually arriving! 

summer camp trunk

Preparing for camp is a time-established ritual that girls at Rockbrook have known for more than a century. Exploring the archives of old Carrier Pigeon newsletters uncovers fascinating references to girls preparing their steamer trunks, counting out their stockings, and visiting department stores for final items. Campers today go through much of the same preparations (though no one arrives by Pullman car anymore!). 

The rituals of reviewing the packing list, counting out clothing items, and labeling belongings can bring up all kinds of feelings for campers and their parents. Sometimes it’s a little nervousness around leaving home for the first time and making new friends. For returning campers, it can be great anticipation to see old friends and return to familiar places. 

summer camp footlocker

Deciding what to bring to camp is another big ritual, approached with great care and attention by some campers. They know that space is limited in their bunk, but there’re so many things they want to bring! Books, a favorite stuffed animal, stationary for writing home, and costumes for cabin skits are crammed in. Careful decisions must be weighed! There’s always an item or two that’s forgotten or left out, but as all campers know, simplifying life down to fewer items brings its own joy too. 

No matter how many or few belongings each camper arrives with, quality time at camp has nothing to do with the “stuff” you bring. Showing up ready to make new friends, try new things, and have great days is the only thing you need to pack. And maybe a toothbrush.

—Miranda Barrett
   Camp Mom, former camper and counselor

Extra Delightful

Our streak of amazingly perfect weather has continued. As other places are suffering from a heat wave, we are still enjoying low temperatures in the 60s in the morning and 80s in the afternoon. Just down the mountain in south Carolina, it’s more than 10 degrees warmer. It’s no wonder that camps were built here in the mountains. They were a welcome relief from the summer heat back when there was no air conditioning. It’s been particularly nice these past two weeks with sunny skies and low humidity. It’s made being outside extra delightful!

summer kids camp assembly

A month or so ago, I was interviewed by the editor of a local magazine about camp. Now, the article has just been published: “Multiple Benefits of Summer Camp,” by Randee Brown in WNC Business. If you’ve read the Rockbrook blog over the years, you know I have a lot to say on this topic! For example, this article is a good summary of the top ten benefits. In the interview, I tried to convey how camp can be understood as “fun that matters.” Camp is much more than just entertainment or diversion. It’s formative too. The parents with children who go to camp already know this because they see it in how much their kids grow from the experience. Here’s the article if you’d like to take a look.

This past weekend we held an all-camp dance in the gym for our evening activity. The counselors and campers put on fancy clothes and costumes, and with great dance-pop numbers blasting from the sound system, had a great time zooming around arm in arm, jumping up and down to the beat, and joining in more choreographed dance numbers. The counselors had just as much fun as the campers. When folks needed to take a break and cool off —all that dancing can make you sweaty! —there was a good crowd hanging out just outside. A few played gagaball and tetherball too. Everyone really enjoyed being together and celebrating like this.

As we enter the last week of camp, there’s still lots to do and to look forward to. A highlight will be the banquet, but before that, we’ll savor our time together and enjoy the activities. At this point in the session, that’s really what we matters most. It’s being with the people, not doing the specific things, that we are cherishing. This becomes even more true when it’s time for the closing campfire, the Spirit Fire. Again, it’s the friendships formed at camp that really matter because they strengthen each of individually at the same time. Such good stuff!

Rockbrook summer camp girls

Hug a Chicken

The arrival of cabin day is exciting for everyone because it means switching up our schedule for the afternoon and doing something special with our cabin groups. It can also mean an entire age group (Juniors, Middlers, or Seniors) playing a game together, or taking a trip together.

summer camp costume game

The Seniors gathered on the landsports field for a crazy event of relays and games they called “Splash.” Each cabin group played a series of mini-games like a spoon-and-egg (though with ping-pong balls) relay, a challenge to draw a counselor, a wacky “acting” walk relay, and a wild costume relay. You can see in the photos that the costumes were over the top, especially when one person from each group had to put on all of the costumes at once for a final fashion show. Good silly fun! The last event was a challenge to protect a water balloon from breaking by building a protective case of some sort. They were given simple materials like a piece of cardboard, a strip of tape, and a few rubber bands or string, and then told to “design something that will keep your water balloon from breaking.” Working together, the groups came up with very creative solutions.

camper girl hugs a chicken

Three cabins of Juniors took a trip down the road to visit a local flower and berry farm. For these kids, the fun began right away. Just riding on the bus, singing the songs along the way, is enough to get excited. When they arrived at the farm and saw the beautifully tended rows of flowers, they were thrilled to romp about exploring. The farm also has resident bunnies and chickens that the girls could pet and hug. You might think hugging a chicken would be unpleasant, or petting a bunny somehow worrisome, but these girls loved it. They also picked flowers and brought back beautiful bouquets to decorate their dining hall tables. The outing also included a detour over to Dolly’s Dairy Bar, everyone’s favorite ice cream stand. It’s great fun to step up to the window and order your favorite flavor in a cup or cone. Dolly’s has unique flavors named after many of the local area summer camps. A popular choice with the campers is the bright blue “Chosatonga Cheer,” but also the very rich “Rockbrook Chocolate Illusion.”

The Senior girls had another surprise for them after dinner— an evening trip to Sliding Rock! With all six buses and vans loaded, we arrived at the famous spot in the Pisgah National forest where Looking Glass Creek flows over a smooth rock dome. For decades, it’s been a thrill to sit down in the creek at the top and slide down for a “refreshing” dunk at the bottom. Rockbrook has been taking campers there for easily 50 years.

Tonight we arrived with our crew of lifeguards, and almost 90 people who were ready to slide. It can be a little shocking when you first sit down in the water, but the sound of loud rushing water mixed with the cheers of the other girls makes it all too exciting. Soon the water is pushing you down the rock accelerating to the splash pool below. We allow the campers to slide 2 at a time making it even more of a scream-inducing blast.

Then it was a stop at Dolly’s for the Seniors too! Since this ice cream stand is located at the entrance to the Forest, it’s just natural to stop on the way back to camp. So we plan for it! It’s also a nice way to warm up, in a way, after the chill of Sliding Rock. The ice cream acts like a recharge, soon inspiring everyone to sing camp songs… as loud as possible. It’s enthusiastic camp pride, mixed with a little zing from the sugary, creamy goodness of the ice cream. Altogether, it’s a perfect combination to end a wonderful night.

Steeped in Pink

Sometimes a theme can make a big difference. Today that theme made many things at camp pink. From what we wore, to the decorations in the dining hall, to what we ate, pink was the dominant color of the day. Everyone was wearing rose-colored glasses, or was it rose colored everything? At times it was a little glamorous and at others a completely carefree lifestyle full of fabulous opportunities. Overall camp felt like a dreamworld. Can you guess the theme? Yes, today was Barbie day! And it was a full-on celebration!

Barbie Muffins

The day started with— surprise! —PINK oatmeal, pink yogurt and raspberries with the usual cereal and granola options. The dining hall was a feast of pink because the counselors and many of the campers were already representing their best Barbie pink outfits and accessories. The HUPS led the dining hall singing Barbie songs. Soon, we all found ourselves adding “Hi, Barbie!” to our greetings and conversations, always with a cheerful upbeat tone.

A highlight of the morning was the surprise muffin flavor. Yep, Barbie Muffins! They were vanilla raspberry muffins with pink sugar on top. They were completely delicious, and of course a big hit with everyone.

The pink continued all day as different Barbies could be spotted enjoying camp activities. We saw a Rockstar Barbie, Spring Bouquet Barbie, Publicity Tour Barbie, a Bridal Barbie, a Western Barbie, and a creative “Weird Barbie.” And of course, there were a few Kens to round out the fabulous crew. It turns out Barbie knows how to rock climb, ride a horse, shoot an arrow, and throw a pot on the potter’s wheel. Who knew? But here at Rockbrook, that’s not too surprising. These Barbies are powerful!

We transformed dinner into an outdoor BARBIE-cue, eating our pasta and hotdog buffet out on the Hill. There were plenty of options to satisfy every Barbie’s taste. A delightful dessert wrapped up the meal: “Barbie dirt.” These were pink pudding cups with Oreo crumbles and a gummy worm in each cup. Eating on the Hill is a cherished Rockbrook tradition. It’s another chance for all of us, all ages, to enjoy simply being together. Tonight in the beautiful golden hour light, amongst all those Barbies, it was whimsical and fun.

After dinner the campers found more Barbie-themed activities. There was a Barbie Fashion Show, a platform for campers to showcase their creative costumes. Another option was to build Barbie Dream Houses for forest fairies. This involved using sticks, moss and (pink!) painted rocks to construct miniature masterpieces. Finally, we held a Barbie Karaoke extravaganza in the dining hall. With a projector to display the lyrics and a sign-up sheet to select songs, the evening became a sing-a-long party. Campers belted out tunes from the Barbie movie alongside hits by Taylor Swift.

It was a great camp day, steeped in pink, and “totally awesome!”

Summer camp teenage Barbies

Colorful Merriment

We follow a different schedule on Sundays at camp. To everyone’s delight, it begins with a later wakeup bell, allowing a little extra rest after the busy week. The girls come to breakfast in their pajamas if they want to, and love finding a box of freshly delivered Krispy Kreme donuts on their table as an added treat. The songs are sung a little quieter as everyone slowly opens up to the day. Back in the cabin, everyone then changes into their camp uniforms readying for the flag raising ceremony and Chapel gathering.

sunday summer camp girls

Everyone looked sharp dressed in their red and white uniforms lining up in the sunshine. The Hi-Up (10th grade) campers serve as the color guard. They file up to the flagpole on the hill and raise both the American flag and a special Rockbrook flag commemorating the camp’s Centennial in 2021. Then, in silence, everyone walks to a special amphitheater in the woods where we hold our chapel programs.

At Rockbrook, what we call “chapel” is not a religious ceremony. Instead, it is a community gathering where we can slow down and reflect a bit on some of the core positive values we share. Each chapel revolves around a theme, and consists of songs, poems, and usually a story read by Sarah. We want all of the campers and staff, no matter what their family religious background to feel comfortable at our “chapel.” The campers themselves select the readings and songs, and Sarah invites campers to speak about what the theme of the gathering means to them. Past themes have been community, generosity, happiness, respect, and friendship, for example. Lately, “chapel” has been understood as an acronym for “Celebration of Happiness, Adventure, Peace, Earth and Love.”

camper girl reading a poem

Today’s theme was “Nature.” A few campers took turns telling the group what Nature meant to them while they are here at camp. Sarah read the children’s book “Outside In” by Deborah Underwood. One junior performed an original song about the beauty of nature. Some seniors mentioned how nice it was to be away from their technology and enjoy time outdoors. One senior particularly stressed the importance of taking care of the environment. They practiced “noticing” too, where everyone paused and tried to notice something amazing in the natural world around them. This is one of the great things about camp— there’s always something remarkable to notice, if you just pause and pay attention.

We devoted the afternoon to an all-camp activity held down on the Carrier House lawn— a fun Renaissance fair. This was an event with multiple activities all happening at once allowing the campers to flit from one to the other however they were inspired. The festivities included a “Wench’s Tavern” that served warm soft pretzels and kettle corn.

summer camp sack race

Campers could make elaborate flower crowns. A “Tomfoolery” station invited girls to juggling, ribbon dancing and hula hooping. We played games: a burlap sack race (“The Burlap Bounce”), cornhole (“The King’s Kernels”), and a hidden table shuffle game with goblets (“Bamboozled”). Campers also scoured the area searching for golden doubloons they could cash in for prizes.

Other activities included visiting a mysterious fortune teller named Madam Brunhilde. She would dispense cryptic advice like “There’s a muffin in your future” or “Beware of fuzzy creatures whose name starts with ‘F’,” a weakly veiled reference to Felix our camp dog. We had an inflatable bungee challenge for those feeling energetic and we organized a human Maypole complete with colorful ribbons. With popular music remixed to a medieval twist playing and a mischievous Jester romping about, it was a scene of colorful merriment.

The whole event was surprisingly more fun when we found ourselves in a steady summer rainstorm. Since there was no thunder or lightning, we carried on and embraced the feeling of being wet while playing. Following our chapel theme, we drew ourselves closer to Nature, laughing and dancing among the raindrops. It was actually glorious! The rain amplified the merriment, making the whole event more delightful. And when the rain subsided and the sun emerged, we felt like it was a true celebration.

A Rockbrook Slumber Party

The surprise everyone was waiting for was finally revealed last night. Planned from the very first day of camp, this was a well-kept secret all session long. The CA campers (9th graders) presented their banquet, an all-camp party to celebrate the session and our time together at camp. What’s kept a secret is the theme of the party. Only the CAs and their counselors know the theme— until the event happens.

summer camp party surprise

Based on the theme, the CA girls decorate the inside of the dining hall, dress in costume, serve particular food, perform skits and choreographed group dances, and play special music. So what was the theme this session? It was a “slumber party” banquet!

Imagine going to a huge slumber party of 160 girls all in the same room. That’s what we had at this banquet. The CAs all dressed as party guests in pajamas and slippers, while their counselors dressed as “moms” in velour tracksuit loungewear. All of the campers first removed their shoes before entering the “bedroom” where the sleepover would take place. On floor-to-ceiling paper panels, the CAs had painted all sorts of things to make the dining hall look like a bedroom set up for a slumber party. They painted balloons, bedroom furniture, a TV with Netflix, a diary, a telephone, an invitation, board games, sleeping bags, slippers, nail polish bottles, a book shelf, a closet of clothes hanging, eye masks, pajamas, a lava lamp, and Polaroid photos. These colorful wall decorations, plus the streamers, fairy lights and party hats made the whole scene fun and festive.

For food, they served Rick’s homemade pizza as the main “movie night” entrée. They had popcorn too, of course. And with a nod to the moms, they also served carrot and celery sticks. They gave each camper a small can of soda to drink and for dessert offered ice cream sandwiches, adding to the candy treats scattered across the tables.

In addition to playing a few classic slumber party games like Charades, painting nails, and Telephone, some interesting drama unfolded when one of the campers went “missing” during a game of hide and seek. Where was Virginia!? A little later someone dressed as a ghost appeared at the party to scare everyone as a prank! And it was Virginia! The velour tracksuit moms got in on the fun too when they performed a dance number for everyone. At one point a counselor dressed as a pizza delivery guy arrived to announce the main course of the meal.

Between scenes in these skits and the CAs delivering platters of food from the kitchen, everyone was up and dancing. It was an explosion of joy at times with the entire camp jumping up and down to a favorite song. That’s the feeling of a banquet. It’s incredibly fun, with friends all around, loud singing and dancing, and enough food and treats to fuel the energy.

These girls have grown so close over their time together at camp, it’s completely natural now to celebrate like this together. Toward the end of the banquet, emotions rise and even a few tears get mixed with the non-stop hugging. This makes it the best kind of party— one that brings you closer to your friends attending. The girls loved this banquet. It’s easy to see why!

summer camp party kids