Columbia SC Girls Summer Camp Party

Columbia SC summer camp party

This week we took the new Rockbrook slide show down to Columbia, South Carolina, for a visit with a great bunch of campers, both girls who have already attended RBC and friends who are interested in attending next summer. We really enjoyed seeing everyone. And what a treat to make s’mores! It’s always so fun for us to see our Rockbrook girls, and to help new families learn what makes RBC such a special girls summer camp.

Columbia, SC is located only about two hours from Rockbrook, but in the summer, camp’s mountain climate makes it much cooler and pleasant. Girls from Columbia have been coming to Rockbrook for generations! Almost 100 years!

That’s Amanda, Katie, Anna, Virginia, Margo, Lauren, Betsy, Tillman, Lawton, Amelia, Carey, Mary Clyde, Annie. And thanks to Marjorie Ann and Burgess for hosting the party!

Camp Counselor Positions

Summer Camp Counselor

It’s not too early to think about next summer! In fact, we’re starting to hire all of our summer camp staff for the coming season— cabin counselors, outdoor trip leaders, horseback riding instructors, even folks to join to kitchen crew. Most positions are open, so head on over to the RBC camp staff page and start filling out the online application.

Hey, we’re hiring! 🙂

Not sure you are ready to take on a camp counselor job? Don’t worry! If you have an honest love for working with children, are energetic and a little outdoorsy, we will help you learn everything else you’ll need. We have a week-long orientation program for counselors that teaches all the important skills, provides tips and tricks for handling the job requirements, and makes sure everyone at camp is up to speed on how camp works. Sure, it’s a lot of work, but it is the most rewarding an fun work you’ll ever do!

Teen Girls Camps

Alpine Tower Climbing

One of the great things about summer camp is its ability to help teenaged girls enhance their self-esteem. It does this, not only by providing all kinds of fun, active things to do, but also by encouraging girls to explore new things and providing them a wide range of opportunities for success. With just a little interest (in our Alpine Tower, for example), a little encouragement, and the right instruction, you’ll be surprised that you make it to the top even though you thought you might not. As those kinds of experiences build, succeeding at home and at school seems all the easier. And that’s very cool.

Don’t underestimate the power of camp. It’s so different from school, girls find themselves doing more, relaxing more, tapping into their bravery more, and feeling good all along.

Girls Horses

Painted hand print horse

How many horses did Rockbrook have in its horseback riding program this past summer? With all those girls at camp wanting to ride horses, you might guess we had a lot! Some from St. Andrew’s College Equine Studies program, some from Sweet Briar College Equine Studies program, and some of Rockbrook’s own horses, we had 26 in all. Enough horses and ponies to let every rider, at every level of riding experience, ride almost every day.

Read more about the equestrian program at Rockbrook Camp.

A Place to Grow

A place for girls to grow

In her book, The Blessing of a Skinned Knee, Wendy Mogel critiques what she sees as a troubling trend in parenting these days— an excessive tendency to shield children from any kind of discomfort.

“Parents are so busy protecting their children that they don’t give them a chance to learn how to maneuver on their own outside home or school.”

Spending time at summer camp serves as a welcome counter force to this trend. As they choose their own activities, sleep in rustic cabins, live with and make new friends, young people at camp are given a great opportunity to grow. Far beyond what parents might orchestrate at home, camp encourages kids to become more independent, to try new things, and to learn from the experience.

It’s a lot of things (like a really fun time!), but perhaps most fundamentally, camp is a setting for exploring who we really are.  Stepping out of our normal routines, we can try new things, endure discomforts and setbacks (try again), and marvel at unexpected accomplishments.

Seen this video? It’s more about how camp is a place for girls to grow.

Nature-Deficit Disorder

Cold Mountain Water

In his recent book, Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder, Richard Louv talks about summer camp serving as a healthy response to our modern tendency to be “plugged in” (to electronic media) and “in motion” (between school, lessons, sports practice, etc.). He writes, “as the young spend less and less of their lives in natural surroundings, their senses narrow— physiologically and psychologically. This reduces the richness of human experience.” Children these days are suffering from a serious disorder that negatively affects their lives and well-being into their adult lives.

Combating Nature Deficit Disorder

At the same time, there’s something magical about the sort of sustained exposure to nature camps provide. Louv sites an amazing array of studies linking nature experience and healthy child development, and concludes “I believe that offering children direct contact with nature— getting their feet wet and hands muddy— should be at the top of the list of vital camp experiences.” Summer camp is the antidote!

Cold Frosty North Carolina Morning

Barn covered in frost

Nurse Jenny recently snapped this photo of the land sports barn. We liked it and thought you’d enjoying seeing a “winter view” of camp.

Charleston Summer Camp Party

Charleston SC Camp Girls

Here’s a group photo of our recent slide show at the Buxton’s home in Charleston, SC. We had such a great time visiting with the current girls attending camp and their friends interested in becoming Rockbrook girls.

Charleston has been, and continues to be a core town where Rockbrook Girls live.