We begin our Sundays at Rockbrook differently than other days of the week by, at least for the morning, slowing down our ordinary zany pace. First of all, we sleep in a little, enjoying extra rest, and then shuffle to breakfast before doing cabin chores and even before getting dressed… Pjs with a fleece pulled over, and robes being typical. Just rolling out of bed feels good once in a while! For breakfast we have a special “real world” treat waiting— freshly delivered Krispy Kreme doughnuts to supplement our regular cereal, fruit and yogurt bar, and today toasted English Muffins and warm scrambled eggs.
After breakfast, the campers return to their cabins to change into their camp uniforms (white polo shirt, white shorts, and a red tie) and around 10am assemble on the camp hill for a flag raising ceremony conducted by the Hi-Up campers. Like Rockbrook girls have for decades, everyone forms a line around the flag pole, recites the Pledge of Allegiance, and sings “America the Beautiful.” Today under sunny, deep blue skies, surrounded by the full green of the woods around us, and with the breath-taking view of the mountains in the distance, all these girls in their red and white made such a beautiful sight.
Following this brief ceremony, the girls walk along the “path of silence” to the Chapel area of camp, which is a small clearing in the woods with benches arranged like a theater. Today the Senior campers and counselors presented their program on the theme of “Community.” Instead of a religious ceremony, these gatherings are for us a brief time during our week to pause and appreciate one another, and to contemplate the fundamental values and feelings we all share, no matter what our religious upbringing at home. We want all girls, irrespective of their religious beliefs, to feel comfortable and included at Rockbrook, so we strive to make our Chapel programs reflect that priority. Today Samantha played the guitar as her cabin mates sang a song they wrote. Several other girls spoke about how Rockbrook feels like a family to them, with each person bringing different gifts to the group. Everyone sang “Lean on Me” (the classic song by Bill Withers), and Sarah spoke at the end after reading the children’s book Anansi the Spider. Based on a West African trickster tale, it tells the story of how the moon came to hang in the sky for all to enjoy. These are sweet moments where your girls prove how sensitive and caring they really are.
Before heading into lunch, everyone gathered again for a more lively assembly on the hill. Here the Line Heads awarded the “Mops” (highly decorated mops… this session as 3 different “minions” from the movie Despicable Me) to the cabins with the best record of cabin inspections. The Hi-Ups performed a skit/song about their duties in the dining hall. Three counselors competed in an exciting “minute to win it” style challenge of apple stacking to see which cabin would be “dressed” the next day by their counselor. With a few announcements from the directors, and a few rousing hand-clapping versions of the Line songs, everyone was pumped up.
Our afternoon activity put a twist on a favorite classic, the “Counselor Hunt.” Today we found ourselves on an alien planet where all kinds of crazy, friendly though shy, aliens (our counselors dressed up) were hiding. Each cabin took on the mission to scour the planet (all over the main part of camp) to find aliens and return them to our spaceship (the dining hall). There, we would discover that each alien had a mysterious gift or prize to convey to the cabin who found her… Special snacks, having rest hour by the lake, or picking out the night’s movie, for example. Be sure to check out the photo gallery to see all the colorful aliens the girls discovered.
Finally, I wanted to post this huge photo (click it to see a larger version). It shows all the campers and some of the staff members dressed in their uniforms just before going into lunch today. Such a marvelous crew!