During yesterday’s Spirit Fire, Clara Miller, one of the Hi-Ups (10th graders), spoke about what it means for her to be a “Rockbrook Girl,” and about what she most values during her time at camp. We thought others, campers and parents alike, would enjoy reading it too, so she agreed to let us publish it here.
One of my favorite Rockbrook songs is “How Did We Come to Meet Pal?”. In particular, I love the line “T’was fate we came to Rockbrook and you became my friend.” Year after year, I return to the streams and the mountains, slowly dying fires, and blue skies, but more than that, I’ve always returned to camp because of the people. The bonds created at camp are unlike any other. They are built on honesty and authenticity, and for that reason, they are stronger than friendships formed in any other environment. I love the mountains and their beauty, and at the risk of sounding cliche, I love camp. However, when I dive deeper into my love of Brevard and Rockbrook, I realize that both stem from the people who I’ve gotten to know. That is why I returned for my Hup year. I couldn’t bear to spend a summer without Rockbrook girls.
Hup year was unlike anything I’ve ever done before. It was some of the hardest work I’ve done in my life. I’ve never had to be a servant leader in the way Hup year required, and for that reason, I had to push myself in brand new ways. There were days when I couldn’t see the light at the end of the scraping-setting-barn walking tunnel. Then I would look out from the dining hall and see the beauty of camp. I would be reminded of why I choose to return to the mountains. Spending wonderful cabin days with my other Hups would remind me of the people who I return to again and again. And in those moments, I realized that I was wrong, and Hup year isn’t a scraping-setting-barn walking tunnel. It’s a year that, while difficult, is intended to push us to become hardworking, dedicated, and compassionate people. That is what Hup year means to me.
For six years of camp, I’ve been taught to face my fears, to help girls who are struggling, to give more than I take, to be grateful for the experiences and environment that I have been given, and through these ideals, become a Rockbrook girl. In past years, I have done these things, I have met these ideals, but I don’t think anything made me as much of a Rockbrook girl as Hup year. I was pushed in every way to be a brighter, stronger, better woman. Although Hup year was difficult, upon reflection, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. My seven other wonderful Hups and my two amazing Hup counselors have become a family of sorts in the last three weeks. We’ve been pushed together, and I don’t know how I’m going to say farewell to nine of the best Rockbrook girls I’ve ever met, and I don’t know how I can return to the wooded mountain without each and every one of them by my side.