Today we welcomed another group of excited, eager girls to Rockbrook as we opened our second July Mini session. It started around 8:30am as cars began pulling into the riding center driveway, making their way through our new drive-through check-in procedure. After quick stops to meet folks from the office, Brittany the riding director, camp director Sarah Carter, and our team of nurses, it was time to drive up into camp and meet even more people. A mob of smiling, cheering counselors waited at the top of the hill also eager to get started with camp. The energy of camp— friendly, supportive, accepting and silly —was bubbling up right away. These campers, and some of the counselors too, have been waiting for two years to experience this energetic fun. Finally, we can get started!
Getting started means setting up the bunks, making beds, and of course getting to know the others in your cabin. It means, right away, tackling challenges with the support of your peers rather than your parents. Starting the first day of camp means feeling a little nervous but also relieved to find so many nice people in your cabin group. The first day of camp includes learning that the hill is steep when walking from the gym to the Junior line. It means discovering that the food at camp is delicious and plentiful, as giant platters of homemade mac-n-cheese made their way to the tables for lunch. Since we often like to spend time swimming at camp, the first day also means demonstrating your swimming ability in our mountain stream-fed, highly “refreshing” lake, and receiving your own tag for the tag board. Most importantly, this first day of camp marks the beginning of a great adventure, one filled with nature, relationships with caring people, meaningful conversations, and daily new experiences.
Swimming in the Rockbrook lake is one of the unique treats at camp. 100 years ago when the camp was founded, the lake was smaller, perhaps one quarter its current size. Like all of the lakes in this area, it’s manmade, and relies on an earthen dam for it to exist. It was expanded in 1925 by digging a deeper section and building a larger dam. Men dug by hand and used horses to drag the dirt out. The lake has six very large boulders and many large trees around its perimeter giving it the feeling of an ancient swimming hole hidden in the forest. It’s rumored that when viewed from above, the outline of the lake is the shape of our mascot – a cardinal! There’s a fun 50-ft waterslide on one end, a dock and diving board on the other. One portion is more shallow, perfect for swimming laps or just playing in the water while standing up. It’s approximately 14 feet deep in the center. Throughout the day during activity periods, plus during the two “free swim” periods before lunch and dinner, girls are splashing and playing in the water. The lake is a very popular place to be at camp!
We’re very happy to have these new friends join the full session girls already at camp. With a full house again, we’ll have every activity in motion tomorrow, all of us happily getting busy. Since it’s camp, that’s the best kind of busy.