Today we welcomed to Rockbrook the June Mini Session campers to join the girls already here for the full First Session. This is exciting because most of these campers are new to camp, and are even more eager to experience camp life. They’ve been thinking about camp for months, writing their pen pals, wearing the RBC t-shirt, packing (and repacking!), so when opening day finally arrives, they are about to pop with excitement! Parents are sometimes a little surprised when after checking in and getting settled in the cabin, their daughter confidently says goodbye and runs off with her new cabin mates. All that excitement wants to get busy right away.
Everyone’s first day at camp includes a trip to the lake for a “swim demonstration,” a chance for each person to demonstrate her swimming ability and receive a buddy tag. With our waterfront director Elizabeth in charge and several lifeguards in the water, everyone takes a turn jumping off the dock, swimming out 60ft, back another 60ft, and then treading water for 30 seconds. Doing so “passes” the swim demo. If a camper’s swimming skills are weak, she receives a special colored buddy tag (alerting the lifeguards) and must wear a life jacket in the shallow end of the lake, but she will also be offered swimming lessons during her swimming activity or during one of the free swim periods. We don’t insist girls take these lessons or require anyone to go swimming, but we do limit anyone’s use of the lake if they can’t swim well.
Later in the afternoon, the whole camp put on bathing suits and went down to the landsports field for a giant “Hawaiian Water Carnival.” This included a huge inflatable water slide, a long slip-n-slide (wet and slick!), a fun coconut bowling game, face painting, snow cones, dance music, hula hooping, and plenty of bright sunshine. It was a very warm day for this time of year (in the upper 80s), so it felt really good to get wet on the slide or the slip-n-slide. If you haven’t seen a slip-n-slide, it’s a long piece of plastic draped down a gentle hill, and with soap and water sprayed on it. Girls start at the top of the hill, run, and leap onto the plastic sliding themselves down the hill… on your knees, sitting down, on your stomach, they all work great.
After an hour or so of the Carnival, we planned a surprise shaving cream fight too! The counselors suddenly came running out with shaving cream cans ready to spray, and in no time just about everyone had blobs of the stuff in their hair and in some cases, all over them. The campers grabbed cans too and enjoyed chasing and spraying each other. It doesn’t take long to see hilarious hairstyles (Mohawks!) and designs drawn in the shaving cream on someone’s stomach. The girls love this kind of crazy, silly, and messy (!) fun. To end the afternoon, we hosed off most of the shaving cream and all headed to the lake for a swim, or back to the lines for a shower. And at dinner, everyone smelled super clean. 😉