Taking the Plung into Blue Skies


From dawn to dusk at Rockbrook, girls are given a constant flow of opportunities to take courageous leaps. Our start to this week was no exception.

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Campers sprang into action with their choices of four regularly scheduled activities. Girls are taking aim down at Riflery and Archery, learning to use their cameras to document their time at camp in Photo Journalism, and sprinting into action playing Dodge Ball in Gym Sports, just to name a few. In addition to the regularly scheduled activities, a whole bundle of surprises were offered at breakfast. The climbing staff signed up girls of all experience levels to climb Castle Rock. Rockbrook’s own natural rock face is located a short, hardy hike up the mountain behind the dinning hall. The climbing on Castle Rock offers challenges for beginners and experienced climbers alike, and is sure to offer every camper who tries the rock a stunning view of the mountains across the valley.

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The canoeing staff offered a trip down the French Broad, a river that snakes through the valley below camp with just enough light rapids to challenge beginners and warm up the experienced paddlers. Meanwhile, the kayaking staff gave girls a chance to learn how to “wet exit” down at the lake in preparation for the kayaking trip down the French Broad River that went out this afternoon. A camper learns her “wet exit” when she successfully pops the water tight “skirt” holding her into the kayak so she can safely leave the boat if she tips over. And in the afternoon a whole group of campers packed for an overnight trip to raft the Nantahala River. The opportunity for campers to try something new, exciting, and sometimes rather challenging is always present, even for example at the ever glistening Rockbrook lake. Well-known for its “cool” temperature, it can be a little daunting looking down at the water from the comfort and certainty of the dry dock. But finding the courage to take the plunge into something new around here is always mighty refreshing.

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Not all the challenging leaps we see here at camp are the kind that involve cold water or staggering heights. Sometimes a leap is more subtle. It is learning how to take a round knitting loom and leading a ball of yarn on the complicated journey toward becoming a hat in Curosty, or turning a vine of bittersweet into a Dream Catcher in Folklore. It is finding the right balance of fuel and friction to spark a fire at WHOA! (Wilderness Hiking Outdoor Activities). A “leap” can also be seeing that two fellow campers are struggling to make a rubber band bracelet you know how to make, stepping up to be a leader, and guiding new friends in Jewelry Making or taking the microphone at announcements and sharing with a dinning hall of 275 people that you are beginning a Rockbrook A Capella group that will be meeting today at Free Swim!

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At Rockbrook, we invite campers to see how easy it is to try something new, without fear of “failure” because we celebrate both the glorious successes completed and all the incredible victories and views all the campers earned along the way. After climbing Castle Rock today campers were asked what color they would use to described their experience. “Blue” was the response of one junior camper “Because when you climb you are just focused on flowing up the rock, and when you reach the top all you can see is sky.”

So as the sun sets on our first full day of the June Mini Session and the beginning of our week, the sunset illuminates in full spectrum; celebrating the many colors of discovery we experienced today. And the misty mountains remind us tomorrow offers many more chances to leap, to climb, to stand up, to be silly, to reflect, to try again, and perhaps to reach the sky.

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