High above Rockbrook, but still on the camp property, is Castle Rock, a bright grey rock outcropping so large it’s visible all over the nearby river valley. You may have seen it if you looked up and east standing on the porch of the Hillside Lodge at camp. Once you hike to the top, up a beautiful wooded (also steep!) trail, there’s a spectacular view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. In addition though, Castle Rock offers us some really great rock climbing. There are several routes to choose from- a zig-zagging hand crack called “Shazam,” and delicate finger crack called “Dragon’s Tail,” and a long, high exposed route called “Bam,” to name a few. When we combine all of these routes with trips we can take into the National Forest, there’s a lot of rock to climb in our neighborhood! And climb we do!
Down at the Rockbrook lake, especially during the two free swim periods, girls are busy in several ways. Some are addicted to the water slide (affectionately known as “Big Samantha” …for no reason other than it being a name that’s mostly stuck!), shooting down and heading right back to the top along the boardwalk. Others are happily perfecting their dives and cannonballs off of the diving board. Some are swimming laps to be awarded membership in the “Mermaid Club,” which earns them a special treat at the end of the session. Today a group of girls was trying to climb up on a floating tube, while others were placidly floating by. In every case, the girls are enjoying the cool mountain spring water of the lake.
Meeting in the log cabin we call “Goodwill,” which is named after the plantation in South Carolina where Nancy Carrier, Rockbrook’s founder was born, there is a regular activity called “Journalism.” This is one of the more peaceful options for the girls at camp because it focuses on writing. It could mean creative writing- poetry, short stories, even movie themes -taking surveys or recording interviews around camp. What makes this activity particularly popular with the campers are the writing games they often play. One of these is called “M.A.S.H.” (which stands for “Mansion, Apartment, Shack, Hut”) and it involves the girls writing a list of words fitting into categories like where you’ll live, who’ll be your spouse, what your job will be, and then, using random selections from each category, fashioning a coherent story they can present to the group. These can be pretty hilarious and fun for the girls, and even more so since they are supposed to predict the future life of the writer. Once per session, the Journalism activity also publishes a camp-wide newspaper comprised of the favorite writings from the class.
A group of Juniors today were surprised with a trip out to Dolly’s Ice Cream stand for a sweet treat. If you haven’t heard of Dolly’s yet, you will from your girls. It’s a great, classic ice cream stand located near the entrance to the Pisgah Forest, a perfect spot for passersby to stop. Quite ingeniously, Dolly created special ice cream flavors, combinations of flavors and toppings really, and named them after all of the local summer camps. You’d be correct to guess that lots of juniors ended up ordering a cone of “Rockbrook Chocolate Illusion.” Very yummy stuff.