“Welcome to the Wizarding World of Rockbrook!” That proclamation launched our special event this afternoon for the whole camp. Instead of our regular afternoon activities, Rockbrook became immersed in all things Harry Potter. It began at lunch when Chase and Hunter, already dressed in ceremonial robes, announced the proceedings and presented everyone with a personal letter, signed by Prof. McGonagall, inviting them to attend the “Rockbrook School of Witchcraft and Wizardry” under the direction of “Headmaster, Sarah Carter, D.Wiz., X.J.(sorc.), S. Of Mag.Q.” Written in calligraphy, the letters looked amazing. Next the Sorting Hat appeared to sort all the campers into one of the four Hogwarts “Houses,” Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, or Slytherin. These groups would then attend “classes” (special activities) in the afternoon.
During rest hour in their cabins, the girls worked on their best wizarding costumes— sporting colorful hats, robes, round glasses, scarves, sashes, boarding school ties, and make up. The counselors dressed up as well. We had Professor McGonigall, Hermione, Moaning Myrtle, Professors Snape and Umbridge, and of course Lord Voldemort and Harry Potter.
Suddenly, around 3pm, the whole camp was filled with music from the Harry Potter movies, and everyone set off to their different activity stations. One class/station was potion making. This had the girls mixing all sorts of powders and liquids in small glass jars. Some combinations, like baking soda and vinegar, foamed while others turned different colors, thickened, or bubbled like soap. It was somewhat messy, as a potions class should be, but most of the girls ended up with colorful concoctions worth keeping.
Another class everyone attended was wand making. Here the girls used hot glue to build up twisting patterns and alternating layers on wooden dowels and sticks. Adding some brown paint then made the wands look like they were carved with intricate handles and unique shapes. It didn’t take long for the girls to be carrying the wands and casting spells throughout the camp.
The “Common Room” was another stop. There, the counselors were serving “Butter Beer” (cream soda) and “Broomstick” snacks (pretzels). Each group wrote a song or chant. Girls were face painting (a lightning bolt shaped scar, perhaps) and applying temporary tattoos. Meanwhile, another group played Quidditch down on the sports field. Akin to soccer, this game had girls racing around trying to throw a ball into the opposing team’s goal (hoops suspended on the soccer goal posts). A “golden snitch” ran through the games now and them. “Bludgers” threw water balloons at players and “Keepers” did their best to protect the goals during the play.
At one point toward the end of the afternoon, two counselors enacted a duel between Harry Potter and Voldemort. It included the two characters flying by on a zip line, wands drawn. (Don’t worry, Harry defeated Voldemort in the end). Finally for dinenr, the staff rearranged the dining hall into long tables, added decorations like floating (suspended by fishing line) lights, to mimic the “Great Hall” in Hogwarts. The feast included roasted chicken, mashed red potatoes and gravy with grilled vegetables, and brownies for dessert. It truly was a delicious feast.
Like so many of the special events at camp, this afternoon got us all moving, acting a little silly in costumes, and simply enjoying each others company in a creative way… Some of the good things at camp!