To Build a Fire and Stack Apples

Learning to build a fire at summer camp

o you know how to build a fire? Well if your camper signed up for the activity we call “WHOA,” which stands for “Wilderness Hiking Outdoor Adventure,” there’s a good chance she’ll have learned to here at camp. The counselors talk about the importance of heat, fuel and oxygen. They demonstrate the importance of dry wood (having it pass the “snap test”), and they give plenty of examples of how to stack the wood to insure the smallest twigs light first and the heat generated will rise up and ignite the larger sticks. The girls pick up on it pretty quickly, and when there’s the prospect of roasting a marshmallow, they are surprisingly motivated. 🙂

Kids Hiking Summer Camp

It has been such amazing weather these past few days! Cool in the mornings with a little fog early, and then warm but not too hot in the afternoon. We had one of those welcome afternoon thunder showers today, making everything moist and cool. With the creeks up again, Jessi decided to take a group of girls on a hike to Rockbrook Falls before lunch. This is the largest waterfall on the Rockbrook property, and is formed as Dunn’s Creek cascades down below Dunn’s Rock. You can see it on the camp map. The girls first hike the trail to the creek, but then make their way upstream by hopping from rock to rock, back and forth across the falling water. The falls are a good ways up and really beautiful to see.

Kid Win it summer camps game
Kids Summer Camper games

OK, if not fire building, what about stacking 4 apples in a column? Juggling feathers? Eating an oreo cookie without using your hands, and that happens to be placed on your forehead (!)? These are just some of the games we all played after lunch in our all-camp “Minute to Win It” game. Starting with each age group in their lodge, each cabin dressed as a team and competed in several different crazy relay races. Ordinary items like golf balls and boxes of tissues became props for physical challenges. It was wonderful to see how much fun we could have, how hard we could laugh, trying to do these tasks. Even those of us watching, get a kick, for example, out of seeing someone being wrapped up in toilet paper! It was good camp fun, being with friends and enjoying silly games you wouldn’t likely do at home.

Summer campers kids dancing

After dinner was a highlight of the session for many of the girls, for the senior girls in particular— the dance with Camp Carolina. We held two simultaneous dances with our Seniors going to Camp Carolina and their Middler and Junior boys coming to Rockbrook. Splitting like this made the dances less crowded and allowed us to tailor the music for each age group. The showers at camp got a real workout before the dance, and all 200 hair brushes got used as well. It’s quite a phenomenon! Overall, the whole affair was lighthearted and fun. Tonight the counselors dressed up like traffic crossing guards, and we saw more camp tie dye t-shirts than anything else. Group dancing is mostly the name of the game so everyone can be included.  As you might guess, the girls stick together— safety in numbers!

It was a little late for us, but what a night to wrap up another great day in the “heart of a wooded mountain.”

Summer campers girl dancing


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