Today, the final full day of this camp session, was a great day for marking some of the amazing accomplishments we’ve been seeing over the last few weeks. All of these Rockbrook girls have a lot to show! It might simply be becoming a really good friend for someone, but probably includes a colorful creation of pottery or cloth and a new skill shooting, climbing or riding as well. Most importantly, these girls have created for themselves a haven where they can be adventurous, feel very good about the decisions they make, and have the (silliest!) time of their lives.
For the horseback riding girls, today was an exciting day because the Equestrian Staff planned a “horse show” for them. Not a horse show with competition, judging and ribbons, but it was more of a party with great mounted games to play. One funny example of this was “Herding Cows,” where three campers, dressed as cows (their white t-shirts had black spots on them), roamed about the ring while riders tried to keep them from wandering off. Another game involved girls holding “dollar bills” between their legs and their saddle while attempting to walk, trot and canter without dropping the bills. Several of the advanced riders even jumped while holding the bills tight.
Up in the ceramics studio, head instructors Katie and Will revealed all the pottery the girls had made over the session. Fresh from the kilns, all the sculptures and pots looked fantastic glazed in dozens of different colors. This session there were trays, cylinders, coin banks, and plenty of cups and bowls. It’s always fun for the girls to see how their pieces turn out. Glazes often do unexpected things in a kiln, so it’s generally a surprise.
This afternoon, the whole camp assembled in the gym to see the performance of our camp-wide musical, Schoolhouse Rock. Adapted from the popular TV series, this is a wonderful play comprised mostly of songs and choral numbers, several of which are very well known: “A Noun is a Person, Place or Thing,” “Conjunction Junction,” and “The Great American Melting Pot,” for example. Several parents attended the performance and everyone was thrilled by the singing. The intermission gave the dance classes a chance to perform as well. All three age groups presented, in costume, a choreographed dance number they had been practicing. Here too, we were all very impressed!
Our traditional “Spirit Fire” ended the day just perfectly. After all the action of camp, the big fun that happens everyday around here, it’s nice to finish up with a quieter time to think about what our experience has meant to us. With the whole camp gathered around a campfire, we all sing songs and take turns talking about how we feel about Rockbrook. From the littlest Juniors on up to the Seniors, Hi-Ups and counselors, the girls spoke so eloquently last night. One junior camper simply said, “I think Rockbrook is great and should be for everyone… except for boys.” Hannah really provided some insight when she explained she loves Rockbrook because it “ignites our childhood spirit.” And Michelle summed up her experience this session as simply “overwhelming joy.”
We ended the Spirit Fire by each camper and counselor lighting a small white candle from the central campfire. Sarah first lit hers and, following this long tradition, everyone then filed by to light their candle. We then fanned out to stand around the lake and sing a couple of last songs. As the candles flicker in the night, casting a warm glow on the girls faces, and as chirping crickets in the distance blend with soft singing, it’s a beautiful scene. We are all a little emotional about camp ending, but we know that what we’ve shared will stay with us and Rockbrook will welcome us back another day.