This, the last full day of camp, is always a strange day of wrapping things up, cherishing moments with friends, and feeling a little melancholy knowing that we’ll all be heading home tomorrow. As we pack and move luggage, there is a certain reluctance to let camp end, even as there are last minute activities and time to be together.
Today we picked up our finished pottery projects. All of the pieces the girls made and glazed during the session have been fired, their shiny colors now leaping up at you from each dish, cup and piggy bank. This is the first time the campers have seen how the kiln has magically transformed their work into these amazing creations, so it’s very exciting for them. Katie and Will, the lead ceramics instructors, take great care to fire everyone’s work and have it available in time to take home. It’s so cool to see how everything turned out!
Down and over at Rockbrook’s Equestrian Center, Audrey and her crew of horseback riding instructors invited everyone down for their “Barn Party.” This is an event with riding demonstrations, mounted games, and decorated horses. Everyone who took horseback riding was invited to participate and plenty of other campers came down to the main lower riding ring just to watch the festivities. The funniest game was “Herding Cows” where three staff members, dressed as cows in white t-shirts and black spots wandered randomly while riders tried to guide them to a pen. It was pretty funny to see and hear (moo!). It was a fun, cheerful event for everyone, complete with chilly popsicles as a surprise treat at the end.
Lunch was a classic camp favorite: grilled cheese sandwiches and Rick’s homemade tomato soup. They also served an awesome fruit salad that included the sweetest pineapple. After lunch, we all assembled in he gym for this session’s production of Schoolhouse Rock, our camp-wide musical. This is a play written just for kids and is based on the popular TV series with its well-known songs: “The Great American Melting Pot,” “Conjunction Junction,” and “A Noun is a Person, Place or Thing.” All three age groups had roles to sing with a couple of solos mixed in with choral numbers. These girls have talent!
Rockbrook’s traditional “Spirit Fire” brought our day to a close just beautifully. As dusk approached, the whole camp, all of the campers and counselors dressed in their uniforms, gathered around a campfire circle by the lake to spend some time reflecting on everything camp has meant to us over these last few weeks. We remembered all the fun events, and those moments where things couldn’t be funnier. We expressed our thanks to one another, recognizing that Rockbrook is wonderful chiefly because it encourages all of us to be our best. It inspires us to help each other enjoy camp together. I suspect that’s one of the main reasons it’s such a friendly place. The Spirit Fire can sometimes be a little emotional too as the girls realize the close friends they’ve made at camp are going home in the morning. Tonight too, there were a few tears, but also plenty of smiles.
Following a long tradition, we ended the Spirit Fire by each camper and counselor lighting a small white candle from the central campfire. Sarah and the other Directors first lit their larger candles and everyone else filed by to light their candle. We then spread out around the lake singing a couple of last songs. Standing around the lake, shoulder to shoulder gazing at the candlelight and softly singing with chirping crickets in the background, this is a scene generations of Rockbrook girls have experienced. It’s a truly beautiful moment they will remember for a very long time.