These last few days of camp are so relaxed and sweet. The campers who are here now are ones who have really settled into the rhythm of camp life, feeling more and more at home everyday. Homesickness has mostly been resolved, and friendships are deepening with each shared activity, surprise, and silly skit. The campers know that their days here in the heart of a wooded mountain are coming to a close soon and they are clearly savoring these last moments. They are looking forward to seeing family again soon, but many are sad to say goodbye to each other.
Last night, the campers got a chance to participate in one of Rockbrook’s oldest traditions: writing for the Carrier Pigeon. This is the name for the yearbook that is compiled and mailed to campers in the winter, and which serves as a warm reminder of carefree summer camp days. It is named for the founder of Rockbrook, Nancy Carrier, and it was started when Rockbrook was just one week old. In doing research for the book that several alumnae and I wrote last year about the history of Rockbrook, I was able to locate nearly all of the Carrier Pigeons from camp’s 101 year history. These Carrier Pigeons are a treasure trove of stories, poems, jokes, drawings, and photographs that are in turn touching tributes, impressive feats of adventure, and hilarious tales of Rockbrook life throughout the years.
After dinner last night, we invited the campers to add their contributions to this summer’s Carrier Pigeon. We thought you would enjoy a few samples of their work to get a sense of the fun and friendship that the campers are experiencing on a daily basis:
“This year at Rockbrook was my first year. I’ve had a great time and made so many friends and so many memories. But I think I will write about my rafting experience. My cabin, like all, was offered the opportunity to go whitewater rafting. Most of us went and had a great time. If you’ve been whitewater rafting before, you might know that you can sit on the front of the boat and “ride the bull.” I went to ride the bull but it was super slippery so I fell into the ice-cold water. My friends pulled me up by my life jacket. Determined ride the bull, I tried again. I also slipped again and fell into the water again. Our instructor pulled me out of the water with one hand and dropped me into the raft. I was completely numb but laughing. I didn’t try to do it again.”
“Do you remember zipping through the camp, or racing to the lake? Who wouldn’t, when the memories made at RBC will last forever. Do you remember your first day and it already feeling like you have been here for weeks? Do you remember tying your friendship knots or braiding you cabin mate’s hair? Do you remember feeling welcome the second you drove up the hill? Do you remember passing notes during rest hour or making flashlight languages? I bet you remember all these things forever, because at Rockbrook, some of the smallest things take up the most room in our hearts.”
Today, a special group of campers, the CAs (the rising 10th graders) are currently hard at work on setting up the Banquet for the rest of camp. They have draped sheets all around the dining hall and the rest of camp is eating today’s breakfast and lunch picnic-style, on the hill. As you probably know, the theme of Banquet is a well-kept secret, and these CA girls have been spending all of their free time working on elaborately-painted decorations, practicing creative skits, creating a clever menu, and generally giving of their own time to create a magical evening for the younger girls. While we cannot yet share the theme for this session’s banquet, it is one that is sure to be a fun and memorable one!
Also, a few parents have asked us about the photo gallery and wondering about yesterday. We had a photographer that had a scheduling conflict, but we have lots of photos of today on the way! Thanks for your patience and keep an eye on the gallery to figure out tonight’s Banquet theme!