Celebrate the 4th!

horse in summer camp on 4th of july

Horses in the middle of camp? This was clearly no ordinary morning, nor an ordinary day. It was the 4th of July! On this day, it’s been a long tradition at Rockbrook— we’re not sure how it started— for the campers to be awakened by the sounds of hooves and shouts of “The British are coming! The British are coming!” With the horses groomed and decorated with flag-patterned ribbons, and all manner of red, white and blue, the riding staff rode up and down the cabin lines yelling for the girls to wake up. Despite rubbing their sleepy eyes, the girls made their way through the morning fog to gather around the flagpole on the hill. The Hi-Ups raised the flag, and everyone recited the Pledge of Allegiance and sang “America the Beautiful.”

4th of July patriotic costumes

The British staff members we have at camp this summer found this a little amusing. One said, “uh, we’re already here!” To prove it, they all jumped in the lake holding a tea bag. Hmmm, perhaps as a show of solidarity in the face of all this American patriotism…?

This patriotic spirit extended beyond the horses; red, white, and blue decorations could be seen all around camp. The dining hall was adorned with table decorations reflecting the theme, and campers wore hats, headbands, beaded necklaces, t-shirts, and other items in patriotic colors. The girls joyfully sang their favorite patriotic songs during meals, such as “Yankee Doodle Dandy” and “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” adding to the usual lively camp songs. There was no doubt that these girls were ready to celebrate the 4th!

We kept our regular Tuesday activity schedule, but with the addition of patriotic colors. American flags fluttered in the wind as girls participated in various activities— zipping through the woods on the zipline course, and sporting stars and stripes as archers, potters, weavers, tennis players, and climbers. The campers even brought the patriotic colors with them on a hike to Rockbrook Falls and to the barns for their riding lessons. Likewise for the group of girls who took a climbing trip to Looking Glass Rock.

summer camp waterslide splashdown

During the dinner hour we had a rainstorm come through so we moved inside the dining hall for our 4th of July burgers, fries, and all the fixin’s like lettuce, cheese, tomato, etc. There was also plenty of watermelon to go around, and homemade coleslaw. For dessert, the baker made red, white a blue, swirl cheesecake bars, which we very popular.

The rain stopped just in time for everyone to gather on the hill for an event of silly games. All of the age groups and the counselors gave each game a try. One involved blowing up a balloon and using the air to try and blow three paper cones off the table. Another challenged the contestants to move pingpong balls from one bowl to another using a spoon, but not their hands. There was also a game that involved tossing a pingpong ball and bouncing it off a clipboard and into a bucket. The final challenge was to break open a watermelon using only rubber bands. It takes a lot of rubber bands before the melon explodes! The games involved everyone in a way, as the girls cheered for their friends participating.

As darkness fell, the highlight of the day was our very own Rockbrook fireworks show. We gave out glow sticks to all the girls, and cranked up some dance music to make it even more of a celebration. For the next 25 minutes or so, everyone enjoyed a sing-along dance party, with the girls twirling their glow sticks and cheering with each sparkling blast in the sky. It was an exhilarating way to end a great 4th of July at camp.


Comment section

Leave your reply on “Celebrate the 4th!”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *