Celebrating Double Time

We’re always celebrating something at Rockbrook. It might be someone’s birthday or a camper’s first bullseye in archery, or just the simple fact that we’re having a yummy homemade dessert for dinner. But today was the 4th of July, so we were celebrating double time. And it started first thing this morning even before getting out of bed!

camp horses morning wake up

That’s because instead of our regular rising bell, the campers woke to the sounds of hoof beats and shouts of “The British are coming! The British are coming!” up and down the cabin lines. Following a long tradition at camp, the riding staff, dressed in their best red, white and blue, provided this alarm as they rode horses into camp. Somewhat sleepy-eyed, the girls came out to the hill and were surprised to find 4th of July Popsicles for them. The Hi-Ups raised the American and the Rockbrook flags, followed by everyone reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and singing “America the Beautiful.”

Before heading to breakfast, everyone went down to the lake to watch the international staff perform a silly skit that involved kayaks and several counselors jumping in the lake. A “proclamation” was read “sentencing” these friends to the “Rockbrook lake,” something extra “refreshing” this time of the day.

camp girls dressed for the 4th of july

Today was also the day when we could make as many things as possible red, white and blue. There were posters in the dining hall, flag-patterned tablecloths, ribbons and lights strung. Of course, the campers and staff weren’t shy about dressing up for the occasion. Everything from full face paint to illuminated headbands and fairy wings popped out. It seemed like the international counselors were even more excited to dress up and celebrate the 4th.

For lunch, Rick served an all-american classic picnic with hotdogs and hamburgers, corn on the cob, baked beans and wavy potato chips. As an extra treat, we loaded the creek near Curosty with cans of Cheerwine soda for everyone. On this hot summer day, it was nice to eat outside and enjoy our lunch picnic.

Regular camp activities filled our day up to dinner, but it was hard to forget that it was the 4th of July. The colorful costumes and accessories seemed to multiply throughout the day. Hikers wore patriotic scarves, while goofy glasses, beads and more headbands could be seen in just about every activity. The temporary tattoos we handed out quickly became the most popular way to expand your look for the holiday. And “Happy 4th of July!” was the most common excited greeting.

NC camp hiking view

The celebration kicked into a higher gear after dinner when we held our “firecracker relays” down at the lake. This was a fun event of different games and relays where teams or pairs of campers raced to accomplish different tasks. We had classic greased watermelon swimming races, an “egg and spoon” relay, as well as sack races across the nearby archery field. Another relay had girls put on a t-shirt, swim a lap and then transfer the t-shirt to a team member without letting go of each other’s hands. Challenging! Another game had the girls wade into the lake and collect only the red, white or blue pingpong balls floating in one section. The funniest was a game that involved throwing cheeseballs toward a team member who had a blob of shaving cream on their head. The goal was to stick as many balls on their head as possible. Silly! The “Bucket Trivia” challenge was also hilarious. If you answered a question wrong— like “What’s the largest state in the US?” —you got wet! Many buckets of water were dumped.

As dusk settled, the grand finale of the day arrived: our very own Rockbrook Camp fireworks show! Everyone received glow sticks, and with fun pop music blasting, the camp became a colorful dance party filled with cheers as the fireworks lit up the night sky. It was a perfect ending to our 4th of July celebration at camp.


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