It’s easy to celebrate the session when you look back on all that we’ve done over the last few weeks. It’s celebrating, though, that we do today, our last full day together. Foremost, perhaps, the girls mark their place as a cabin group by designing and painting a plaque for the inside of their cabin, something with all the their names and the date that can be hung in the cabin for girls who come after them to see. The girls spend so much time together as a cabin group, and share so much (at every meal, for example), it makes sense to want to preserve that group feeling. Of course, there’s always the cabin photo, but this is something extra.
Down at the barn, the girls who have been riding celebrate their experience by presenting the “Horse Show” for the rest of the camp. This is a chance for the riders to show off their new skills, ride their favorite horse again, and perform horseback riding drill team routines. Instead of a competition with prizes and ribbons, this is a real show with everyone welcome to demonstrate their horseback riding abilities and to have fun doing it. It really is a cheerful atmosphere, complete with popsicles to help everyone to stay cool as the late morning sun came up over the mountain.
We also celebrated the amazing dramatic, vocal and dancing talents of our campers with the presentation of this session’s musical, Annie. After weeks of working on their parts, rehearsing, building scenery and designing costumes, everything came together for an amazing show. We had more than 80 parents attending, and with the entire camp also there, the gym was packed! If you didn’t get to see it, you’ll be able to catch it on this year’s DVD yearbook. No worries.
We’d held off long enough for another “Rockbrook Surprise” everyone loves: Biltmore Train! That’s our special all-you-can-eat ice cream bonanza recalling the Biltmore Dairy’s ice cream truck and its camp visits. Think tubs of ice cream, stacks of cones, and the campers going back for more and more. Certainly a little decadent, but it was also a great way to celebrate everyone’s success with the play and to enjoy some time socializing with the families who came to see the performance.
Perhaps the biggest celebration of the day came at the end when we held our Spirit Fire closing campfire. Since it’s very first summer in 1921 Rockbrook has closed its sessions by gathering everyone around the fire ring on Vesper Rock to reflect upon and appreciate everything we’ve shared over the last few weeks. Through songs, memories, tributes and recognitions, we all celebrate each other and what camp means to us. It was remarkable to see these girls choke back tears as they hug each other and about their love for each other and for Rockbrook. Camp, how it makes them feel and how it helps them grow, is so important to them. It’s humbling to see it in action.
The final day of camp is full of celebrations. Throughout the weeks of camp, these Rockbrook girls accomplish wonderful and amazing things. They learn more than they can say, and grow more than they realize, but most importantly, feel at home at Rockbrook. It’s their camp.
With all of that, it’s easy to celebrate.