If you ask some of the older campers to describe the differences between the three sessions at Rockbrook, they usually answer something like this. “First session has the ‘sweet girls.’ Second is for the girls who are most ‘into’ camp. And third session is the most ‘chill.'” Of course, these are broad generalizations with plenty of variation to be found in each characterization, and it’s a little difficult to imagine how a camper would know much about sessions she does not attend, but today as we opened our third full session of the summer, there was some truth to label of “chill.”
Sure, there was loads of excitement— twitchy girls in the cars as they drove up, counselors leaping with enthusiasm as each camper arrived, and friendly directors ready to welcome everyone throughout the morning. These third session campers were all smiles and clearly ready for camp. After waiting weeks of summer for their session to start, how could they not be? At the same time though, the morning felt easygoing, unfolding smoothly and cheerfully. Arriving at camp seemed like the most natural thing for the girls this morning. It’s true that most (a bit more than 80%) had been to Rockbrook before, so familiarity was guiding them, and the gorgeous, cool sunny weather probably helped as well. It really was a delightful, smooth, almost “chill,” opening day. So welcome to Rockbrook!
Once everyone had arrived, we all gathered under the walnut tree on the hill for a chance to sing a few songs, meet some of the directors and special staff members, and be reminded of a few camp protocols (about the Thorguard lightning warning system, for example). When Sarah introduced Felix, the new camp puppy, the girls were thrilled to see him do a few tricks like a “high five” and a leap over her extended led. Felix just turned one year old and he’s an Australian Labradoodle. He has a wonderful disposition and is always happy to interact with the campers. His coat is so soft, you can’t help but give him a quick rub when he passes by. You may spot him in the photo gallery. We’re looking forward to him being a member of the camp community for years to come.
After lunch, which was a meal of Rick’s homemade mac-n-cheese, fruit and salad, we launched into cabin meetings and a visit to the lake for our swimming demonstrations. Each line (age group) took turns meeting Lyndsay, the head of the waterfront, learning about the tag system and the opportunities to swim each day at camp. Then each girl took turns jumping off the dock, swimming and treading water to demonstrate how comfortable she is in the water. With only a couple of exceptions, all the girls did great and received a blue tag for the board. We had hot chocolate ready for everyone when they finished up, since the chilly lake can feel extra cold on a cool day like this. Despite the scattered thunderstorms that were threatening in the area, we were lucky to complete all the “swim demos” with no rain.
The counselors presented their activity skits in the late afternoon. These are entertaining presentations with costumes, songs, and dances all designed to advertise each activity to the campers. Seeing who is teaching each activity and hearing something about what each activity entails is helpful when the girls select their first schedule later this evening.
Charcoal-grilled hamburgers and crisp watermelon filled our dinner plates (or veggie burgers for those with that preference). The evening program included more name games and skits, prepping everyone to jump into camp activities tomorrow.
A quick word about sending mail… Do it! The girls check their mailboxes after lunch each day, and having something to grab before heading off to rest hour is always appreciated. Here’s the info you need about staying in touch.
We’re off to a great start. Perhaps it’s been a little “chill” so far, but you’re about to see a lot more!