Camp came alive again this morning as we welcomed 135 campers and opened the Third Session of Rockbrook. About 25% of these girls, those who are new to camp this summer, seemed extra-wide-eyed as they first stepped out onto the hill and were greeted by the mob of cheering counselors, the balloons, and the horses(!). The whole scene percolated as luggage was stacked and moved down the lines to cabins, campers and counselors introduced themselves to each other, and girls finished checking in and settling into their cabins. With campers arriving throughout the morning, soon there were groups of girls spreading out through the camp, some off on their first hike to Rockbrook Falls, others learning the basics of friendship bracelet making, and still others testing their Ga-ga ball skills. Everyone— campers, counselors and Directors alike —was really excited to get started. It’s time for camp!
Lunch was a delicious “comfort food” meal of Rick’s homemade mac-n-cheese (which has the most wonderful breadcrumb and cheddar crust on the top), salad, mixed berries and sliced watermelon for dessert. Combined with the two super-stocked salad bars, it was a perfect introduction to camp food— simple, wholesome, and equally yummy. Sarah made several announcements after the meal introducing everyone to some of the dining hall procedures… for example, where to find the vegetarian option, how to get extra milk to drink, what to do when your table needs seconds of something, and how to best stack your table’s dishes in a way that will help the Hi-Ups with their clearing job.
Instead of Rest Hour today, each cabin of girls and their counselors (and CIT in some cases) held a cabin meeting to play a few ice-breaker and name games, further introducing each other. They also discussed their cabin responsibilities, the daily schedule at camp, and learned about several important safety rules at Rockbrook (e.g., don’t run down the grassy hill… especially in the morning when the grass is wet… and doubly, when wearing flip flops!).
Meanwhile, as the cabins began their walking tours introducing them to the different activity areas of camp, each of the lines (Juniors, Middlers, and Seniors) took turns at the lake demonstrating to Chrissy, the Head of the waterfront, and the lifeguards everyone’s swimming ability. With all the directors and the entire team of lifeguards helping, Chrissy carefully explained to the girls our “Swimming Tag System,” the “Mermaid Club” and all the features of our lake, including the water slide, diving board, and shallow swimming area. Some say the most difficult part of the Rockbrook swim test is not the swimming (out and back about 50 feet each way) and treading water (for 1 minute) it requires, but rather the shock of the “refreshing,” cold water. This afternoon the weather was perfect for a dip in our mountain stream-fed lake: hot and sunny! After passing their test and receiving their green swim bracelet, the girls proudly added their swim tag, now with their name written on it, to the tag board, ready for when they arrive at the lake for a swim.
All dry and eager for the next event, everyone gathered on the grassy hill of camp for a quick assembly. Sarah greeted everyone again and introduced all of the Directors, the Line Heads, and the special Activity Heads at camp. All the age groups took turns singing their Line song, and the Hi-Ups (10th graders) led the crowd by teaching and singing one of their favorite Rockbrook songs, “Take a Little Bit of Ginger.” Shifting down to the gym, we next learned about all of the activities offered at camp by watching the counselors present short skits, often songs, about the different projects, trips, games and events they have planned for the session. These skits are chances for the instructors to show off cool equipment, entice the girls with new projects, and to demonstrate the enthusiasm they have for their activity. Later tonight, the girls will sign up for their first set of four scheduled activities, so knowing the options is an important first step.
We are settling in here at camp, quickly getting to know each other, already singing songs, wearing costumes to dinner (Hats!), and fully excited about the first day of activities tomorrow. Be sure to follow along by checking the online photos available each day in your parent account, subscribing to these blog posts, and perhaps liking our Facebook page or following us on Twitter or Instagram. These are the best ways to keep up with what’s going on at camp.