First, we have a camper service announcement: Please send more mail.
As these campers are happy to spell the word “mail,” and to provide explicit instructions, “send me some,” everyone at camp thinks about receiving mail at least once a day. Everyone has a mailbox, and after lunch each day, we all head to the dining hall porch. Hundreds of heads bend down and peer into the grid of small wooden boxes mounted on the wall, each hoping someone has sent them something. Since everyone is checking their mail at the same time, it feels good for the girls to have something—an email, a postcard, or an envelop containing a proper letter —waiting in this box. And sadly, it feels a bit disappointing to find it empty.
Unfortunately, our local Post Office can easily become overwhelmed in the summer with 14 summer camps suddenly boosting the volume of mail it handles. Delays are practically guaranteed. But don’t let that discourage you! Use First Class postage and get something out. In addition, take some time and send your girls an email. It’s a free service that we hope you’ll utilize because we know how much it means to the girls here. We hope you can make some time to send some mail soon! Every day!
Today was twin day at camp. In addition to celebrating the actual twins attending camp at the moment (I think there are four sets, currently), this theme for the day encouraged the girls to pick a friend and dress similarly. Matching t-shirts and hair styles were the most common way to identify your camp twin. In some ways, it’s easy to find a twin at camp. There are lots of other girls your age, and odds are, you’ve got some Rockbrook gear in common. Wear this year’s sweatshirt, put your hair in a ponytail, and boom! Instant twins! Even triplets!
Here’s a photo that might need some explanation. It’s two girls about 25 feet up in the air on our climbing challenge tower. Known as an “Alpine Tower,” this log structure forms two pyramids, one inverted on the other. It’s designed to have multiple climbers ascending at the same time, all trying to reach a platform 50 feet above the ground. There are different climbing elements and obstacles on the tower’s 3 sides, each requiring the climbers to lean, balance and pull up in different ways. This photo shows two girls leaning on each other’s hands while balancing on two poles that diverge as the girls step to their left. The goal is to make it to the end without falling. Of course, the girls are always on belay as soon as they leave the ground, so falling means being held up by a harness and rope. Reaching the ends takes balance, strength and nerve. It feels very unnatural to lean like that, especially when high in the air. But that’s the challenge! And these girls did it!
Canoeing is one of those outdoor activities that can stick with a person and be something she enjoys the rest of her life. It’s been an activity at Rockbrook since day one, with generations of camp girls learning their strokes on our small in-camp lake and then venturing out for trips onto lakes and rivers nearby. Even for the youngest girls, the Juniors, can learn to paddle a canoe, keep it moving in a straight line and turning it on command. The girls who choose paddling as one of their activities work with the paddling instructors and do just that. Some of the canoeing trips are overnight trips where the girls pack camping gear in their canoes as well. This week a group paddled a section of the French Broad river closer to Asheville, spending the night before finishing their paddle the next day. Camping and canoeing together. An extra adventure!
By rope and by paddle, we’re seeing Rockbrook girls seize opportunities for adventure. They’re backpacking and hiking too, hitting the trails to explore and camp. They’re sliding down mountain streams to plunge into a chilly pool, and they’re flying through the trees on the camp zip line. Encountering adventure at camp is almost expected. Like opportunities to relax, to laugh and sing, and to enjoy the company of really good friends, it’s just what we do at Rockbrook. Eagerly and every day.