It’s been great to see all the action at camp this week. It’s not too surprising since there’s always a lot of activity at Rockbrook— 28 different groups of kids all doing something different, simultaneously. Scattered all around the camp, there are sports for playing, experiences of adventure that await, and opportunities for creativity for the girls at camp. Our absolutely gorgeous, perfect weather of the last few days, though, has somehow made this buzz of happily busy girls seem even more lively than usual.
Down at the Rockbrook Riding Center, dozens of girls have been taking their mounted riding lessons. There are 32 horses in the barns this summer, some smaller, gentle ponies, and others larger and more schooled for our advanced riders hoping to improve their jumping skills. Our covered riding arena is large enough to be divided into two sections, comfortably allowing two separate lessons at the same time. Outdoors the round ring is the perfect place for beginners to simply walk their mounts, and down in the large lower ring, you’ll find the faster rides and jump courses being set up. This means there can be times during the day when four different lessons are happening, each with 4 or 5 horses and riders. The equestrian staff have a big job keeping all of this organized, the horses well cared for, and the eager campers involved.
A new activity this summer (one that was planned for last summer, but as you know did not happen) is woodworking. Using hand tools, the girls are learning basic woodworking skills like measuring, cutting and joining. They are making picture frames, candlestick holders, and tic-tac-toe boards. In addition to staining the final projects, they are using wood burning tools to decorate. The newly renovated wood shop area is turning out to be a nice place to work on these projects.
After a minor delay resurfacing our clay tennis courts at the start of this session, we are back to hitting and playing this classic racquet sport. The girls love playing on these courts. They are shaded much of the day, and the clay surface helps keep them cool. The tennis instructors plan drills and fun tennis exercises, always trying to keep things lighthearted. While the girls are learning important tennis skills— racquet grips, strokes, serving —our first goal is to have fun. We’re not competing; we’re playing. It’s not a tennis match; it’s a tennis game.
Ziplining is something that almost every camper does at some point during her session. All the age groups can do it. Zipping is certainly optional, but when you see how much fun the girls are having as they fly by high above the office, it’s hard to resist. The whole course takes about an hour to complete. It includes a zip that crosses in front of a waterfall, another that lands on a gentle slope in the forest, and a third, the fastest, that flies 450 feet down from a rock cliff. The course also has three bridges: a burma bridge, a suspension plank bridge, and a fun “missing plank” bridge.
It’s worth repeating that our days at camp are filled with action. Unlike much of our time during the school year, we’re not inside, sitting down, staring at a screen trying to focus. We’re not bored at camp, even without electronic entertainment. We’re not lonely, even without updates from our social media “friends” or “followers.” At camp, there’s always plenty do, and plenty of great people to do it with. It can be as simple as soaking your feet in the creek or as exciting as paddling through a whitewater rapid in a kayak, but the life we lead at camp is lively and real.
Just another reason why, “we love camp!”