In addition to the pleasure of having a freshly baked muffin everyday between the first and second activity period, it’s also fun for the campers to find out what flavor Katie or Sonne have made. This surprise is the talk of the camp once the first muffin leaves the dining hall porch. Even better, the flavors vary widely with some being traditional favorites like blueberry and others being completely unique like S’mores flavored, for example. This week has been a good example of this variety with Zucchini Muffins making a debut yesterday followed by Pumpkin Chocolate Chip returning today. I asked one girl how she liked the Zucchini variety and, wrinkling her nose, she said, “It had chunks of Zucchini in it!” Hmmm…. Looking around as the girls gobbled up today’s flavor, it’s pretty clear that chocolate chips easily beat Zucchini chunks when it comes to muffin ingredients. No surprise there, I suppose!
Hidden in the woods behind the gym is our high ropes course climbing tower, the “Alpine Tower.” You may have caught a glimpse of it from the shuttle bus running on opening day. Perched high above this complex, triangular structure of thick poles, ropes, aircraft cables and wooden climbing walls is a covered platform that serves as the summit of the different climbing routes available. There are three main starting points that branch out providing a variety of climbing obstacles to challenge the girls… Swinging logs, a cargo net, overhanging walls, ladders and ropes, to name a few. The Alpine Tower can accommodate up to 6 girls climbing simultaneously, so it handles plenty of enthusiastic climbers. If a girls climbs all three side of the Tower, then climbs again blindfolded (yes, really!), and also climbs one of the routes on Castle Rock, she is welcomed into the “Seven Summits Club” and receives a special bracelet. There are girls from all three lines who can now claim this accomplishment.
Here is a photo taken during an impromptu day hike a group of senior girls and Emily took this morning up to Flat Laurel Creek at the edge of the Shining Rock Wilderness in Pisgah. This is a truly magical spot. Above 5000′ in elevation and with views of Sam Knob and Black Balsam mountains, the water is clean and cold as is drops down slopes of granite into clear pools. As if they were visiting a private “mountain beach,” the girls were prepared with their swimsuits so they could enjoy playing in the water. What a unique experience!
Even more unique was the kayaking adventure a small group of Senior campers experienced when they spent the day paddling the Nolichucky River. For 8 miles stretching across the border between North Carolina and Tennessee, the Nolichucky drops through a steep mountain gorge of rocks making an excellent set of whitewater rapids. It’s a gorgeous place this time of year!
Led by Leland, Andria, Clyde and Andy, the crew enjoyed perfect weather as they ran rapids with names like “On the Rocks,” “Jaws” and “Rollercoaster.” With most of its rapids being rated class III or III+, the Nolichucky is an intermediate kayaking river that is often too difficult for most summer camp kids. Not so for these Rockbrook girls! A couple of them had to exit their boats and swim a rapid or two, but overall everyone did really well on the river. A one point, the crew took a stretch break from the boats and practiced saving each other using a throw rope. It’s exciting to know that Rockbrook campers have reached this level of kayaking accomplishment.
Back at camp in time for dinner, the counselors threw a “World Cup” dinner party where they rearranged the dining hall to make 10 large tables each designated a certain country. One table was Great Britain, another Germany, and another Italy, for example. As the campers arrived they were sorted randomly so each table/country seated girls of all ages. A few campers dressed up for the event with soccer jerseys, flag t-shirts, and face paint. I think I saw a cheerleader or two as well. We played great World music, and with all the flags decorating the dining hall, dinner soon became a dance party. When the cakes came out, each decorated to look like a country’s flag, the cheers almost rattled the roof. We shared all the cakes, danced even more, topping off an excellent day.