Explosive Excitement

Welcome to camp! Welcome to the first day of the 2024 summer season at Rockbrook! For months now, all of us at Rockbrook have been working and planning for this day, just as all of the campers arriving today have been anticipating their time at camp. Our maintenance and housekeeping crews have been busily preparing the cabins and activity areas. The Rockbrook kitchen has been supplied and its equipment cleaned and inspected, with Rick and his team already producing meals. And our staff have just completed their week-long training, a progression of sessions covering health and safety, child development, activity instruction, insights into cabin life, and the particularities of the Rockbrook culture. It’s been a fun and informative week, helping all of us be ready for camp. And we are!

I think we can say the same thing about all the campers arriving today; they were ready too! They were bouncing up and down in the car during the checkin process. They were waving out the window, smiling the most eager and excited smiles you can imagine. It was wonderful to see that energy arriving all morning. When this pent-up excitement met the cheering counselors at the top of the hill, it was almost explosive. Cheers and hugs, more massive smiles and enthusiastic greetings, made the unloading even more festive. Cabin groups formed, and finally everyone was able to get started with what we’ve all been looking forward to.

summer camp first day

After arriving and meeting everyone, there’s immediately lots to do. Our luggage crews hurried to deliver all of the trunks and duffles to the right cabins while the campers went off to begin setting up there bunks. This is a fun activity for the girls as they work together to decide who is sleeping on which bunk. The counselors help everyone make beds and arrange trunks in the cabins, each camper creating a cozy and comfortable nook. Around 12:30 there’s an all camp assembly, so leading up to that the cabin groups play silly name games, take tours around camp, and, if there’s time, stop by the camp store to pick up their pre-ordered camp gear. It won’t be long until you’ll begin seeing those new pink sweatshirts and sweatpants around camp!

The assembly felt great, sitting on the grass under our prize walnut tree, and looking off toward the distant mountains. Perfect blue sky weather, with a nice low-humidity breeze, made it even better. Sarah introduced the other directors, Felix the camp dog, and our “camp moms” (Alumnae who come back to camp to help as needed). The Hi-Ups (10th grade campers) introduced themselves and taught a camp song to everyone. Each line (age group) took turns singing their line song, standing up and clapping along. Sarah took a few minutes to remind everyone of the camp boundaries and then demonstrated our lightning alert system so everyone knows to go inside when it detects lightning nearby.

After a very satisfying lunch of Rick’s homemade mac-n-cheese —The girls love its warm cheesy heft and crusty breadcrumb topping…. even the breadcrumbs are homemade! —the campers came down to the lake to demonstrate their swimming ability to the team of lifeguards. This was another celebration. Each camper that stepped out on the dock to jump in the lake heard cheers of encouragement from the directors, other campers and staff nearby. We like to say the Rockbrook lake is “refreshing,” especially on a nice summer day like today. The swimmers swim out and back, and then tread water for a minute. If they can do that confidently, they receive a blue wrist band qualifying them to swim in any section of the lake. Those with less confidence in their swimming have more restrictions (e.g., staying in the shallow part of the lake), but everyone can come and cool off in the lake while they’re at camp.

The girls learned about the activity options by watching the counselors put on a variety show of short skits and songs. We all gathered in the gym and learned about the many arts and crafts options, sports to play, and adventure options available. This is a great way to meet the counselors and learn about what the girls can sign up for. After dinner, they did just that; they signed up for their first set of 4 activities.

It’s been a powerful day where all of our anticipation turned into real enthusiasm. We’ve got a full camp of wonderful staff and great eager campers. Let’s get started!

summer camp kids group


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