It’s not quite the 4th of July yet, but that has not stopped us from getting ready for the holiday and celebrating it with a good dose of red, white and blue.
If you’ve been following along by reading these blog posts and scanning the daily online photo galleries, it’s clear that we have jam-packed days here at Rockbrook. We’re happily playing, having more muffin-fueled conversations than you can count, and being physically active— swim, climb, ride, run, shoot, flip and zip —all day. After a whole week of intense fun like that, it felt really good this morning to sleep in an extra hour. Everyone seemed to have no trouble relaxing longer and then coming to breakfast in their PJs for a treat of fresh Krispy Kreme doughnuts along with Rick’s egg sandwich fixins’ (English muffins, cheddar cheese, scrambled eggs, and ham) and our yogurt/fruit/granola/cereal bars.
After breakfast everyone dressed in their camp uniforms (white shirt and shorts, with red tie) and assembled on the hill around the flagpole so the Hi-Ups could lead a flag raising ceremony. In two rows, they marched toward the flagpole, raised the flag, led us all in the Pledge of Allegiance and the singing of “America the Beautiful.”
The Juniors next led the Chapel assembly on the theme of “Goodwill.” They chose songs like “Lean on Me” and “What a Wonderful World” and took turns speaking about what “goodwill” means to them. They shared stories about when people were especially kind and helpful. Sarah explained why there is a cabin at camp named “Goodwill” (It’s named after the birthplace of Rockbrook’s founder Nancy Carrier, a plantation in SC by the same name).
After rest hour, we held the day’s main event, a fun all-camp relay race: the “White, Blue and Red-bird Olympics.” We randomly assigned all the girls to three multi-aged teams (red, white and blue) and gave each a gallon of washable body paint to “express their team spirit.” You can imagine how that turned out! Each team also came up with a cheer, and a strategy about who would participate in the different group challenges and relays to come.
The relays themselves were classic. At the lake, the teams raced to move a greased watermelon up and back through the water, as other girls tried to ride the waterslide “Big Samantha” as fast as possible. Another group madly soaked sponges and ran to squeeze out the water, filling a nearby bucket. In the gym, after a break for a few slices of watermelon, the girls took turns pairing up for a three-legged-race, the Dizzy Lizzy spinning bat run, and a costume challenge that involved dressing in various costume items, running and then removing the costume for the next member of your team. Another athletic challenge was the sack race held on one of the tennis courts. Using burlap sacks that once contained coffee beans, the girls climbed into the sacks and hopped the width (and back) of a tennis court as fast as possible. Meanwhile, things got a little messy on another court as the teams tossed eggs back and forth, stepping farther apart with each toss. I’d say the winners successfully tossed their eggs about 40 feet. Amazing!
All the groups ended up at the landsports field after their relays, the perfect place for the final event of the afternoon: a giant all-camp shaving cream fight. Cases of shaving cream bottles, dozens of squirt guns, and almost 100 water balloons were distributed across the grassy field. The sound system was queued up with an up-tempo pop song, and suddenly white foam was spraying everywhere. Laughing and shrieking with delight as they sprayed each other, the girls soon had emptied their cans of shaving cream and then went on to style each others’ hair or simply cover themselves completely. You’ve never seen a group of girls, from the 6-year-olds to the biggest teenagers, have this much crazy fun. Absolute exuberant hilarity! And so fun to see, even if it meant getting a handful of shaving cream planted on your back unexpectedly.
Nearby, Richie, Rockbrook’s builder and facilities manager, who is also an officer in the local volunteer fire department, stood by with a 600-gallon pumper firetruck ready to provide a welcome shower. When he turned on the hose, spraying warm water high in the air, it took no time for a wet dance party to erupt as the girls cleaned off. It was an exciting way to rinse off before heading back up to their lines for a “proper” shower before dinner.
The whole afternoon was the kind of full-on fun we love around here. It was loud and silly, sweaty and messy. It was full of laughter and cheers, girls letting loose, and friends having the best time together. Such good stuff.