Imagine absolutely perfect weather… sunny deep blue skies, a light breeze, low humidity, an occasional wisp of clouds, with morning temperatures in the low 60s, barely reaching 80 degrees in the afternoon. Well, that’s what we had today, and it was glorious. So much so, it inspired us to take a hike with the Hi-Ups along the Art Loeb trail as it crosses into the Shining Rock Wilderness. This trail passes over many of the highest peaks in the area, like Black Balsam Knob (6,201 ft) and Tennent Mountain (6,056 ft), for example. The elevation of Rockbrook, as a reference, is 2,250 feet. Hiking at this elevation feels really high, since everything around you slopes steeply down to hills and valleys below. There are fantastic views in most every direction over the rocky and sparse landscape, with only short bushes, and very few trees to count. The girls loved stopping to take in all this beauty and, of course, to take plenty of photos as well.
Our “Sports and Games” activity has introduced GaGa Ball (or just Gaga) to the girls and now every moment of free time gathers a group of girls at the gaga pit for a game. GaGa ball is a form of dodgeball where players slap or hit a soft ball around a small octagonal-shaped, walled court. The object is to hit other players with the ball without being hit yourself. Girls have to bend down to slap the ball, keeping it low, but also jump up to avoid a ball hit at them. It’s a fast-paced, physically demanding game that can accommodate up to 12 or so players at time… Perfect for an impromptu game with friends at camp.
The camp rifle range is down a path leading away from the gym (and gaga pit). Newly constructed for this summer, the range allows up to six shooters at a time. It is 25 meters from the firing line to the target, and girls score 5 shots per target shooting .22 caliber short ammunition in our bolt-action rifles with open sights… no scopes, or automatic loading. The girls have to load and shoot each round individually. This slows everything down at the riflery range encouraging the girls to focus and aim more carefully when shooting. With both ear and eye protection in place, time at the rifle range has a more relaxed pace than most things at camp.
Tonight’s evening program involved the whole camp in a trivia game. Hosted by Bill Grimsley down in the gym, the game pitted 4 contestants against each other per round of questions. We chose random members of the Juniors, Middlers, Seniors and Counselors play each round. Bill has an entire game show set complete with podiums, illuminated score boards, and buzzers, making the whole event more realistic and entertaining. He directs the show by asking girls questions and awarding points for correct answers. The questions tended to be drawn from pop culture (movies, music, books, and news personalities), but also about Rockbrook (for example, “What are the two rock faces on the camp property?”). Some questions became “challenge rounds,” which meant contestants could earn extra points by completing a task like hula hooping the longest or being willing to eat something unappealing like a spoonful of canned oysters in hot sauce, for example. The crowd cracked up watching their friends struggle with these challenge rounds. The winners of each round earned a special treat their entire cabin shared later in the dining hall, a giant cookie cake. It was a great evening, full of enthusiastic cheering, celebrations and good silly camp fun.
By the way, the answer is “Castle Rock and Dunns Rock” 🙂