Our daily schedule at Rockbrook includes four 1-hour blocks of activity time where the girls go to a specific area of camp to climb, shoot, create, ride, swim, and so forth. Meals, of course, are also scheduled, but in addition, there are three hour-long periods of free time where the girls can explore camp on their own, head to the lake for “free swim,” play tennis or gaga ball, or just take a leisurely shower, for example. There’s a good balance of “things I know I’ll do” and “things I might decide to do.” This balance of scheduled activity time and regular free time is true this summer too, even though for “COVID reasons” we are assigning activities by cabin group. So a camper might take climbing and pottery with the girls in her cabin, but during the first free swim period decide to play tetherball with other girls on her line.
By the way, this system of rotating activities as cabin groups is what allows the girls to remove their masks (if they feel comfortable doing so) during the activities. When the only campers present are girls from the same sleeping cabin, masks are optional, even though we ask our staff members to model good masking when when assisting a camper up close. If you page through the daily photo gallery online (and I hope you will!), you’ll see a whole range of girls wearing and not wearing masks. During free time, when the campers have more freedom to interact with girls outside their cabin group, mask wearing is more common, just as it is less common during the scheduled activities involving a single cabin group.
Today that new activity rotation system burst onto the scene scattering every cabin group in a different direction. Every part of camp came alive with excited action. We had juniors shooting rifles, and a group of middlers riding the zipline. There were some seniors kayaking and others weaving. One group took a hike to a waterfall in the nearby Dupont State Forest. Another stretched, balanced and pulled themselves up the indoor climbing wall, while still another found themselves learning about color theory by mixing tempura paints on paper. These girls were busy! A full slate of camp activities filling our day.
Another reason to spend time scrolling through the photo gallery is to get a sense of our staff members. You may have guessed this if you read their staff profiles, but seeing them in action is truly impressive. More than 75% of them are former campers who have grown up coming to Rockbrook, or are former staff members from previous summers. Missing last year, there were many of these young women eager to return to camp, and now after last week’s orientation and training, they are doing an amazing job. Kind and enthusiastic, patient and fun, these are great folks that your girls will really admire.
The 9th grade campers, who we call “CAs,” took a hike to discuss their ideas for the end-of-session party known around here as “Banquet.” These girls plan the entire party from the food, decorations, music and entertainment, which can include costumed dances and skits. They also select a single theme for their banquet plans, so this hike was to discuss and ultimately select their secret theme. Starting with more than two dozen ideas, they narrowed down the list and landed on something that will appeal to all the ages in camp. It’s always fun to see how they bring together all their ideas and present a really fun event for the entire camp. In just a few short weeks, we’ll all find out!
This session is off to a wonderful start. It’s an absolute joy to see.