Ordinarily at camp the wake up bell rings at 8am giving the girls time to dress and do a few cabin chores before the breakfast bell at 8:30am. Today though, we surprised everyone with a special pancake breakfast held in each Line’s stone lodge. The kitchen gave us a head start by making a few hundred pancakes, but then teams of counselors, armed with griddles and huge bowls of batter, poured and flipped hot pancakes starting around 8. When the breakfast bell rang, the girls went to their lodges and found sausage and pancakes, milk and juice, but also a pancake toppings station loaded with all kinds of yummy sweet syrups, chocolate chips, marshmallow spread, butter, blueberries and cut strawberries. The girls spilled out into the sunshine around the lodges, sat in their crazy creek chairs, or lined up in the red porch rockers chatting while they watched the fog lift from the mountains in the distance. It was a lovely morning, and a big hit with the campers.
Lunch today turned toward the deep south with Rick and his team in the kitchen frying up sliced green tomatoes for everyone to make sandwiches. With a dab of his homemade rémoulade sauce, or a slice of cheese for the truly bold, this made a delicious sandwich. As a side, Rick prepared several pans of summer squash casserole made with a perfect balance of breadcrumbs, fried onions, cheddar cheese and butter. Cut cantaloupe, strawberries and grapes balanced out the table. Of course, the super-stocked salad bars saw plenty of action too, as did the peanut butter and jelly station.
When it’s your birthday at camp, as it was for Frances today, it’s a big deal. Before breakfast begins, the counselors will secretly decorate your cabin’s table with a colorful painted banner— Happy Brithday Frances! —to surprise everyone about your special day. Then at lunch, we interrupt the meal to carry out one of Katie’s (Rockbrook’s fabulous baker) delicious cakes, highly decorated for the occasion and lit with candles. The whole camp, which is close to 280 people, then sings a big boisterous version of “Happy Birthday” followed by chanting “Tell us when to stop!” Clapping in unison, one clap for each year old, everyone counts out until the birthday girl waves us off at the right number. Also, for birthdays we happily make an exception to our “No Packages” policy, making it even more exciting to receive a few presents from home. Sharing your birthday (and your cake!) with so many friends, is really a special experience.
This afternoon, as is the case most Wednesdays, we paused our regularly scheduled individual activity periods and enjoyed special all-cabin and whole-line trips. It’s our “Cabin Day” (Have you seen this glossary of camp terms?) Some cabins were having “Paint and Polish Parties” where fingers and toes gained fresh color. Others had letter writing projects, cabin name plaques to paint, or had plans to hike the steep climb up to Castle Rock. The Juniors had a silly costume fashion show in the Hillside Lodge. The photos of that event are hilarious!
Late in the afternoon, all the Middlers and their counselors took a ride into the Forest for a picnic, a few chilly rides down sliding rock, and a frozen ice cream treat at Dolly’s. The girls had a great time playing groups games in the grassy field after our dinner of hotdogs, chips and fruit. The “I’m a Rockbrook Girl” game seemed to be the most popular as it got everyone dashing across the huge circle a group this size (about 85) required. Our timing at sliding rock was again ideal because we found the place deserted, leaving us free to slide as much as we wanted. The water is cold enough, and by now it was late enough, that most girls slid 2 or 3 times, even as a handful braved the plunge 8 times. Good fun. And an extra large scoop of Dolly’s ice cream made the evening complete. A little chilled, but happy and excited to sing on the bus, we made our way back to camp in the dark and called it “another wonderful day” at camp.