Inside the Photo Gallery

The daily Rockbrook photo gallery available to parents in their online account is always great fun to see. Long ago we realized that even though camp is inherently an experience for the campers, parents want to be a part of it too. They at least want to see what’s going on. In fact, many parents “live” for the photo gallery, they tell us, checking for newly uploaded photos throughout the day. Most days we upload a batch of photos just before lunch and another just before dinner. Some days, when a special event of some sort has happened, we’ll have other batches uploaded as well.

That’s great! We’re happy to provide all the photos, and while we can’t possibly show everything going on at camp, or take a photo of every camper every day, we try our best to cover things. On most days we have two photographers roaming about the camp trying to capture the action. We prefer two because there is so much going on at camp simultaneously. If we’re down at the barn taking pictures of riding, we’re missing the zipline kids, and so forth. So we need to divide and conquer! Still, we’re bound to miss a few things.

We use a 3rd-party photo display system that’s part of CampMinder, the camp registration service that handles our online registration, forms, and payment processing. This company creates the display grid and handles the photo prints and downloads, setting the prices for this service. Unfortunately, we can’t control all of that.

Sometimes, the photos can be confusing to parents. Not knowing the background of what’s happening at camp, you won’t know what’s going on in a particular shot. You might see a couple of girls running, but not know they are jogging by as part of a group, “The Rockbrook Runners,” that covers a 2-mile loop before lunch most days. You might see a girl standing next to a horse smiling, but not realize she is leading her horse from the barn to the riding ring to begin her mounted lesson. Likewise, you’ll see three girls wearing helmets and PFDs and not understand that they are listening to the safety talk just before going rafting on the Nantahala River. If every “picture is worth a thousand words,” there are some days on the photo gallery where almost a million words are there to be read!

shady summer camp tennis court
girl camp weaving at loom

Here’s another example, a photo taken one sunny afternoon at the tennis courts. The instructor is just out of view, but you can see girls with an empty ball basket after practicing forehand and backhand volleys. The court is nice and shaded, a definite plus on a warm afternoon, and you can see the clay playing surface that also helps keep things cool. The courts need to be brushed every so often and the taped lines hammered into the clay need to be cleared off as well. With a rock wall on one side and the trees lining the other side of the lower court, playing on these courts feels very old fashioned and campy.

The same can be said for all the weaving going on in the Curosty cabin just up the hill from tennis. This is one of the historic log cabins on the Rockbrook property. It’s full of all sorts of looms, full-sized floor looms, smaller tabletop looms, and even smaller frame looms. Any time of the day, you’ll find campers busy on these looms, running some sort of weft back and forth through some pattern of warp held tightly on the looms. In this photo, the camper is pressing the keys with her hand to change which strings in the warp move up and down allowing the weft to be passed through horizontally. It only takes a few passes to begin seeing the design in the woven cloth. In this photo, you can also see hanging on the wall some of the colorful woven projects created, and in the background, a cabinet of weaving supplies.

Well, we could go on and on like this, but I hope you can see how it will be fun to revisit the photo gallery with your camper after she returns home. Take some time to sit together and have her explain what’s going on in the photos. I think you’ll enjoy learning more about camp, and love hearing her enthusiasm and excitement for all the little details you probably missed on your own. You’ll be able to ask questions and hear even more stories about her experience at Rockbrook. Highly recommended!

wild whitewater rafting trip


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