Seeing all the action at camp, all the happy busy kids here, it’s easy to forget that there are almost 100 people on the Rockbrook staff at any one time. There are many people working to make camp possible. There are the cabin counselors, the young women who live in the cabins with the campers, eat their meals with the campers, spend most of their day relating to them. These are the folks who most directly help set the tone at camp. They’re kind, silly, and enthusiastic. Most have been campers themselves when they were younger, and now have returned to Rockbrook to get their “camp fix” and benefit from the experience. Some have come from abroad to spend their summer at camp. And others are friends of people somehow related to Rockbrook and its history.
Cabin counselors are also activity instructors during the day. They are assigned to one or more activities where they guide, lead and instruct the campers as they do something. You can imagine this means the cabin counselors have a wide range of skills and talents. One might be certified to teach archery, and another to be a lifeguard. Some know their sports— tennis, volleyball, soccer, and gymnastics for example. Others have real talent painting and drawing, directing musical theater, or tying complex friendship bracelet patterns. Someone teaches the yoga classes while another belays girls as they climb Castle Rock. Every activity at camp has counselors directly involved at every turn.
Another area of staffing is our “activity specialists.” These are folks who do not live in a cabin with campers, but have special knowledge or skills pertaining to an activity, and therefore can be in charge. This summer we have specialists for ceramics, weaving, gymnastics, and candle/soap making. This also includes our adventure staff. These are certified instructors in whitewater kayaking and rafting, canoeing, rock climbing, backpacking, and ziplining. The best example of this is our riding staff. All 10 of these folks work to care for and train our 32 horses and also teach the mounted riding lessons all week.
The other areas of staffing are equally critical for camp to operate. These are the maintenance staff, bus drivers, photographers and videographers, the kitchen staff, and housekeeping staff. We should also recognize the fantastic team of nurses that staff our Health Hut, and perhaps most importantly, the kitchen crew that keeps us well fed with meals and homemade snacks (muffins!).
Together, along with the directors, all of these people help keep camp going. They help us stay healthy, active, and engaged with everything camp life presents. It’s a great group of dedicated people who love camp, enjoy being with kids and seeing them have fun. We’ve said it before; it’s the people that make Rockbrook.
After dinner tonight we loaded all of our buses, gathered 6 lifeguards and their gear, and took a trip to Sliding Rock. We took all of the mini session Middlers and Seniors and a few full session girls to fill the trip— 90 people in all. It’s quite a sight to see our 6 white buses and vans in a convoy driving into the Pisgah National Forest.
Looking at this photo you might think the experience of sliding down 60-feet of sloping rock and splashing into the pool at the bottom is painful. Or perhaps these girls are screaming because they’re terrified. Actually, their reaction is typical at Sliding Rock; it’s an uncontrollable scream of delight that erupts after feeling the cold water, accelerating down the rock, and anticipating the imminent plunge. Even over the roar for the falling water, these screams are plenty loud enough to be heard. Slide after slide the girls screamed and laughed, shivered a little bit from the cold water and evening air, but had a complete blast.
No Sliding Rock trip is complete without a stop at Dolly’s Dairy bar located at the entrance to the Forest. It’s become a camp tradition for everyone to take at least one trip there during their camp session. Tonight was these girls’ night. Everyone chose their favorite flavor and enjoyed a sweet treat as it was growing dark.
Back at camp, it was time for bed after this big fun evening out. So much singing in the bus, screaming and shivering at Sliding Rock, and goofing around at Dolly’s will wear a girl out! But that’s a good thing!