The pace of life at camp is an odd, though special, rhythm of big busy fun and unscripted time for exploring, relaxing and being with friends. In addition to almost 30 different regularly scheduled activities, there are also 3 hour-long blocks of free time each day when campers can do what they like. During these free times, the choice is theirs- swimming in the lake or playing in the creek, maybe staying active by joining the RBC walking club, playing a game of tennis, or jumping off the diving board over and over again. Maybe something quieter would be right, like chilling in a red porch rocker, reading in the shade of the big walnut tree on the hill, or finding a friend to hang out with to enjoy the view from “frog mouth rock.” And how wonderful this more meandering pace is! It has welcome therapeutic benefits for everyone compared to the hectic lives most of us lead the rest of the year. We often say it, but camp is a true haven. It’s a place where kids can be kids, where they can meet wonderful people and do amazing things, but also have plenty of time to be themselves and discover surprising inspiration in the world around them.
Six buses of girls took whitewater rafting trips on the Nantahala river today. Half of the group went over the night before to camp at our outpost property adjoining the national forest. This gives these overnight girls a chance to sing around the campfire, roast marshmallows for s’mores and mildly frightening each other listening to the night sounds of the woods. Oh, the protection a flashlight can provide! The next morning, our team of raft guides were ready at the river’s put in with the Rockbrook rafting gear, and after hearing Andrea’s safety talk addressing, among other things, what to do if you fall out of the raft, the girls were soon paddling through rapids, shrieking with every crashing wave. The entire trip down the river lasts about 2 hours and ends with a thrilling drop over the Nantahala Falls, a class III rapid also known as “Lesser Wesser.” After lunch, the second group of rafters enjoyed just as perfect a day of sunny and warm weather. Jubilant rafting adventure for these Rockbrook girls!
Back at camp, the girls chowed down on a fantastic dinner of Caesar salads, topped with grilled chicken, and homemade Focaccia bread on the side. It takes the baker all day to make the bread, starting with just flour, water, olive oil, yeast and a little sugar. After rising a couple of times, spreading the dough into pans and baking it just right, we gobbled up almost every single piece.
After dinner we announced that tonight’s evening program would be a magic and comedy show presented by Mr. Bill Grimsley down in the Rockbrook gym, and that everyone should come dressed in their best “magical” attire. We’ll do that around here: dress up in a silly costume, just for the fun of it. Bill’s a veteran performer having worked professionally as a magician since 1986. His show presents several classic stage magic tricks and sleight of hand illusions interspersed with funny comments (What’s a mummy’s favorite kind of music? Rap!) and audience participation. For example, tonight he used an electric jigsaw with a long metal blade to saw in half one camper and later levitated another on a plank suspended by a single folding chair. He made a white dove appear out of a ordinary balloon he blew up, and toward the end of the show made that same dove disappear from a box, with a live rabbit replacing it. He connected and disconnected seamless metals rings, performed several card tricks (making a randomly named card “flip over” in a deck) and rope tricks (cutting and restoring different lengths). It was a great show, full of surprises, funny and huge hit with the girls.
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