As we’ve arrived at the last day of our session, it’s time for everyone at camp to gather for several special all-camp events. Some have been in the works for weeks, like the fantastic Banquet presented by the CA (9th grade) campers. Kept hidden since the very first day of the session, the Banquet’s theme defines all aspects of the event: the colorful, painted posters lining every inch of wall space in the dining hall, decorations hung from the rafters, costumes for skit performances, special food and music. The Banquet is really an elaborate, highly decorated, over-the-top, party that’s so much fun everyone really looks forward to it.
The theme for this session’s Banquet was “The Great American Road Trip.” It featured characters dressed like tourists as they traveled to different cities and attractions across America. They stopped in New York City to see the Statue of Liberty, New Orleans for Mardi Gras, and Los Angeles to see a music video being filmed. The posters decorating the dining hall walls showed all these places plus other American landmarks like Chicago, Niagara Falls, Mount Rushmore, Las Vegas, and even the Pisgah National Forest. The posters were outstanding… some of the most well-drawn, with colorful details, I can remember. The biggest surprise, however, came when the campers realized that all of the tables and chairs in the dining hall had been removed, and they would be sitting around checkered tablecloths on the floor for a picnic! Each picnic tablecloth included a basket of assorted candy along with the platters of chicken fingers, french fries, small canned drinks, and fruit kabobs. The whole banquet was marvelous, and easily one we’ll all remember.
The entire camp, campers, staff members and a few lucky parents, all were thrilled today to watch our camp musical, Peter Pan. This is the familiar story based on the Disney film where Peter Pan whisks away three children to Never Land where they encounter Tinkerbell and other fairies, the Lost Boys, Indians and Captain Hook. Using all homemade costumes and simple scenery, the girls put on an excellent show singing songs like “You Can Fly” and “Yo Ho, A Pirate’s Life for Me.” Marvelous is a great way to describe this event too. I’m certain everyone who saw the show would agree.
We closed the day with a campfire, our traditional “Spirit Fire.” As the sun dropped behind the huge poplar trees across the lake, the whole camp dressed in their “whities” (camp uniform) and gathered around the fire ring near Vesper Rock. For the next 40 minutes or so, the fire blazed, the crickets chirped and many voices sang traditional Rockbrook Camp songs like “How Did We Come to Meet Pal,” and “In the Heart of a Wooded Mountain.” We heard first-year campers stand and describe how they’ve settled in at camp, and also from returning campers about what Rockbrook means to them after so many years. Sarah spoke about friendship and the special sort of friends you make at camp. She described them as “Chocolate Chip Cookie Friends” because they make you feel that good. Arm in arm, huddled together as they sang and listened, the scene was emotional and beautiful, marvelous in so many ways. We closed the campfire as Rockbrook girls have for generations, with a candlelight procession forming a line around our lake. Each girl, with a small white candle lit from the Spirit Fire, stood facing the lake softly singing, absorbing the warm feelings of affection reflecting all around.