No Awkwardness

I hope you’ve had a chance to scroll through today’s photo galleries because the photos do a great job of capturing just how much goes on in a single day at Rockbrook. There are about 950 photos total, and that might seem overwhelming, but every area of camp was filled with activity today and there was a lot to see!

summer camp swimmers

Take a look and you’ll find girls riding the zipline and riding horses, shooting arrows and shooting rifles, hitting tennis balls and tetherballs, weaving baskets and friendship bracelets. Girls were swimming in the lake and climbing the Alpine Tower. They were cutting wood, shaping clay and twisting yarns. Girls were doing cartwheels in the gymnastics area, dancing in one lodge, and doing yoga in another. Everywhere in camp groups of girls were enjoying something different.

It’s neat to see all this action at camp, but there’s something else happening too. The girls are constantly socializing while they are busy with these activities. They’re chatting and laughing, telling stories and asking questions. While their fingers are working a loom or rolling out a slab of moist clay, they’re finding it easy to just hang out and talk. Simply being together like this and enjoying each other’s company is a huge part of camp life.

Rockbrook’s open and caring spirit, our values of kindness and acceptance (no judgment), and our philosophy rooted in exploration and play make this simple and natural. In this kind of positive environment where there’s no real pressure to be a certain way, where everyone is supported and valued right from the start, the girls seem to know instinctively that they can relax and feel less self-conscious. Of course, this is also why it’s so easy to make friends at camp. When you’re not afraid to be yourself, and you’re sharing so much real world experience with others who are also being genuine like that, it’s no wonder that campers feel connected, both to each other and to camp.

A friend of mine, a former teacher, who was visiting camp put it this way. He was amazed that at camp there seemed to be “no awkwardness.” He didn’t see what he thought was common among young people, that uneasy feeling of social uncertainty (especially around newly met people). Instead of shrinking away, these Rockbrook campers were easily leaning into social situations, which as we saw, is everywhere at camp. Instead of worrying about being included, campers were enthusiastically joining activities, confidently trying new things and enjoying the process more than any sort of measured result. It’s really a remarkable difference from the social anxiety that’s more common in school and online environments.

I believe kids need this kind of experience. They need to prove to themselves that they are stronger than they think, that being who they really are offers much more reward, and that being kind helps every relationship. Camp, I’m happy to say, helps prove exactly this everyday. It’s also super fun, and your girls love it, but it makes a big difference too.

good confident summer camp friends


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  1. Avatar for Colleen Shupe
    Colleen Shupe
    3 weeks ago

    I love this post. It is very true, there is a feeling of warmth and kindness as you pull up to drop your child off to Rockbrook. You all have really built a
    one-of-a-kind community. I hope my daughter can continue to attend for many years to come!

  2. Avatar for Jeff Carter
    Jeff Carter
    3 weeks ago

    Thanks Colleen! We think it’s wonderful too!