An Energizing Jolt

It’s hard to beat a summertime trip to Sliding Rock. If you haven’t heard of the place, it’s a spot in the Pisgah National Forest where Looking Glass Creek flows over a sloping outcropping of granite. Over eons, as the creek has cascaded over the rock and splashed into a pool below, its surface has been worn (mostly) smooth. Fun seeking humans at some point discovered that a person could sit down at the top of the rock and have the force of the moving water send them accelerating down the rock ending in a splash at the bottom. The ride is 60 feet long!

Tonight we took a big group of Middlers and Seniors to Sliding Rock so that everyone could experience this classic summertime activity here in the mountains of North Carolina. Like last week, we loaded 6 buses and vans, filled them with 6 lifeguards and all their equipment (e.g. rescue tubes and a backboard), 18 counselors and the rest of the seats with campers. We again arrived “after hours” when the area is officially “closed.” This helps avoid the crowds common during the day and allows us to essentially “take over” the place with our own staff and procedures. Plus, when we show up, it’s quite a sight. We end up making a long line of excited girls, clapping and cheering for their friends as they slide two by two.

The sound of this crowd, plus the roar of what is essentially a waterfall, makes being there intensely exciting. There’s also the temperature of the water, which is typical of the mountain streams around here. It’s what some describe as “refreshing” and others as “shockingly cold.” Either way, the water provides an energizing jolt that seems to launch each ride into a scream inducing thrill.

Needless to say, the girls love Sliding Rock! Even the senior girls who have come to camp for years are excited to brave the slide again. It might be a little scary, and it’s definitely kind of chilly, but the overall feeling is not to be missed. One camper said she looks forward to sliding every year. Most of the girls want to slide multiple times, hopping right back in line after swimming out of the pool. In fact, if it wasn’t for the fading light of the evening, we’d slide for hours. But after everyone slid 3 or so times, it was too dark to continue.

But that wasn’t the end of our evening. There was one more stop to make, one that also has become a highlight for just about every girl who attends Rockbrook— a stop at Dolly’s Dairy Bar. The girls literally run from the buses to join the line to select their flavor. Dolly’s has unique combination flavors named after many of the area summer camps. For example there is “Gwynn Valley Vortex,” “High Rocks Arctic Slide,” and “Rockbrook Chocolate Illusion.” There is one flavor, “Chosatonga Cheer,” that has an intense blue color, so intense that it leaves your teeth and lips a distinctly blue tint. It’s fun to eat and apparently delicious too!

This was a night of great camp fun— singing camp songs in the bus, catching the adventure of sliding rock, and enjoying a yummy sweet ice cream treat. And all with loads of laughs and good vibes from dozens of friends. Such genuine exuberance! It can’t be beat.

camp girls sliding

Camp Rafting Day

Let’s take a quick look at whitewater rafting, because today was a rafting day for a big group of campers and counselors. Rafting at Rockbrook is a big deal. It’s easily the most popular outdoor adventure activity we offer. The Forest Service restricts us to girls who are 5th grade and older (our Middlers and Seniors), but almost everyone eligible chooses to go. Fortunately, Rockbrook has a permit to raft the Nantahala river (the only girls camp to have one!), so we can send everyone who wants to go, use our own guides and equipment, and schedule the trips at our convenience. We’ve been running whitewater rafting trips since the 1980s.

You can tell from these photos of todays trips that the girls have a complete blast rafting. They’re screaming and laughing with delight. They’re doing silly poses for the camera, making “high fives” with their paddles, for example. They’re sweating a bit from paddling, but also chilled by the splashing and spraying of the whitewater. They’re playful, silly and enthusiastic, especially when the weather is hot and sunny like it was today.

The best part of these trips, I’d say, is the real camaraderie that happens in each boat. For the entire 2-hour trip on the water, the girls are working together, chatting and sometimes singing together, and laughing hysterically whenever someone falls in (or out!) of the boat. As the boats get bounced around in the rapids, the passengers do too. One minute things are calm and scenic, and the next, someone is sprawled in the bottom of the boat with legs flailing, or is bobbing in the 53-degree river water clambering to get back into the raft. With these bright and upbeat attitudes, it’s hilarious and exciting at the same time.

The finale of the trip is the last rapid on the river, the Nantahala Falls. This is a fast, class-III, double-drop rapid that is powerful enough to toss people out of their boats, and is always an exciting thrill. You can see that in these photos (click one to see a larger version). Making it through the falls tends to bring out cheers and celebration from each boat. “Yeah! We made it!” Like all great adventures, there’s a risk that something might go wrong (being tossed, in this case), so when it doesn’t, it’s a true feeling of success.

Rafting is another great example of how the girls at Rockbrook make whatever they are doing better because they genuinely enjoy each others company. Being positive and friendly from the start, being supportive and mutually encouraging, they’re just primed to have a fantastic time. Give them plenty of snacks, and it’s almost automatic! These Rockbrook girls are good friends having an extraordinarily great time. Pretty cool.

whitewater rafting pair

Raising a Successful Child

What is a parent’s role in raising confident and successful children? What matters in a child’s life that helps them grow up and find satisfaction as an adult? What can we parents do to encourage the habits, character and understandings that children need as they face challenges later in life? We all want our kids to be successful grownups, but is there something specific we can do to give them the best odds?

kids yoga class

These are the questions asked by Margot Machol Bisnow in her recent article, “I talked to 70 parents who raised highly successful kids—here are the 4 hard parenting rules that make them different.” The whole article is online here. In her research for writing a book about “raising an entrepreneur,” Bisnow identified several trends in how successful entrepreneurs were raised as kids. Their parents provided certain experiences that made a difference for these kids as adults.

When I spotted the article it was clear that summer camp, certainly at Rockbrook, aligns perfectly with all four of these “parenting rules.” Our camp philosophy and culture inspire these same experiences, which we hope encourages the girls here to grow and be more confident later in life.

Here are Bisnow’s 4 “rules.”

1. Give kids extreme independence

Kids need to practice acting independently. When faced with choices, we want our kids to make good decisions on their own, without the guidance of authority figures like parents and teachers. Camp is great for this! The kindness and support kids find in the camp community bolsters their confidence to act independently. Everyone here is making independent decisions, and finding encouragement to give things a go. And with “success” at camp being defined more as process than a particular “win,” there’s less fear of failure and a more joyful approach toward new experiences.

2. Actively Nurture Compassion

Bisnow suggests compassion is a character trait that correlates with being a successful adult. This means being aware of how those around you are feeling, and responding positively with a desire to help. It means being tuned into the needs of others. This kind of compassion goes a long way, and at camp, it’s the core of our community. Here at Rockbrook, we are all focused on caring for each other, pitching in to help, and being friendly to everyone. We work to keep others in mind when we make decisions. We strive to include people, and to be generous with our selves. This air of compassion at camp is one the main reasons it feels so good, so freeing, to be here.

3. Welcome failure early and often

Most adults don’t do well if they focus too much on avoiding failure, or on removing personal feelings of discomfort or frustration. Life is bound to present occasional setbacks, and often great opportunities include an obvious amount risk. But if we are to grow, we need the courage to accept those risks and to lean into challenges rather than to retreat to the comfortable and the familiar. Here too, camp teaches this lesson everyday by presenting girls with chances to go beyond what they’re familiar with. Everyone here is expanding their “comfort zone” by trying new things and meeting the challenges that presents.  In this kind of caring community, “failure” is not even a concern. Instead, we’re resilient. We embrace the possibility that we might not “get it perfectly,” and just keep moving ahead.

4. Let go of control and lead by following

Kids need space to explore who they really are. They need the freedom to reveal their passions and talents. They need to be trusted to understand themselves without too much outside pressure to be a certain thing. Camp is the perfect environment for this too. It’s supportive and actively accepting. We celebrate different interests and applaud every kind of creativity. Simply sending your girls to camp, letting them go, allows them to tap into this authenticity and to know they are still valued. This is a really empowering step on their path toward being strong, confident and well adjusted.

tetherball smiles

All four of these impulses are woven into our daily life at Rockbrook. It’s the type of community we have here—rooted in kindness and generosity —that makes this possible. It’s this safe and supportive environment that is ideal for kids to build these character traits, to grow personally and socially stronger, and to experience first-hand that being a little brave pays off. Of course the girls love how all this feels too. They’re eager to experience it and grow in these ways. At least partly, it’s what’s “fun” about camp.

And all of this happens away from their parents, which is the other crucial component here. Practicing these four “rules” can sometimes be hard at home (hard on the parents!), but at camp, they’re easy.

So is there something we parents can do to help our kids be more successful later in life? Is there a way to inspire them to be more independent, compassionate, resilient, and true to their authentic self? There is. You can send them to camp.

Intolerable Anticipation

Today we opened our June mini session and welcomed 77 campers to Rockbrook to begin their 2-week session. It was an exciting morning for everyone, certainly for the girls arriving because they were finally starting their time at camp, but also for the current full session campers and staff already here because they now had a new group of friends to meet and play with while at camp.

new summer camp girls

About half of the girls arriving today were brand new to camp, and about half are on the Junior Line (grades K-4). You could feel everyone’s jittery excitement as the cars pulled up at each stop in our drive-thru check-in process. I imagine the girls were feeling a unique combination of nerves, almost intolerable anticipation, but also deep-down eagerness.

Meeting your counselors and the other girls in your cabin amplify these feelings, but the best way to harness this energy is to get started doing things. So that’s what we do. The first job, after quick introductions, is to set up the cabin, making beds, arranging trunks, etc. But then it’s time to tour the camp, and get a sense of the different activity areas, the dining hall, and other landmarks like the stone lodges, the tennis courts, the gym, and the lake for example.

A quick assembly of the whole camp on the grassy hill gave everyone a chance to sing a few songs, meet the Directors, Line Heads, and the Hi-Ups, and catch a glimpse of the mountain view in the distance.

big lake jumping kid

For lunch, Rick and his fantastic kitchen crew prepared a camp classic: tacos. With bowls of homemade guacamole, salsa, lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, refried black beans, and ground beef, as well as stacks of crunchy taco shells, it really hit the spot. And since the weather was perfectly sunny and breezy, we turned it into a picnic and ate outside on the hill.

After lunch, during rest hour, the mini session campers who just arrived changed into their swimsuits and walked down to the lake to learn about our swimming “Tag System” and to demonstrate their swimming ability. They took turns jumping off the dock, swimming and treading water to prove how comfortable they are in the water. There are three different colors of tags based on swimming ability, each indicating which part of the lake is best for that person (deeper for strong swimmers, and perhaps wearing a life jacket for beginner swimmers). Everyone who wants to cool off in the Rockbrook lake can do that in some way or another.

We had another all-camp special event in the afternoon— a festival of sorts focused on the theme of “animals.” We called it “Petting Zoo.” And if you saw the farm animals on hand, you can see why! The girls were able to feed a calf, a baby pig, a couple of goats, and chickens. There were many animal-rated other activities too: hobby horse races, animal costume bingo, making felt animal headbands, a flamingo ring toss game, face painting, and a huge limbo line. Of course, there were animal crackers as a snack, and with many of the girls dressed in different animal costumes, we had an afternoon menagerie!

Bandits and Dancing

Saturday at camp is mostly a day of regular activities. “Regular” means a schedule of two periods that meet in the morning and two in the afternoon. These are the time slots when the girls rotate through the different activity options available around camp. Woven between these slots are blocks of free time when a game of tetherball, or reading your book, or taking a shower is what feels right. Two of these free time blocks are “Free Swim” periods when the lake is open, giving girls a daily opportunity to cool off even if they did not take swimming as one of their activities.

summer camp square dance
summer camp line dance

After dinner on Saturdays, we always plan a special event. We usually keep it a surprise, and like all great camp gatherings, we integrate a theme that inspires a genre of costumes.

Tonight it was two-part event. The first for an all camp scavenger hunt, where the girls roamed about the camp in their cabin groups looking for gold coins. This “Gold Rush” was challenging! The coins were carefully hidden, sometimes under bushes, behind trees, and even in the creek. Also hidden has a special “Golden Nugget” that if found was worth a unique prize itself.

Also roaming about were counselors who acted as “Bandits” intent on stealing the gold a cabin group had gathered. The bandit would approach a group and demand its gold. The group could keep its gold if it could answer a riddle or sing a particular song that the bandit named. “What’s the 14th word of ‘Oh I was born’?” (“toot” is the answer.) Or an easier one, “What’s the first name of the woman who founded Rockbrook?” (“Nancy”). Avoiding the bandits and finding as much gold as possible— that was the game. The prize for the most gold and finding the golden nugget was a trip to Dolly’s later in the session.

The second part of the event was a “Hootin’ and Hollerin’ Square Dance” held down on the Rockbrook House lawn. This large, flat, grassy area is perfect of a large group dance. The girls had a great time learning a few moves like a do-so-do, the Virginia slide, and version of the Boot Scootin’ Boogie.

camp summer dancing fun

The girls came dressed for a county dance with lots of denim, flannel shirts, bandannas and boots. We saw a few pigtails and western hats too.

The Hi-Ups enjoyed leading the dances, picking out the music to be played, and setting the silly, fun tone of the whole event. A highlight was the huge line of girls, hand-in-hand, “winding the clock,” spiraling inward toward the center of circle.

Outdoor dancing with your friends on a warm summer evening. Clapping along to the music, smiling and laughing at the awkwardness of it all. Suddenly feeling free to let go a little… what could be better? And what a great example of the joy camp inspires.

First Session Highlights Video

It’s always difficult to describe camp life to those who haven’t experienced it. Of course, we try all the time —by writing blog posts and posting hundreds of photos to our online gallery— but the experience is far too rich, complex and emotional to convey like that.

Fortunately, we have some video as well. We’re happy to say Robbie Francis of FrancisFilmworks is again working with us this summer to produce short videos each session.  He came to camp on Thursday and now has his first edited short of 2022 ready for you to see.

Take a look! You will love it.

P.S. Be sure to have the volume turned up. Hearing camp is amazing!

Competent and Worthwhile

Looking around camp, it’s hard not to be impressed. If you step into any activity area, you’ll find campers and counselors busy with the task at hand. It can be something simple like selecting colors of paint for a painting project. It can be girls showing incredible concentration and focus while aiming their rifle down range. During muffin break, there’ll be easy conversation and laughter bubbling up from genuine, unfiltered friendships. High up on the Alpine Tower, girls will be grunting a bit as they pull themselves up through a strenuous climbing move. There’s determination too— swimming laps in the lake, centering clay on the potter’s wheel, and serving tennis balls over the net. It’s all pretty astonishing.

I’m a little used to it (and really privileged to see it every year!), but I bet you’ve never experienced anything like this. There simply aren’t very many places designed to allow girls to develop their competence and demonstrate accomplishment like they do at camp. Rockbrook is a place where they get to explore, to practice and learn new things. It’s a place with opportunities to be creative, to be physical (even sporty!), and to be outdoorsy. Perhaps most importantly, camp is place to become more socially competent, to succeed at making friends, to relax into knowing you can be good friends with a diverse range of people.

In some ways, this is what we do all day at camp; we prove to girls that they are successful. But it’s not an “everybody’s a winner,” “blue ribbons for all” sort of thing. Instead we create the conditions where we’re not competing against each other, but instead are approaching everything without a fear of failure or judgment. Rockbrook’s culture is rooted in a joyful enthusiasm that inspires experimentation. We provide steady encouragement to support girls when they doubt their abilities, or are worried about if something they do will be “any good.” We’re not measuring anything, or giving out a grade of any kind. Around here, success comes from simply doing things, from taking that first step. And from what naturally follows as a second step, and so on. The outcome we’re seeking is not a final result, but rather a process that leads in a good direction.

The examples are endless. There are first steps everywhere at camp: close encounters with nature, communication between horse and rider, new pieces of art imagined, singing with friends on stage, or inventing a silly dance for a cabin skit. Simply navigating all of the daily decisions of camp life while away from parents —being good on her own— is a significant accomplishment. Just imagine the power of feeling good about all of this! It’s a feeling that motivates the girls to do even more, and to be proud of themselves.

The result for your Rockbrook girls is a growing positive self-esteem. In this environment infused with daily feelings of success and accomplishment, the girls strengthen their belief in themselves. Surrounded by people who care about them and who like them for who they really are, they know they are valued no matter how something they try turns out. This support from the community provides a freedom to explore how each of them is worthwhile. In this way, simply being at camp is a powerful boost for girls.

Once again. It’s astonishing!

horseback riding lesson

A Decision to Leap

One of the special thrills at Rockbrook, something that every camper can experience if they choose, is to ride through our zipline course. “If they choose” is important because, like all of the activities here, it’s up the girls themselves to decide what they would like to do. Nothing is mandatory. So if someone doesn’t want to swim in the lake, or take riflery, or climb the tower, or only do craft activities (there are eight different ones!), that is perfectly fine. We want girls here to feel empowered and this agency is a simple way for them to experience that.

high flying zip girl

Signing up for the zipline does take some nerve. After all, there are three different zips and three different challenging bridges to cross during the hour or so of making your way through the course. Like many high adventure activities, there is special safety equipment involved and important protocols that must be followed. There’s a certain degree seriousness to it, which can add to the jitters a girl might have. But it also looks really fun, and almost everyone in camp is eager to give it a try.

We designed the course to be scenic, to be a progression of challenges, and to be a unique thrill. The course is woven into the forest with each zip going between huge boulders, among the trees and even a waterfall above the main part of camp. The first zip is slower, and the last is an eye-popping, you-can’t-help-but-scream, blast. The girls wear a helmet and climbing harness tethered to a dual-wheel pulley with a steel backup clip. Launching on a zip, trusting this equipment, takes courage, but the exciting payoff comes right away as the girls zoom through the air waving their arms. Their being brave, their making a decision to leap, despite being a little nervous, ends up being something they really enjoy, and will probably look back on fondly. The lesson, even if they can’t say it out loud, is that they are stronger than they think. These girls can do things!

summer camp dance class

Dance is one of those camp activities that you can do elsewhere but is uniquely different at camp. When campers sign up for dance, they don’t know what the instructor will choose to teach. It might be a ballet skill, or a particular Hip-Hop move, or a country line dance routine. What’s guaranteed though is that the scene will be lighthearted and upbeat. There’s a playfulness to learning dance, as everyone starts out being kinda clumsy, making moves with odd timing. This tone, plus the fact that friends are trying to learn together, makes taking dance really funny too. There’s something particularly hilarious about watching your crew twist or spin in the wrong direction or on the wrong beat. The wall of mirrors makes this inevitable. Dancing and laughing: it’s a great combination.

Girls Sliding Rock

It was time for another classic camp thrill last night after dinner— a trip to Sliding Rock, with a stop at Dolly’s Dairy Bar afterwards. After a little late start, we arrived at “The Rock” when nobody was there, giving us the whole place to ourselves. Since we had six buses and vans full of girls and counselors, that was a good thing. We placed two lifeguards at the top of the slide and four at the bottom, giving us plenty of eyes on the girls as they slid two-by-two. As you might expect, the water is “mountain stream cold” and is, like riding the zipline, something that takes a little nerve to try, but once you literally take the plunge, it’s an exciting experience. It’s so fun, most girls immediately want to do it again. In fact, because it was getting dark, we had to end the sliding, even though there were girls who would have gladly kept going.

We wrapped up the evening at Dolly’s so everyone could enjoy a cone of their favorite flavor. This is so popular with the girls, we make sure every camper gets to sample some Dolly’s ice cream while they’re here at camp. Good stuff, for sure!

summer camp teenagers

A Rainy Rafting Day

As we loaded the first three buses and vans early this morning, we had a hunch it was going to be a challenging day. The weather forecast called for patchy rain, but we had 70 people signed up to go rafting. The real question was how much rain would fall over at the Nantahala river, and could we avoid the heaviest periods of rainfall. Despite that uncertainty, the guides left at 6:15am to stage all the equipment in advance of the first group of campers arriving. And despite it being early in the morning, that first group woke up early for a quick breakfast before leaving around 7. Dressed in their swimsuits, with towels, water shoes, and a backpack of warm dry clothes for after the trip, and a little bleary-eyed, we were off!

summer camp rafting girls

Sure enough, as we drove toward the river, the skies darkened and a light drizzle began falling. And by the time we reached the put in to the river, we’d passed through periods of real rain alternating with a cool mist.

The Nantahala is already known for its chilly water temperature (because it’s fed partially by a hydroelectric project that pulls water from a deep lake), so to add a cool rain and cloudy skies meant making an even chillier experience. Fortunately, we were prepared for that, and gave all of the campers blue spray jackets to wear. These repel the rain and help retain some body heat when paddling.

It was a rainy rafting day. Was it miserable or disappointing? No! Just the opposite— it was uncomfortable for sure, but also exciting, adventurous, and still very fun. The girls laughed and splashed their way down the river, taking turns “riding the bull” on the front of the raft. They had a great time posing for photographs and chatting in the boat. In each rapid, when there is an even greater chance someone might fall out of the boat, the splashing was extra thrilling.

Rafting is always a challenging experience to some degree. It’s something that’s a little scary ordinarily, but when it’s rainy like today, it’s even more so. What surprises the girls though is that even with their nervousness, their nagging worry perhaps, they find themselves leaning into the situation and doing just fine. What seems like something they would usually avoid, if given the choice, they in fact enjoy quite a lot.

Rafting helps them learn that approaching new experiences together, having friends around you in uncertain situations, makes a big difference. Rafting proves that when you’re nervous, it’s comforting to have your pals right there with you. That support helps you be more confident to give things a try, to be brave even when you’re not sure how things will turn out. Camp is full of these experiences. And, a rainy rafting day is a particularly good example. Today the girls showed real resilience and grit to stick together, endure some challenging conditions, but still have a blast on the water.

campers dressed as old person
granny costumed counselors

Meanwhile back at camp, we suddenly found that many of the campers and counselors had mysteriously aged dramatically. Instead of blond and brown hair, we saw many people with grey and white hair. Instead of girls running up and down the Rockbrook hills, folks were moving more slowly, almost limping along with one hand pressing their backs as if slightly in pain. The yoga class went from doing downward dog poses to easier moves that allowed these folks to sit in a chair. At the lake, instead of diving board tricks and waterslide splashes, there were people taking a gentle water aerobics class.

What was going on?

Curlers in their hair? Walking canes? And so many nightgowns! Well, it was a day of costumes at camp, of grannies and grandpas. It was a chance to take on a character and dress up. It was a chance to drop a “dad joke” and maybe speak with a higher pitched, scratchy voice.

After dinner, there was a brief fashion show on the hill. Anyone interested could take turns showing their best geriatric style. With music and an announcer narrating the scene, everyone clapped and cheered for each presentation… all just for the fun of it.

Capping things off, tonight’s evening program was a raucous game of bingo in the dining hall. The grannies and grandpas selected their bingo cards, and as the pingpong ball numbers tumbled out of the cage one by one, they placed pieces of cereal on the matching numbers. Round after round, lucky (seemingly) elderly people would raise their arms and shout “BINGO!” excited to win a prize. Like so many things at Rockbrook, the whole day was funny and fun… silly, joyful fun.

girls relaxing on porch at camp

Leap Into Camp Life

The first full day of camp today came alive beautifully. You might think that the girls would ease into things, maybe need some further introductions or explanations, and therefore move a little slowly at first. You might think some lingering uncertainty about what to do would keep certain things from happening right away. But none of that is true. Instead, like a light switch, everything at camp energized simultaneously.

kids washing a horse

For example, down at the riding center our staff taught lessons in all four rings for all four activity periods. The girls are assigned different lessons based on their ability and experience riding, and hence there are many lessons happening at once. This allows the more advanced girls to ride different horses and work on different skills. It’s quite a complex task to organize 32 horses and 7 instructors to teach these lessons everyday, but our Riding Director Kelsi has years of experience taking care of it. Our “Stable Club” also met today. It’s a chance for interested girls to spend more time with the horses, helping with grooming and washing them for example. It’s a great way to increase their understanding of horsemanship.

The zipline was likewise squealing with excitement today as the first cabin groups took their turn on the course. With three zips (the first of which glides past “Stick Biscuit Falls,” the waterfall up behind the camp office) and three wiggly challenge bridges, it’s an exciting adventure. We’re planning for everyone, all ages of girls at camp (Yes! even the Juniors!), to have a chance to ride the ziplines this summer.

archery camper girl

Archery and riflery are always popular activities at Rockbrook, quick to fill up with eager shooters. One girl told me she would take riflery every period if she could! Archery is similar in that anyone can learn to do it, and see real improvement in a short amount of time. Our instructors teach the important safety protocols and the essential techniques, and then the girls improve simply through practice. It’s a satisfying accomplishment when they hit a bullseye and join the “Bullseye Club.”

Over in the gym, Leo, our new gymnastics and tumbling coach, taught several classes of girls how to do cartwheels and back walkovers. He’s got years of teaching cheer squads and is great at providing tips and tricks that make learning these moves a lot easier. The girls are really excited to make progress on learning those skills.

All over camp today there was virtually no hesitation to leap into camp life. We’re playing games, and spending all day outside. We’re laughing and learning. We’re enjoying each others company and conversation. We’re eating well and sleeping even better. Camp life feels really good, and the girls are really enjoying it, even more than perhaps expected.

That’s a true joy to see.