What is a Sleepaway Camp?

Sleepaway Camps

Rockbrook is an “overnight” summer camp, an example of what some call a “sleepaway” camp. This means that girls come and spend the night at camp for several days or weeks.

Another term you might hear is “residential,” but no matter which term— overnight, sleepaway, or residential —joining a session at Rockbrook means you’ll sleep in a cabin at night.

On the other hand, some camps have campers only during the day. These are called “day camps.” Rockbrook does not have a day camp.

How about this… “At Rockbrook, campers are residents who sleep away from home overnight.” 🙂

But where do you sleep (away)? We have simple wooden cabins— nice and cozy dry, with screens on the windows to allow the sounds and scents of the forest to pass through. Everyone has her own bed, some top bunks and other bottom.  There are lights, but no electrical outlets (no need for those!). Except for the counselors, most everyone in your cabin will be about the same age (finishing the same grade), which makes it easy to have lots in common.  You’ll also eat meals with your cabin mates, so it’s easy to become quick friends.

Teen Girls Camps

Alpine Tower Climbing

One of the great things about summer camp is its ability to help teenaged girls enhance their self-esteem. It does this, not only by providing all kinds of fun, active things to do, but also by encouraging girls to explore new things and providing them a wide range of opportunities for success. With just a little interest (in our Alpine Tower, for example), a little encouragement, and the right instruction, you’ll be surprised that you make it to the top even though you thought you might not. As those kinds of experiences build, succeeding at home and at school seems all the easier. And that’s very cool.

Don’t underestimate the power of camp. It’s so different from school, girls find themselves doing more, relaxing more, tapping into their bravery more, and feeling good all along.

Girls Horses

Painted hand print horse

How many horses did Rockbrook have in its horseback riding program this past summer? With all those girls at camp wanting to ride horses, you might guess we had a lot! Some from St. Andrew’s College Equine Studies program, some from Sweet Briar College Equine Studies program, and some of Rockbrook’s own horses, we had 26 in all. Enough horses and ponies to let every rider, at every level of riding experience, ride almost every day.

Read more about the equestrian program at Rockbrook Camp.

A Place to Grow

A place for girls to grow

In her book, The Blessing of a Skinned Knee, Wendy Mogel critiques what she sees as a troubling trend in parenting these days— an excessive tendency to shield children from any kind of discomfort.

“Parents are so busy protecting their children that they don’t give them a chance to learn how to maneuver on their own outside home or school.”

Spending time at summer camp serves as a welcome counter force to this trend. As they choose their own activities, sleep in rustic cabins, live with and make new friends, young people at camp are given a great opportunity to grow. Far beyond what parents might orchestrate at home, camp encourages kids to become more independent, to try new things, and to learn from the experience.

It’s a lot of things (like a really fun time!), but perhaps most fundamentally, camp is a setting for exploring who we really are.  Stepping out of our normal routines, we can try new things, endure discomforts and setbacks (try again), and marvel at unexpected accomplishments.

Seen this video? It’s more about how camp is a place for girls to grow.

Nature-Deficit Disorder

Cold Mountain Water

In his recent book, Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder, Richard Louv talks about summer camp serving as a healthy response to our modern tendency to be “plugged in” (to electronic media) and “in motion” (between school, lessons, sports practice, etc.). He writes, “as the young spend less and less of their lives in natural surroundings, their senses narrow— physiologically and psychologically. This reduces the richness of human experience.” Children these days are suffering from a serious disorder that negatively affects their lives and well-being into their adult lives.

Combating Nature Deficit Disorder

At the same time, there’s something magical about the sort of sustained exposure to nature camps provide. Louv sites an amazing array of studies linking nature experience and healthy child development, and concludes “I believe that offering children direct contact with nature— getting their feet wet and hands muddy— should be at the top of the list of vital camp experiences.” Summer camp is the antidote!

Cold Frosty North Carolina Morning

Barn covered in frost

Nurse Jenny recently snapped this photo of the land sports barn. We liked it and thought you’d enjoying seeing a “winter view” of camp.

Charleston Summer Camp Party

Charleston SC Camp Girls

Here’s a group photo of our recent slide show at the Buxton’s home in Charleston, SC. We had such a great time visiting with the current girls attending camp and their friends interested in becoming Rockbrook girls.

Charleston has been, and continues to be a core town where Rockbrook Girls live.

Happy New Year !

Happy 2005 to all our Rockbrook Girls!

holiday camp girls

We hope that you all had a wonderful holiday. All of us at camp had a nice vacation and are now getting back in the swing of things. As a matter of fact, Margaret Lyle leaves today for our first slide show of the new year. It will be held in Macon, GA at Paint’n and Kil’n Time on Ingleside Avenue. Should be a great time for all our Macon RBC girls. Hopefully some future campers will be able to attend as well.

Part of our New Years plan at camp was to start this blog for all you guys- so here it is! The very first post! We will update it frequently so you can see what is going on in Brevard, learn more about camp, the staff, and even the history of Rockbrook. This way if you have news we can put it on the blog right away. We will continue to do our newsletter, but this will allow us to keep in touch more often. Hooray! So let us hear from you and we will put you on the blog!

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