Camp Trick or Treat!?

Summer Camp Halloween Party

Walking into the dining hall, you couldn’t help but to look at every girl that passed by. It was Halloween night and we were all dressed up in our costumes. Pirates, cheerleaders, cowboys, and tourists filled each table. The Senior line put on a little after-dinner haunted house for all of us to participate in. Waiting in line, you could see all the girls were excited and anxious to get inside of the haunted house, and by the time they got through and out, you knew the wait was more than worthwhile. The seniors did a great job at making it fun and scary for all the girls, even the young juniors.

Childrens Camp Games

Summer Sports Camp

Basketball! Dodgeball! Kickball! Four Square! Volleyball! And more versions of tag than you can count! There always seems to be some kind of gym sports camp game going on— counselors and campers running around and having fun in the Rockbrook gym. One of the best things to do is to make up a game. Take something you already know, like dodgeball for example, and then change it up somehow, like by having 3 or 4 teams instead of 2, or playing with a really huge ball, or having a “come back to life” ball. Gosh, the options are almost endless!

Sleep Away Camp Girls

Sleep Away Girls Camp

When you ask people who attended a sleep away camp when they were a kid, you’ll find that they recall the experience, not only fondly, but also as one of the most important things they did as a child. And this is true for just about everybody you ask, not just the occasional “camp fan.”

A famous example here is Michael Eisner and his book about camp. There’s a lot to it, and we’ve discussed the benefits of attending camp before, but this photo speaks to the empowerment and self confidence girls often develop at summer camp. Being away from home and parents, being challenged and succeeding in different activities, and being friends with so many different types of people— all weave together to give camp its secret power.

Take that power gained as a child and watch it do great things in adults!

Girls Camps Games

Girls Games Camp

Most Sunday afternoons at camp, we have an all-camp activity, a game or event where all of the age groups get together and play. Here’s an example where we split everyone up into three different teams (pink, blue and green!) and had different relay races… egg and spoon, leap frog, fill the cup, three-legged race, dizzy lizzy, balloon-knees, and so many more.

These are all great games that require some individual skill and a touch of physical coordination, but also plenty of cooperation and shared effort among each team’s members. The best games for girls always require both.

In the end, we might keep score (though that’s often optional) and one team might “win,” but everyone has a fun time playing.

Equestrian Camp NC

NC Equestrian Camp

Going to an equestrian camp, a summer camp that offers a quality horseback riding program, is one of the best things you can do to improve your riding skills. It gives you a chance to ride new and different horses, learn from new instructors, to hear about different techniques, and to simply practice everything in a new environment. Along these lines, riding at camp introduces you to new horses and their different personalities. Overall, attending a horse camp program helps diversify your riding skills, experience and horsemanship knowledge. And of course, it’s a lot of fun too! 🙂

Canoeing Summer Camps 4 Kids

Canoeing Girls at Summer Camp

Speaking of canoeing, it’s still a summer camp activity we offer at Rockbrook. Like most of the outdoor adventure activities, we have a progression where kids first learn basic skills and safety procedures, and then move up to more challenging aspects. For canoeing, we learn the names and uses of the equipment (the boats and paddles, for example), then practice different paddling strokes and techniques to steer the canoes in the water. With all of that firmly in place, we’re off to one of the local rivers— the French Broad, the Green, the Tuckaseegee, or the Nantahala. Each offers its own unique challenges and whitewater thrills.

Loom Weaving at Summer Camp

Craft Weaving Summer Camp

One of the most traditional arts and crafts activities at Rockbrook is weaving. It’s been something girls have done at camp since the very beginning back in 1921. In the craft cabin we call Curosty (which even pre-dates camp!), there are several table-top and floor looms we use to teach basic weaving techniques. It takes some time to set things up and to learn how to operate the looms, but you can make really cool designs. Bits of yarn and string, even natural fibers you gather around camp, all come together to create fabrics, place mats, belts, and other straps. Weaving is a lot of fun, and if you really enjoy it, it’s something you can do at home too.

Summer Camps for Girls Only

Camps for Girls Only

Another great quote from a Rockbrook alumna:

My favorite thing is returning year after year and spotting a friend from the previous year and knowing that even though you didn’t see each other since last summer… you instantly had a best friend for the next couple of weeks.

Yep, making these kinds of friends is probably the coolest part of coming to camp.

Girls Summer Adventure Activities

Girls Outdoor Adventure Rock Climbing

Here’s a middler (who’s finished either the 5th or 6th grade of school) climbing up the route called “Whim” on Castle Rock. It’s just one of the rock climbing routes we have on the camp property. There are definitely some challenging spots, with a cool “foot-switch” move about half way up, so we’ve given it a rating of 5.6. Look at the fancy “mantle” move she is doing by pushing down with her palm. Overall, this climb is about 70 feet high, but it feels much higher because it’s got an amazing view of the French Broad River valley from the top.

Just a glimpse into the great outdoor adventure we have at camp.

Camp Builds Independence for Kids

Summer Girls Camp

We’ve often said that attending a kids summer camp like Rockbrook helps children become more self-sufficient and independent. But how does it work? What is it about being at camp that makes this kind of growth possible?

One secret is that camp provides a structured environment where we give children the chance to make their own choices and decisions. At Rockbrook, the girls choose their own activity schedule, rotating to new choices twice a week. There are these structured activity times and plenty of open times throughout the day, thus providing both adult supervision and limits within which the girls feel free to decide what to do. Altogether, camp is a place where kids find success (not to mention tons of fun!), through their own efforts, making choices.

It’s no wonder so many people think of their camp experiences as the most important thing they did as a child.