Peace and Love

Sundays are different at camp. Our regular in-camp activities and out of camp trips pause so that we can focus on all-camp events. Instead of campers and staff moving in all directions, we come together. It’s a nice reset and an opportunity to celebrate our sense of community, usually dress up in some way, and enjoy a big afternoon event.

It begins with sleeping in an extra hour, a welcome change of pace right from the start. After a full week of big adventure and the go-go-go of activities, everyone seems to really enjoy the extra shut-eye. The wakeup bell then brings everyone to breakfast in their pajamas (and often a cozy sweatshirt) to enjoy our breakfast of eggs and sausage, cereal, fruit and yogurt with fresh Krispy Kreme donuts as an added treat.

smiling summer camp girls

After breakfast, everyone changes into their red and white camp uniforms for the main morning events— flag raising and chapel. The hi-ups lead the flag raising ceremony. The entire camp lines up around the flagpole, watches as the flag is raised, and then sings “The Streams and the Mountains,” one of the oldest Rockbrook songs. Single file, everyone then walks down to the end of the lower line and finds a seat in the Chapel area of camp.

What we call “chapel” at Rockbrook is not a religious ceremony. We want everyone at at camp, no matter what their family religious background, to feel comfortable at our “chapel,” so lately it has been understood as an acronym for “Celebration of Happiness, Adventure, Peace, Earth and Love.” The idea is that we benefit from the chance to slow down a bit and think about what’s important at Rockbrook, the positive aspects that we value. Each chapel has a theme, chosen by the campers, that focuses the short program of songs and camper reflections on what the theme means to them. Past themes have been happiness, honesty and friendship, for example.

Peace and Love Rockbrook
We Heart Rockbrook

Today’s theme was “Peace and Love” and was led by the Juniors. Girls took turns talking about peace (“You can find it anywhere and doing almost anything.”) and love (“Every one of you is loved by people here.”). The whole Junior line sang “Peace Like a River,” complete with hand motions. A group of campers played ukuleles and sang “This Little Light of Mine.” Sarah read the classic (1936) children’s book, The Story of Ferdinand. You probably recall it’s the story of a peace-loving bull who enjoyed smelling flowers, and who refused to fight when brought to the bullfighting ring. Being surrounded by the forest and sitting so closely with all of our camp friends, it wasn’t hard to feel that camp is a place of peace and love.

Our afternoon plans —two different all-camp events —had to be postponed because we were hit by an afternoon thunderstorm right when the events were to start. We held off for a bit, hoping the storm would pass quickly, but it was big enough that we decided to switch gears and move into the gym. Gathering this many excited, enthusiastic people (who were ready to burn some energy) is really all you need to create a fun event. Add some dance music, and a few small snacks, and you have an impromptu dance party. That’s what we did! While the rain tapered off outside, the girls jumped and sang, twirled and flicked all around the gym. Spontaneous and fun, it was a great way for all of us to spend the afternoon.

Sunday night is “Movie Night” at camp. After signing up for a new set of activities that will begin Monday morning, all of the campers come down to the gym to watch a movie projected on a big screen. The whole gym floor becomes covered with sleeping bags, pillows and blankets, crazy creek chairs, and a mob of girls eager to watch. The Hi-Ups and a director are there to assist while all of the counselors and other directors have an all-staff meeting in the dining hall or one of the lodges. We love showing musicals at movie night, especially ones where the girls know the songs, because that turns the movie into a singalong, making it even more fun and a real treat to hear.

summer camp all girl dance


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