During breakfast we announced another special activity for the girls today: a visit to George Peterson’s woodworking studio for a tour and project workshop. George has offered different workshops like this to our Rockbrook girls for three years now. His wife Margaret is an Alumna, and his two daughters attend camp every summer. George is widely known for his art, his creative carving, etching, burning and painting of different species of wood, old wooden skateboards, and skis. He’s displayed his work in galleries in New York, Tokyo, San Francisco, and Atlanta, and continues to work as a professional artist out of his studio, The Circle Factory.
When the girls arrived, George first toured them around the studio pointing out several of his specialty tools, like drills, saws, torches, and the giant lathe he uses to turn logs into huge bowls. The girls were fascinated by the stacks of raw materials they saw too: slabs of wood, old skateboards, leather cords, paints and inks. There were finished pieces and works in progress displayed almost everywhere. Each girl was then able to make their own project, a leather and wood bracelet. With help from George and Margaret, the girls used a drill press, a carving tool, sandpaper and a metal “RBC” brand to shape a small chip of multicolored skateboard that they then sewed to a leather strap. There were multiple steps to the project, but the girls each had a cool, one-of-a-kind bracelet to wear proudly when they were done.
For all of us who stayed in camp, our morning was filled with a whole range of activities. Girls were climbing high above camp on Castle Rock, trying to “slay the dragon” (which is lingo for climbing to the top of our route called “Dragon Tail”). Others were whooping as they flew through the trees on our zip line course. A few Senior girls took on the challenge of climbing the Alpine tower blindfolded, while at the lake, Sarah and Stephanie, our kayaking instructors, were teaching a roll clinic. Archers and riflemen (girls actually!) were gleefully shooting holes in their targets. Equestriennes were gliding their horses around the arena, outdoor ring, and jump course. Girls played tennis; they shot basketball, and swam laps in the lake. Of course, there was non-stop arts and crafts too, from weaving on the loom to stringing beads and glazing pottery, making candles and blended dot painting. It’s difficult for our photographers to capture all this activity— though they do pretty well! — but you can tell, this place is bustling!
Just as lunch ended today and the girls were heading back to their cabins for rest hour, the sky began to darken and suddenly our lightning warning system sounded its alarm. A few stragglers took off running, and about 3 minutes later we all jumped when a loud crack of a lightning struck nearby, not so close that we could tell where it hit exactly, but close enough to be frightening. Fortunately, everyone was safely inside, but then as the storm built overhead, the wind picked up, the temperature dropped 15 degrees, and a hard rain began to fall. A moment later, it was hailing pea-sized hail! For about 5 minutes, that storm passed by and put on quite a show. Several girls told me later that this was the first time they had ever seen hail.
The main event of the evening was something many of the girls, particularly the Senior campers, anticipate and look forward to every summer: a dance with Camp Carolina. This was a chance to get cleaned up a bit (find that hairbrush), pull out a special outfit, costume, or glittery makeup, but mostly to enjoy jumping around with friends to favorite pop songs.
With both camps involved, there are too many children to hold a single dance for everyone, so we held two again: one dance at Rockbrook for the younger boys and girls, and another at Camp Carolina for the older ones. For about and hour and a half, both dances kept everyone moving, pausing now and then for a photo or a water break. Everyone was hot and sweaty by the end of it all, but the girls had a great time dancing together and singing along to the songs. Oh, and there were boys there too, though that didn’t seem to matter much. It was a fun, classic way to spend an evening at camp.