We took our first whitewater rafting trip of the session today. After breakfast, two busloads of middlers and seniors packed up for a day on the river. The girls tend to be a little sleepy on the drive over, but once we enter the Nantahala River Gorge, they really perk up. We had a picnic lunch (chicken wraps, pretzels, and fruit) at the Ferebee Riverside Park and took a little time for everyone to lather up the sunscreen, since it was a warm sunny day. A few minutes further up the river we met our regular RBC guides. Rockbrook is fortunate to be the only girls camp with a permit to run the Nantahala river, allowing us to hire people we know as guides (for example, Clyde our adventure director led the trip) and to use our own top of the line self-bailing Avon rafts. Several of the girls on this trip had never been rafting before, so it was fun to see their excitement as they geared up with PFDs, helmets and paddles. Part of the water making up the Nantahala river is controlled by Duke Energy as it’s released from a deep nearby lake to generate electricity. The girls notice this because the water is so very cold, and everyone is thankful for a warm sunny day. The trip lasts a little more than 2 hours and finishes with a final large rapid called “Lesser Wesser” or the “Nantahala Falls.” This photo is that rapid. It’s a thrilling way to end up the trip.
Dinner tonight was a special event called “Fiesta Birthday Night.” A group of counselors put on the event by decorating the dining hall with posters, table centerpieces and piñatas, and picked out a playlist of Latin music. The kitchen helped also by preparing steak fajitas, rice, beans, cheese and homemade salsa. But since it was also Birthday Night, we rearranged the dining hall into 12 large tables, one for each month so everyone could sit with people sharing their birthday month. This is a fun change from sitting with your cabin, and allows everyone get to know other campers and staff members in camp. The highlight of course is the cake! Liz, our amazing baker, was hard at work all day making twelve different cakes so that each month could have their own. You’ve never heard so many different people wished “Happy Birthday!” at the same dinner!
The after dinner Twilight activity today was an impromptu “photo shoot.” Counselor Mary from Nashville grabbed a camera and took a bunch of silly “glamor” shots of campers posing out on the hill. Several girls were dressed up for the Fiesta Birthday Night dinner and others changed into something especially for the photos. Some posed, others jumped, while some hugged each other and still others just smiled nicely. It’s always fun to get your picture taken, especially when you’re at camp and being your most silly self. That’s one of the great feelings of being at camp. The girls can relax and be open and silly enough to do things just for the fun of it, even if it might be a little embarrassing in another context. Have you worn a fake mustache lately? 😉