For a bunch of Middlers and Seniors, today was a big day of whitewater rafting on the Nantahala. Right after breakfast we loaded up three buses of them, and with a picnic lunch packed and ready to go, we set out to meet our regular team of rafting guides at the head of the river. Rockbrook is fortunate to be the only girls camp to have a US Forest service permit to run trips on the Nantahala River. This allows us to hire excellent guides (people we know are great with kids), have our own equipment (top of line Avon rafts for example), and schedule trips when we want. It also allows us to take every camper rafting who is old enough (5th grade and older) for no additional fees. The weather today was absolutely perfect for rafting. Warm and sunny is ideal when it comes to the chilly water of the Nantahala, and also for inspiring splash fights between rafts. The girls had a great time paddling the river, singing camp songs during the calm sections, and screaming their heads off when heading down the rapids.
Down at the equestrian center, the riding lessons are going well. The beginners already have their favorite ponies to ride— “I love Annie, and I love Cool Beans!” And the intermediate riders are working on posting, while the advanced lessons the girls are practicing their canter and jumping. It seems the barn is always a popular place to hang out.
Lunch today in camp was a delightful picnic on the hill. Rick served up hot dogs and hamburgers with all the fixins. He made a giant batch of macaroni salad, had coleslaw, potato chips and pickles to round off the plate. Same weather here: sunny and warm, but cooler than the past few days. The girls brought out their Crazy Creek chairs and spread out across the hill to soak up the mountain view and chat over lunch. It was one of those great, classic summertime feelings we always enjoy at camp.
“Happy Birthday Everyone!” was the theme for dinner. It was a special event called “Birthday Night” where we rearranged the dining hall tables so everyone with the same birth month can sit together. It’s really fun to find out who shares your month and maybe even the same birthday as you, and even more so, to share the special cake for each month. You can imagine it’s a busy day in the kitchen for Liz as she bakes 12 cakes! Fortunately, the Hi-Ups help decorate all of them. To make the event even more festive, we served Mexican food (tortillas, quesadillas, beans, steak fajitas, rice, salsa, sour cream and homemade guacamole), decorated the dining hall with brightly colored piñatas, posters and balloons, and had the girls dress up for a “Fiesta.” Latin music played over the sound system, and we all wished each other happy birthday (and other celebrities we could think of… “Happy Birthday Justin Bieber!”). Yummy good fun.
We spotted this article in USA Today about the art of letter writing, and how camps are a place where kids, and parents, can practice that skill, reconnecting to an important form of communication. We’re always encouraging letter writing at camp, both from parents to campers and vice versa. Go check out the article, and you’ll see why!