Wow, we have an excited group of girls here right now! Today we opened our main session of camp and welcomed a full house of 198 girls to Rockbrook. Finally, after waiting all this time— months and months in most cases— camp is here. From the very first moments they drove into camp, you could hear squeals and laughter all over the hill, counselors cheering, and plenty of chatting as returning campers reunited and new campers were introduced to everyone. One car was decorated with paint to proclaim all this enthusiasm… “Rockbrook Camp Here I Come” and “Cool, Amazing, Magical, Perfect” and “I Go to Rockbrook Camp for Girls.” I think I-85 up from Atlanta got the message there! Girls and their families arrived most of the morning. Everyone checked in with the nurses and office folks, moved luggage to their cabins, made up their beds, and still had some time to explore camp a bit.
To really kick things off, the bell rang and called everyone to the dining hall for some of Rick’s homemade mac-n-cheese, fresh fruit, and salad for lunch. A little comfort food can do wonders for any “butterflies” that might be lingering. It didn’t take long for the singing to start. It was a little timid at first, but grew louder as everyone realized that louder is better when it comes to singing silly songs. And that’s true throughout the session; the singing grows and grows. Right after lunch we headed out to the main hill of camp for an assembly. We introduced all the head counselors and directors and learned the songs for each line (age group), but the highlight was an enthusiastic skit/song about camp hygiene sung by the directors. Sometimes we’re having so much fun at camp, we might forget to shower or brush our hair, for example, so a funny song can be a great reminder.
Next we all walked down past the lake to the gym to watch the counselors perform their activity skits. These short presentations of songs, skits, dances or even demonstrations are to help the campers learn about the different activities offered at Rockbrook. They are also great ways for the campers to meet all of the counselors in camp. We heard plenty of funny songs and saw some great acting. The climbers demonstrated a few moves on the climbing wall, and the paddlers integrated a boat, paddles, helmets and PFDs into their skit. Later after dinner, the campers will sign up for their first set of camp activities, so these skits are a great way to get them excited about what’s available.
The rest of the afternoon, each line took turns coming down to the lake to do their “swimming demonstrations.” This is where all the campers and counselors review the important safety protocols in place at the lake. They demonstrate their swimming ability and if sufficient receive their very own buddy tag for the tag board, and this year, a special green bracelet that qualifies them to go down the new water slide during free swim periods. The Rockbrook lake is fed by a mountain stream, so the water can be quite chilly. For most everyone, it’s “refreshing” to say the least, but with a little getting used to it, the girls love it.
Meanwhile, cabins were taking tours of the camp and having cabin meetings. All of this preparation will let us launch right into regular activities tomorrow. Horses, Kayaks, Clay, Rifles! We’ve got a lot planned.
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