Welcome to the Safari Banquet! After weeks of planning and plenty of hard work preparing, tonight the senior line CA campers and their counselors presented the second session banquet. On the very first day of camp they debated and selected a surprise theme for the banquet, and finally it was time reveal it to the whole camp. They chose to make the entire experience a safari, a rich jungle of animals, exotic birds, wild plants, trees and vines. Using paint, paper and a few props, the whole dining hall was transformed so that in every direction you’d see safari animals— lions, zebras, baboons, giraffes —and scenery. The green tables and chairs of the Rockbrook dining hall fit right in. Just guessing, there were probably sixty or so different painted panels lining the walls. The centerpiece was a wrecked jeep, complete with real tires and working headlights (flashlights). No wonder it takes all session to prepare for this night!
The CAs really designed some amazing, creative costumes as well. Their goal was to create a magical experience for the other campers, making elaborate costumes and characters a big deal. There were monkeys, a couple of lions, birds, a zebra, elephant, a lemur, hippo and gazelle. During the meal, the CAs also presented a series of skits, a multi-act play really, that included music and dances. It told the story of a family on a safari, and how after being split up, the animals and a native group help them reunite. This was a very large group of CAs, so there were plenty of parts of play.
For the menu, they served “Slippery Snake Mozzarella Sticks,” Serengeti Salad,” “Lion’s Mane Spaghetti,” and “Jungle Dirt Bucket.” Of course, there was more than enough candy scattered around on the tables, and in each camper’s souvenir cup too. It was probably hard to eat the spaghetti while chewing a tootsie roll or sucking on a lollipop, but I’m sure no one was hungry by the end!
The evening begins with the CAs in the dining hall, dressed in costume and surrounded by the fruits of their incredible hard work, and all the rest of the campers outside, dressed in their Rockbrook T-shirts. When it was time to let the first cabin of girls enter, the CAs literally erupted with excitement. It had been building for so long, finally they could cheer and jump up and down with each other. Then, with music blasting, the campers crawled through a “starry night” tunnel to emerge into the jungle (dining hall) with all its colorful animals. Here too, it was one big cheer with smiles and surprised amazement from everyone.
Toward the end of the banquet, the oldest cabin groups (the CAs and Hi-Ups) presented songs and toasts to their counselors, and vice versa, the counselors to their campers. This became quite emotional as the songs expressed the friendship and feelings the girls now share after this great session. It’s tradition for the whole camp to sing a few camp songs (e.g., “Rockbrook Camp Forever”) at the close of the banquet as well.
This was simply a terrific night, one I’m sure you’ll hear more about from your daughter.