How silly can we be? Around here we enjoy answering that question on a daily basis. It’s another special aspect of camp; it encourages children to celebrate their goofy side, to forget briefly the personal decorum they so carefully guard, and which parents and teachers so urgently strive to form. Camp provides a license to relive the freedom of childhood experimentation, to twist things around, to feel good about letting your inner creative energy express itself however it may. And significantly, being goofy at camp is something we do just for the fun of it, not to achieve some goal or to be recognized as “the best.” Around here, we— and yes, all of us campers, staff members and directors alike! —are quick to make a silly face for photos, to throw on a crazy costume, to take on a bizarre character in a skit, to sing a nonsense song during lunch, or perhaps bust into a wild dance move waiting for the dinner bell. All of this feels really good too. It’s remarkable when there are this many fun-loving people together, all within a broad camp culture that inspires creative silliness. Sure we have our serious sides too, but I hope you can see why Rockbrook has has been called a goofy camp, and why we think that’s a very good thing!
Did you know that everyday between the first and second activity periods, the entire camp converges on the dining hall porch for “Muffin Break?” It’s true, Katie, the Rockbrook Baker, begins each morning by baking a surprise flavor of muffin for everyone. That means powering up her giant mixer, then scooping and baking 300 yummy treats. Her flavors are fun and creative (maybe a little silly?). For example, today she made “White Chocolate Chip and Apricot,” and other days she’s baked us “Confetti,” “Up-Side-Down S’mores,” “Key Lime Pie,” and a big favorite, “Pumpkin Chocolate Chip.” This is a wonderful treat, easily a favorite part of everyone’s day.
One of the old (circa 1888) log cabins at Rockbrook is called “Curosty” and it is the home of our fiber arts activities. It’s wonderful to wander in during the day and see girls weaving, working away on several floor looms, tabletop looms, and lap looms, creating complex patterned material using yarns and strips of cloth. Kimberly, Carol and the other instructors are helping the girls this summer make headbands, bookmarks, straps, and large table mats. Weaving is such an ancient art, and in this historic cabin, it’s neat that these quite modern Rockbrook girls really take to it, ask great questions, are learning all the basic skills, and making some very cool projects. Weaving has always been an activity at Rockbrook, so it’s also neat to see it so popular even today.
Emily and Christina, two of the women on our adventure staff this summer, took a group of girls canoeing down the French Broad River this morning. With snacks packed (some of the morning’s muffins!) and all the necessary equipment loaded on a trailer, they put onto the river upstream from camp in Rosman, NC. This section of the river is just right for a leisurely paddle with its wide course, gentle curves and manageable current. There is also the occasional (class I) rapid to keep things exciting. Large trees line most of the river making it the perfect habitat for water birds like the Belted King Fisher, for example. The weather for today’s trip was ideal too. Cool air and warm sun made it an magnificent day on the water.
Since this afternoon was cabin day, a day when we switch gears from our regularly scheduled activities and instead do things together as cabin groups, we gathered all of the Senior cabins and took a gigantic trip to Sliding Rock. It was gigantic because when we added everyone up, this trip included 111 people! Like a train of white vans and buses, including a couple of cars for extra staff members, we drove our group into the Pisgah Forest for a picnic dinner and a few field games before arriving at the Rock. Zipping down a natural water slide formed by an icy mountain creek… Maybe freezing cold creek, would be more accurate … and plunging into a deep pool at the bottom might sound unbearable, but for the Senior girls tonight it was all thrills. Screams, splashing, chattering teeth, a few blue lips, but also wide, enthusiastic smiles were true to form all night.
The last stop for the evening was to “warm up” with a cone of Dolly’s ice cream, proclaimed by many campers as “the best ice cream ever!” This is a chance to try one the flavors named after the many camps in the area, like “Rockbrook Chocolate Illusion” or “Carolina Iceberg Blast.” Warmed and energized by this blast of sugary cream, we enjoyed singing the Senior Song, posing for a few photos, and having a grand time together.