Simpler Things

Time at summer camp provides a unique opportunity for campers to rediscover the joy in life’s simpler pleasures. After a few days away from the distractions of screens and electronics, campers start to immerse themselves in experiences that often go unnoticed in their daily lives. Whether it’s savoring a favorite dessert (Rockbrookies!), marveling at a beautiful flower, bonding with the camp dog, or creating a special craft to bring home, these simple activities become cherished moments.

camp child basketry

Kids at camp learn to appreciate the beauty of nature, the value of human connections, and the satisfaction of creating something with their own hands. These simple pleasures not only bring immediate happiness but also cultivate lasting memories and skills that will extend beyond their time at camp, hopefully into their lives as adults.

Camp is a place where imagination can run free, and anyone will happily join you in whatever game you’ve cooked up. With all of nature as the playground, we regularly see games of school, babysitting, pretend shopping trips, and so much more! Costumes are worn for no reason (hey, it’s a Tuesday, let’s all wear tutus!) and no one bats an eye at wacky hair, nicknames, or silly hats.

For example, this evening at 7:30pm, I had a dinner reservation at one of the finest establishments in Brevard. I was warmly greeted by the host, enjoyed a seat with a magnificent view of the mountains, and was served up a plate of whatever I requested by the friendly wait staff.

camp imaginary food

This “restaurant” took place in the bubbling creek that runs through camp, and my “dinner” was mud pies of various sizes, decorated with leaves and flower petals. All the while, the campers played the various roles, chattering excitedly about their plans for expansion, hours of operation, and menu offerings. Restaurants are a serious business!

It’s so much fun to watch the campers settling into their authentic and creative selves, being joyful and silly and playful. New friendships are formed as imaginations go wild.

Here at Rockbrook, the shrieks of joy at dessert time, the wild cheers from the tetherball court, and the sweet talk whispered to the chickens show us how quickly kids adapt to camp life and bring their exuberance to the smallest of moments.

As the sun slips behind the blue-green mountains, we all find joy in the slower contrast to the fast-paced, technology-driven world. We slow down and engage with our surroundings more deeply, and look forward to another day full of small joys in the heart of a wooded mountain.

—Miranda Barrett
   Camp Mom, former camper and counselor


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