Looking around camp these past couple of days, and if you’ve been following along in the photo gallery, it’s amazing to see so many engaged, smiling girls doing so many different things. It’s almost impossible to describe them all! Of course there are the different organized, scheduled activities like rock climbing, tennis, gymnastics, or making tie-dye t-shirts, but there are also so many simpler, more spontaneous moments when the girls find themselves delighted and charmed. They might be wading in the creek, turning over a rock to “see what’s under there,” chatting with a new friend sitting in a pair of red rocking chairs, or simply walking with a caring counselor to lunch. Part of the magic of camp derives from these moments when we share experiences and grow closer, when we encounter something wonderful or create something beautiful together. It’s this kind of “small scale richness” that really strengthens our community, and make camp so special.
So here’s an idea, and a great example of this richness… Let’s take a group of 1st and 2nd grade girls and let them make samosas for the whole camp! That’s exactly what Rick, our head chef, did this afternoon. He and our baker Katie prepared the dough from scratch and cooked up the filling (potatoes, turmeric, cumin, coriander, salt, and yogurt) beforehand, so the girls could help assemble the individual turnovers. With bright white aprons donned, the group formed a team where some rolled and flattened small balls of dough, others scooped a blob of filling for each, and others folded and pressed each samosa closed. The goal was to make about 400, and with all those (little!) hands helping, the project went pretty quickly. Joyful enthusiasm went into every samosa, and as Rick has said many times before, we’ll be able to taste it.
Today we opened up our zip line for the first time this summer. We announced the option at breakfast and in no time we had two groups pumped up for their chance to fly down the 450 foot ride through woods behind the dining hall. The course begins with a cable and plank bridge suspended between two massive rocks high above a stream. The girls walk the bridge, being careful not to look down, to reach the zip line launch. From there, they clip their pulley into the cable, lift their feet and they’re off screaming down to the far hill. It’s a thrilling ride.
Late in the day, we gathered all of the senior campers and drove into the Pisgah National Forest for a picnic. Rick set us up with hot dogs, buns and all the fixins, including some of his homemade coleslaw, fruit and cookies. We enjoyed eating and then played a group game called “I’m a Rockbrook Girl.” This is a chance to run around and learn each other’s names, and of course laugh the whole time. Our next stop was Sliding Rock, that classic natural water slide formed by Looking Glass creek as it cascades 60 feet down a smooth rock. I’m sure you could guess this mountain water is “refreshing” (i.e. freezing cold) but if not, these pictures prove it. (Click the photo to see a larger version.) Not every camper was inspired, or brave, enough to take the plunge, but for those that did, it was a grand, albeit chilly, time. On the other hand, everyone participated in our last stop— Dolly’s Dairy Bar. We all enjoyed a cup or cone of our favorite sweet treat, for example the flavor called “Rockbrook Chocolate Illusion” or one of the other varieties named after the summer camps in the area. Sure, it was too cold to get wet at Sliding Rock, but for these girls, it’s never too cold for Dolly’s ice cream.