Backpacking and camping have been an almost nightly trip this week. Michelle our fabulous hiking guide, who is a Wilderness First Aid Responder and who has been a Rockbrook girl for thirteen years (she started at 7 years old), has been leading these trips. She’s been taking our Juniors in cabin groups, 2 at a time, out to the outpost campsite here on the camp property. After a short hike through the woods towards Rockbrook Falls, there’s a small trail that leads to a clearing below Dunn’s Rock where we have two tent platforms and a fire ring. The girls have a campfire, sing songs, tell stories, and enjoy making s’mores. All the girls from each Junior cabin plus their counselors go on these trips, and when it’s time for bed, everyone sleeps together, “slumber party style,” on the platforms. Out in the woods, armed with their flashlights against the sounds of the night and filled with nervous excitement, it can take a while for everyone to fall asleep. But that’s part of the fun! Michelle also took a Middler backpacking trip out into Pisgah Thursday night. With their tents, sleeping bags and food (s’mores again!) stuffed into backpacks, they hiked about 2 miles into the forest to one of our secret campsites. These trips are great outdoor adventure opportunities to get to know each other. Telling stories around the campfire and just sharing the experience overall, the whole group grows closer.
This has also been a week of tie dying in the “Hodge Podge” activity. There’s a lot of variety here as each camper twists and folds her shirt in a unique pattern and then adds different color dyes. After letting them rest over night, it’s exciting to untie the shirts and see how they turned out— vibrant spirals, bullseyes and stripes.
In the photography activity, Jane has been teaching the campers about stop motion techniques. Working in groups of 2 or 3 campers, and using Play-Doh, the girls animated short sequences of photos which when strung together create motion videos. This takes not only creativity, but real planning, a steady camera, and plenty of patience to accomplish.
A group of girls went rock climbing today with Maddie and were lucky to set up 3 different routes on Looking Glass Rock out in Pisgah. Again, excellent weather, dry and clear, made the equally excellent rock even more enjoyable for everyone. A packed lunch, complete with muffins, went along to keep up their energy, and when you check out the photo gallery, you’ll see just how well and how high these girls climbed. There are some amazing rock climbing girls around here.
Back at camp, everyone else got to dig into some of Rick’s homemade chili complete with all the fixin’s: diced tomatoes, cheese, sour cream, Frito’s corn chips, and our super stocked salad bars. There was some debate about whether the vegetarian or the meat version was better, but that was never really settled!
After dinner during the “Twilight” block of free time, a couple of counselors organized an open tetherball tournament for anyone interested in playing. It was the “triple T” (Twilight Tetherball Tournament). Should we add “terrific” in there? 🙂 Paired up by age group, the girls took turns playing each other as the rest of the crowd cheered them on. Quite strategically, the counselors chose players to make sure that the brackets kept everyone involved, not so much to determine who “won,” but to see the girls enjoying the games. With the late evening sun setting across the valley, it was a beautiful summertime moment.