Sunday Bandanas and Boots

Everybody knows that Sundays are different. They’re probably different for you, and they’re different at camp too. Instead of our regular activities, we have several all-camp events. This provides a nice reset, a chance to celebrate our community values all together, dress up, and of course have some silly fun.

It starts by sleeping in! Yes, on Sundays everyone gets an extra hour of sleep, waking up at 9am instead of 8. This feels great, and usually is very welcome after the past week of solid adventure and activity. It takes kids a day or two after arriving to settle down, but for the most part, people sleep really well here at camp… “Best sleep of my life!” one teenage camper told me. Maybe it’s the fresh air or perhaps our days filled with things that exercise all our senses, but when it’s time for rest, Rockbrook girls know how to rest!

summer camp chapel gathering
summer camp girls ceremony

Right after waking up, everyone skips their cabin chores and comes to the dining hall in their PJs (and wearing a cozy sweatshirt to block the morning chill). We enjoyed a regular breakfast of eggs and sausage, cereal, fruit and yogurt, but had a special treat of glazed doughnuts as well.

For the last few days, we’ve experienced a typical summer weather pattern for this area. Waking up, it’s cool and foggy, with everything outside feeling a little damp. Then by the time muffin break rolls around mid-morning, the fog has burned off to reveal crisp, bright, warm sunshine and our gorgeous distant mountain view. About rest hour time, the skies darken and we often hear thunder in the distance. And like today, we have a storm roll through that soaks us for about 20 minutes before moving on. Once past, we’re back in action.

By the way, you can always check our Rockbrook weather station if you are curious about what’s happening at camp.

After breakfast, once everyone had changed into their camp uniforms, the Hi-Ups led everyone in a flag raising ceremony on the hill. Everyone looked sharp in the bright morning sun, and in their red and white.

The chapel theme today was “Friendship.” “Chapel” is not a religious service at Rockbrook. Instead, it’s a time for the girls to settle down a bit, and think about one of the core aspects of camp life, our camp values, and our time together as a camp community. Past themes include: honesty, kindness, trust, generosity, nature, and community. The girls take turns contributing to the program, reading poems or other quotes, singing songs, and sometimes simply saying what the theme means to them. Sarah usually reads a children’s book. Today she read, “The Invisible Boy,” a story about a boy who gets left out at school, but when a new child arrives at school finds a way to be friends. She asked, “Do you know anyone at camp who might be feeling invisible? What can you do to help people make friends?”

summer camp scavenger hunt

Sunday afternoons means a surprise special event. Today we had a camp-wide scavenger hunt followed by a square dance in the gym. This was a “Gold Rush,” where cabin groups roamed about camp trying to find hidden gold coins. The girls were looking all over, under and around everything in camp, doing their best to collect as many coins as possible. But there were bandits too, people who could approach a cabin and demand all of the gold the group had collected! If the cabin group could answer a trivia question correctly, they could keep their gold. There were prizes to be won for the group with the most gold, and a special prize for finding the “Golden Nugget.”

To round out the afternoon, there was a square (!) dance held in the gym. With Hi-Ups and counselors calling out patterns and demonstrating different moves, we played fun country dance music like the Virginia Slide and the Boot Scootin’ Boogie, as well as some traditional bluegrass. The girls came dressed in their favorite western wear, flannel bandanas and boots. It think there were at least a dozen pink cowboy hats. It was a little wild when “swing your partner” became swing anyone, but it was active and fun. We clapped along to the music, laughed and smiled, and enjoyed ourselves letting loose a bit. All good healthy camp fun.

Camp girl square dance


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