Sundays at Rockbrook give us all a chance to slow down. We put aside the exciting pace of camp, in which we have dozens of activities and events to choose from every day, and allow ourselves to take each moment one at a time.
The first of these moments came this morning at 9 AM, when the rising bell rang. We all jumped out of bed, refreshed by the extra hour of sleep that we get every Sunday at camp, and made our way down to breakfast in our PJs. We skipped the chores. Those we’d save for later. We all enjoyed a breakfast of Krispy Kreme Donuts (a Sunday tradition) in our PJs, robes, and slippers.
The hour between breakfast and chapel was spent in cabins, hanging out with friends, and changing into whities. By the time all of the campers arrived on the Hill for the flag raising, teeth had been cleaned, hair had been brushed, and whities had been donned. We were all relaxed and happy as we stood in the sunshine and watched the Hi-Ups raise the flag.
Chapel this week was put on by the Juniors and Middlers, and the theme that they chose was “Fearlessness.” Sarah, as has become a tradition in the last several years, read the camp a book pertaining to the theme: “Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters: A Cinderella Tale from Africa.” The heroine in the tale wins the hand of the king by braving a series of tests that prove her worthiness.
Inspired by the story, several campers arose to tell the group what fearlessness means to them, and how they have experienced it in their time away at camp. Interestingly, the stories that they told were not so much about being entirely without fear, but rather about fully experiencing the various fears and anxieties that come along with being away from camp, and then conquering them. Campers talked about fearing homesickness, until they realized how much fun it is to experience the independence of camp; about fearing the water slide, until they got up the nerve to step off that platform, and felt the exhilaration of speeding down the chute and out into the lake; about fearing horses, until they finally sat upon a gentle horse, guided by an experienced hand, and learned that there was nothing to fear.
Chapel was followed by Assembly on the Hill. The Middler counselors started things off with a hilarious skit in which they all played personifications of “Rockbrook Villains” (Snake, Heat, Poison Ivy, Moisture, Lost Crazy Creeks, etc.), trying to determine which of them had failed to replace their buddy tag after leaving the lake. After the presentations of the weekly “Mop Awards” for cleanest cabins that followed, counselors from each line represented their age groups in a water balloon challenge. The camp water balloon catapult was placed on the porch of the Junior Lodge, behind the campers. The challenge was for one counselor to attempt to shoot water balloons over the heads of the crowd, to where their partner was standing on the road. The counselor who hit their partner with the most water balloons would win. The Senior counselors won, and quite a few members of the crowd got drenched in the process.
Camp needs to have these slow days once in a while. We have to have days in which we all take our time, get a little goofy, and allow ahead, a week that, in this case, will involve Banquet, the play, a horse show, Spirit Fire, and Closing Day. Today was that last deep breath we all took before the end of camp.