Our beautiful haven in the “Heart of the Wooded Mountain” has had a beautiful past couple of days. Blue skies and heat from the sun calls for a busy day at the lake. In addition to their regular activity time, there are two times a day when the girls have “free swim” periods available for them to take a dip: one before lunch and one before supper. They can also spend this hour in other ways. They may choose to play in the creek, visit the camp store, or finish up a craft in an activity area, for example.
On these sunny days we tend to see a trend here at camp. As soon as the bell rings at the end of second or fourth period, girls hike up the hill to their cabin, change into their swim suits, and soon you see them trickle down the hill to the lake with towels in hand. When the girls arrive to the lake, they form a line waiting excitedly to be the first ones in as soon as the lake opens. Lifeguards and lookouts take their places, the red flag is removed, the front chain is taken down, and finally the lake is open. In order to keep our lake as safe as possible, a counselor takes names at the front of the lake keeping count of everyone entering and exiting the lake. Once names are on the list, towels and shoes are left on an amazing, beautiful rock, swim tags are moved, and the girls have to decide how they want to enter the water.
The Rockbrook lake was built in two phases, the initial “pool” when the camp was founded in 1921, and then in 1925 expanded to its current size. It had to be dug by hand (!), with horses dragging pans of dirt out to form its shape between the giant rocks. We’re not sure how intentionally, but it was constructed into the shape of our mascot – a cardinal! Our lake is filled with refreshing stream water drawn right off the mountain. Because of the mountain water, the temperature of the lake can be a little chilly, or as we like to say “refreshing.”
When the girls step up to the lake, they wonder how refreshing it will be that day. Some brave it by doing a cannonball off of the diving board, others take it slow and walk their way into the shallow end, and lastly you have a special few who decide to enter via our super fun waterslide. Many girls like jumping into the lake after spending time in the heat “because they like the refreshing water and when they get out they feel energized and happy.”
Once in the water, there are several activities for the girls. One popular attraction is the shallow end along the lap lane where girls swim their mermaid laps. For each session and line there are a certain number of laps needed to swim by the end of the session in order to become a mermaid. Once you become a mermaid, all of camp congratulates you by singing The Mermaid Song to you during a meal. Mermaids also get to go to Dolly’s Dairy Bar at the end of the session! Another popular attraction is our waterslide! One of our middlers said she loves the slide the most because “it’s so fast and when you go in the water it’s a way to quickly become refreshed.” She also likes the slide for other reasons – waiting in the water to encourage and watch her friends go down after her!
At Rockbrook, we love spending time at the lake. Our lifeguards work hard to make it a safe place for all of our campers. Each day you never know who will be at the lake, who will swim their last mermaid lap, or who will go down the slide the most amount of times. The lake is a place for campers and counselors from different lines to come together, have fun, and to leave feeling refreshed.