This is the first of two days we have at camp between the July mini sessions. Still in camp we have the 4-week main session girls, the campers who stay at Rockbrook the longest. These are the full-blooded Rockbrook girls, often the veterans who are almost delirious with camp spirit. These girls spend the most time together, intensifying the whole experience, but also cementing even more indelibly the feeling they have for each other and the personal growth that follows. This group is also smaller, a subset of the full camp when the mini session girls are here too, which focuses the sense of community we enjoy here. It’s very much like a family in this way, all of us knowing and caring for each other in extraordinary ways. I say this a lot, but it really is a special thing.
Being at camp longer also allows these girls to try more things and experience everything our activities have to offer. They can dig deeper into the ceramics program, for example, and work on throwing pots on the wheel. This is a skill that takes both good instruction and patience when practicing. It can be frustrating at first, disasters like a crumpled or collapsed bowl being pretty common, but with time and persistence, we’ve seen real skills develop. Staying longer at camp often inspires girls to take more advantage of the adventure trips we offer too. Sometimes with all the action at camp and a limited number of days to “spend,” it can be hard to devote a whole day away canoeing, backpacking, or rock climbing. Today, for example, a good group of girls decided to join a canoeing trip down the French Broad river. They had a great time paddling down a new section of the river, stopping to swim and explore. We also opened up the zip line course to girls today, giving them a yet another chance to fly across the back of camp. From trips down the water slide, to climbing Castle Rock, to jumping horses down in the riding rings, camp was delightfully busy, yet more relaxed than ever.
After dinner, the evening program brought DJ Dawg Marcus out to our gym for a costume dance party. You might think we had to import some boys from a neighboring camp (which we do occasionally- mostly by demand) to hold this event. Not so! In fact, our all-girl dance parties are consistently sillier, louder, and definitely more fun without boys. With fantastic RBA (Rockbrook Appropriate) music pumping, tonight I saw every single camper and staff member up dancing… all hints of shyness long gone. The girls sang together, performed group dances (“Cha-Cha Slide” for example), and cut loose, hands in the air. They paused now and then for a drink of water- all that shakin’ makes you thirsty! -but danced pretty much non-stop for 2 solid hours. Wow! There’s a gallery of photos taken at the dance to check out. “Fantastic” was what Hope said at the end. “Super fantastic.”