A Complete Blast

camp craft cabin interior
Camp fiber arts craft projects
Camp girls weaving on floor loom

One of the most historic buildings at Rockbrook is the log cabin named Curosty. Mrs. Carrier, Rockbrook’s founder, moved it to camp, along with another cabin named “Goodwill,” from the plantation where she was born in South Carolina. Both cabins easily predate her birth in 1889. They are authentic log buildings constructed from 12-inch thick logs set on a low stone foundation and equipped with a stone fireplace and chimney on one end. The Curosty cabin has a wooden porch jutting off the back, and the Goodwill cabin has a stone porch running along its front. Curosty briefly served as an office for the camp, but it soon became the home of one of the original craft activities: weaving. As you can see from these photos, this is still true today. A visitor can peek into Curosty at anytime, and there will be table-top and floor looms clicking away. Nowadays, the girls are doing other kinds of weaving, as this project board shows: Latch Hook, lanyard, and basket weaving for example.  Their projects include making belts, purses, bookmarks, potholders, sock dolls, dream catchers, pillows, yarn dolls, and “ojos de dios” (eyes of god)… All from many strands of colorful yarns twisted and tied, carefully intertwined and looped over and under each other. There are some very beautiful things being made.

Camp color run girl

In a community of all-girls, it can be fun sometimes to get a little messy. Tonight’s evening program gave us exactly that opportunity when we set up a “Color Run” to the gym. This was a crazy event where the campers ran (jogged actually) through a gauntlet-like row of counselors throwing different colors of non-toxic, washable, powdered paint. A few counselors squirted the campers with water guns to start off, so the paint stuck in very cool tie-dye-like patterns on the their shirts, shorts, arms and legs. The girls added colorful face paint to decorate themselves even more outrageously. For those campers not interested in getting this messy, there was also a “dry run” path down to gym.

There, our friend and local DJ Marcus had his light show and sound system set up for a fantastic color dance party. We had glow sticks and more glow paint to make the whole event even more brilliant. For the next 2 hours, we all had a great time dancing and jumping around, posing for silly photos, laughing and singing along to the pumping pop music, Only the occasional pause for a drink of water slowed us down.

And these girls know how to dance!  Maybe with no boys around and feeling more at ease generally, we had campers and counselors really working up a sweat. Here again, we have all these girls enjoying the freedom to be themselves, and experiencing first-hand, that doing so is a complete blast!

Camp color light dancing

Constantly Crafty

Camp girl smiling in yellow kayak with yellow helmet and pfd

Today at the lake several senior girls spent time working on their kayaking roll. They practiced the technique used to roll a kayak back upright after flipping upside down. As I’m sure you can imagine, these narrow whitewater kayaks, while being designed to cut through the water easily, are also prone to tipping. When a kayaker hits a river rapid and surfs over or through a wave, there’s a fine line between balancing just right and leaning so far that, in an instant, you’re upside down. At that point, there are two options: you can abandon ship and swim free of the boat by popping the grab loop on your spray skirt (doing what’s called a “wet exit”), or you can twist and snap your hips, and use your paddle to push against the water to roll back upright. Learning to roll is a tricky set of coordinated moves that requires a fair bit of practice to perfect. And practicing takes dedication and determination because it involves spending lots of time upside down in the lake. Some of these girls want to “get their roll” so badly, they will sign up for extra time practicing during their free periods (just before lunch, for example). Reports from the paddling staff are that a couple of girls have gotten it! Next week we’ll offer another kayaking trip to the Nantahala giving the girls a chance to try their new rolling skills in moving water.

If you’ve been following the photos posted each day in our photo gallery, you probably have a sense of how constantly crafty we are at Rockbrook. There are arts and crafts everywhere, and the girls are creating some really cool stuff. In the Hobby Nook cabin, for example, the campers in “Folklore” are finishing pillow dolls, each unique with different scraps of fabric sewn together, stuffed with polyester fluff, and decorated with buttons and yarn. Both ceramics studios have been phenomenally productive as well. The girls there are making bird houses, throwing mugs on the wheel, and sculpting whistles (yes, that actually work!) shaped like turtles and other animals (I think I saw a dragon too). The Hodge Podge girls have been unveiling spectacular tie-dye t-shirts, each with complex designs— hearts, spirals, stripes, and even smiley faces —and psychedelic color patterns. Over in “KIT” (“Keep in Touch”), the campers have been busy making cards, beautiful folded greeting cards from fancy ornate papers, fun stickers and stamps. And the weavers in Curosty continue to amaze. Their work is simply gorgeous.  When you see the armload of crafts your daughter has created, the products of her creativity and imagination, you will definitely be impressed.

Camp girl's cute sewing project
Clay snail made at camp
Girls holding cards made at camp

Tonight’s evening program was another surprise special event, a square dance with the boys of Camp High Rocks. After dinner, with hair and teeth thoroughly brushed, we loaded all of our seniors into 4 vans and 3 buses for the short trip up the mountain to High Rocks, while simultaneously, they transported their younger boys down to Rockbrook to hold a dance in our gym. Having two dances allows us to handle all these children! Stepping out of the van at High Rocks, one girl may have been feeling a little nervous because she turned to me and said, “I forgot what it feels like to be around boys.” It didn’t take long, though, for everyone to be smiling and having fun. With these nice girls, and the boys equally so, the whole event was lighthearted, even a little goofy as they giggled after “messing up” and grabbing the wrong arm or spinning in the wrong direction.

We took a short break after about an hour for brownies and lemonade… a chance to mingle a bit and recharge for a few more dances. On the drive home, one senior in my van said she had a great time, even enjoying the dance more than the “regular” dances we have with other camps. Bluegrass might not be their favorite genre of music, but these girls appreciated the chance to talk with the boys, and to “have something to do,” as one senior put it. For all the best reasons, it was a wonderful evening.

Square Dancing Children
Camp square dancinf kids
Summer Campers square dancing

Colorful Treasures

Child glazing a pottery teapot

The glazes are out! In both pottery studios at camp, the girls have now finished many of their pieces— the bowls, soap dishes, textured tiles, cups, mugs, and plenty of sculpted animals —and are excited to give them a little color.  There are 25 or so different colors to select and then paint onto their clay creations before Katie and her pottery staff carefully stack them into the kilns for firing.  That’s where everything is transformed into beautifully shiny (now colorful) works of art.  Glazes blend together, maybe drip and run a little, and change color quite dramatically, so it’s never 100% predictable what a glazed piece of pottery will look like when it emerges from the kiln. It’s so exciting to find out! Later in the week, after everything is fired, we hold a big “Pottery Pick Up” day for the girls to come claim their work.  All the finished pieces are laid out on tables so everyone can relish the creativity and see the huge variety of items the campers have produced over the session.  Don’t be surprised if you have a box of pottery treasures to transport home next week.

Kids Camp Canoe Trip

The weather this morning was so wonderful, Emily decided to announce a canoe trip on the French Broad River. Warm sunshine is always an inspiration for a paddling trip and today that was true too because it took very little time to fill the trip with 12 excited Juniors. Also, the girls were enthusiastic to get out on the river after learning their canoe strokes on the lake. They paddled a section of the river right near camp, a short section that kept them on the water for about an hour and a half… just about the right amount of time. Canoeing is one of the adventure activities that Rockbrook has offered since its founding. It’s one of the classic outdoor pursuits that, with this kind of introduction, can become a lifelong treasured hobby.

Children at summer camp square dancing

After last week’s Saturday night dance, we changed it up tonight and held a square dance with the boys at Camp High Rocks, which is located just up the mountain from Rockbrook. You might think that going to a square dance would require less primp and prep, but there’s still hair to braid, plaid to find, and for some, boots to brush. We held 2 dances simultaneously, one at our gym for the older girls and the other outside on the High Rocks tennis courts. The idea of square dancing with boys can cause a little anxiety… not really knowing how to do it… having to hold hands! …but everything is lighthearted, and after all, part of the fun is making mistakes and laughing when you spin the wrong direction or grab the wrong hand. The counselors are dancing too, so this also helps the campers relax and enjoy themselves.  In the end, despite being a little new to everyone, and maybe a little challenging as a result, we had a wonderful evening.

Unconditional Support

Folks who arrive at Rockbrook are often struck by how being here, even for a short visit, feels so different from ordinary life. “Everyone is so friendly and enthusiastic,” and “Everyone seems so happy” are comments we often hear. It’s true; camp life is charged with a special form of community energy, one defined by caring, compassion, and kindness.

Girls supporting each other

Walking around camp today, I thought of another reason to explain this deeply felt contentment the girls enjoy here at Rockbrook. It’s because the collective spirit here, our “Rockbrook Spirit,” provides all of us unconditional support. Everyday, no matter the activity or the outcome, we know that our “true self” will be accepted, appreciated and respected by those around us. Rockbrook is simply a friendly and welcoming place where everyone is included, encouraged and supported. We’ve written before how camp is an antidote for “Community Deficit Disorder,” and as such is also a source of great contentment for girls. They will tell you “it’s so much fun,” or that they simply “love it,” but I think it’s this community spirit that’s really at work.

Zip Line Swing
Canopy Tour Bridge Kid

Everyday at Rockbrook includes adventure too. It might be hiking through the woods, climbing a rock face, paddling a canoe, or even facing something personally challenging like jumping off the diving board at the lake. This morning at breakfast, Christina announced that she would be taking groups of girls down our zipline throughout the day. Campers from all three age groups could sign up for an activity period (instead of whatever activity they had already scheduled) and take a couple of zippy rides in the woods high above the back of the camp. These two photos nicely evoke what this entails: some special equipment, walking across a high, rather wiggly, plank suspension bridge, and flying along a steel cable on a pulley. It’s at first a little scary to step off the launching rock, but with en-couragment and support, it’s all smiles in the end.

Perhaps a different kind of adventure, the evening’s activity got everyone excited, the kind of top-of-your-lungs screaming excitement that happens around here— a dance with the boys of Camp Carolina.  In fact, we held two simultaneous dances, the Juniors and Middlers staying here in our gym to dance with the younger boys, and our seniors loading up buses to drive over for their dance in Camp Carolina’s dining hall. We also made a “Dance Alternative” activity available for those girls who thought dancing wasn’t their thing. Overall these dances are fun for the girls because they are mostly about jumping around with your friends, being silly and singing to the music. They are the kind of lighthearted entertainment we all enjoy.

Camp Girls Dance
Camper Dance Moves
Girls Camp Dance

A Recipe for Community

Creativity Dancers

One feature of camp life at Rockbrook that makes it so special, so meaningful for the girls and indeed for everyone here (counselors, adventure guides, kitchen and maintenance staff alike), is the strong sense of community we all enjoy. It’s a really cool thing to experience. As we all share so much together- eating, playing, making, singing, the outdoor environment, even the weather -we grow closer everyday. Combine that full-time shared experience with non-stop fun activities and events led by caring, admirable role models, and mix in time for heartfelt conversations with people who are relaxed and being their “true selves,” and our recipe for community takes shape. It’s this sense of community- inclusive, noncompetitive, caring, compassionate and kind- that forms the core of Rockbrook’s philosophy. And there is real, significant power in this kind of community; experiencing it teaches us how to be positive and brings out our best. So when your daughter returns home after camp talking about her friends and how much fun she had, you’ll also know why she’s feeling so good about herself, is a better communicator, and is more positive and responsible. Rockbrook has become her community, her camp.

Horseback Summer Camp Girl
Camp Girl Aiming a Rifle

Have you heard about the freshly baked muffins that Katie, our awesome baker, makes for us each day? Between the first and second activity periods each morning, Katie surprises the camp with a different flavor of muffins, and she’s not shy about trying unique, almost off-the-wall varieties. Today for example, she presented Blackberry Mint with Chocolate sprinkles. Earlier in the week, she made Pumpkin Chocolate Chip, and Banana Streusel flavors to balance more traditional muffins like Blueberry and Lemon. It’s no wonder that “Muffin Break” is a favorite time of the day.

Down at the rifle range, the girls have been blasting the black through stacks of paper targets. With coaching from Leah, Deanna and Cliff, and now with two new, perfectly sighted Marlin rifles, there are very excited young marksmen down there shooting. Some of the girls have been scoring in the 40s (a bullseye is 10 points and 5 bullets are shot per target), proud of their developing riflery skills.

At the Rockbrook equestrian center, there are girls learning to walk, trot, canter and jump their horses, sharpening their horseback riding skills everyday. For both the complete beginners and the more advanced riders, there are just the right lessons, horses and instructors ready to go. The recent sunny, dry weather has made it ideal for the horseback riding team to keep everyone involved riding, and caring for the horses during the “Stable Club” meetings.

One way to make a dance party fun is to encourage dressing up, but perhaps surprisingly, it can be even more fun if it’s a girls only affair. That’s exactly what we did tonight when our friend “DJ Dawg” Marcus came over to mix music for us in the gym for a costume dance party. With no boys around, with nobody to scrutinize or be scrutinized by, the girls can dress a little sillier, truly cut loose on the dance floor, and scream as loud as they want when their favorite song starts. All girls means all smiles and no nerves. It means dancing simply for the pure joy of it. This kind of dance is a great way to learn dance moves too- how to whip your hair, “Cha Cha Slide,” and shake it all over, hands in the air. By the end of the night, we were all a little hot and sweaty, but felt good having had this much fun together.

All Girl Dance at Summer Camp

Proud of These Girls

Horseback riding camp girl

Horseback riding was back in full swing today under bright blue skies and without a drop of rain to speak of. Kelly and her team of dedicated instructors were excited to move their classes from the porch of the equestrian office and inside the barns, where they’ve been meeting during that spell of soggy weather, to back outside for mounted lessons. The riders in every lesson were itching to ride too, the beginners ready show what they’ve been learning about the horses’ tack (saddles, reins and bits) and the more advanced riders thrilled to be meeting a new horse. A big part of riding is creating a level of trust, friendship really, between a horse and rider. The best riders “click” with their horses, communicating clearly, respecting and sympathizing, so it’s always a great thing to see Rockbrook girls out riding and demonstrating this kind of intimacy with their horses. Almost 100 girls rode today, so it was a big day of horseback riding down at the barn!

High Ropes Course Climbing child
Child with big gun

The Alpine Tower came alive with all kinds of high ropes course adventure today as well. Driving up the north driveway of camp, you may have spotted in the woods this giant, 50-foot climbing tower made of massive telephone poles, cables, bolts and rope. Up close, and particularly when there are (up to six at a time) girls climbing all over it, it’s even more impressive because there is such a variety of climbing challenges to try. There are swinging logs, tall cargo nets, climbing ropes, inclined poles, wiggly planks, and a strenuous overhanging climbing wall to choose from. At the top of the Tower, there’s a triangular shaped deck where the staff have placed a poster for girls to write their name as having successfully made the climb. Coming down from the platform is simple. Every climber is on belay when climbing, so when ready, the belayer lowers her slowly down on the belay rope. Like being on a big rope swing, it’s a fun ride.

At the rifle range, which is also set back in the woods away from camp, the girls are focused on the upcoming riflery tournament against the Camp Carolina boys. The instructors are hoping to match last session’s win, so they are really working, shooting hundreds of rounds everyday. Cliff, who is a retired law enforcement trainer and our marksman coach this summer, is helping the girls with their shooting technique as well as keeping the rifles perfectly sighted and maintained. And his coaching is paying off! Some girls are consistently scoring in the mid 30s (out of a possible 50 points- 5 shots, with a bullseye scoring 10 points) and a couple are clustering shots and scoring in the 40s. Very impressive accuracy and precision!

Campers making tie dye t-shirts

Get ready for tie dyes! The craft activity we call “Hodge Podge” has been cranking through tie-dye t-shirts giving everyone a chance to twist, fold and squirt colorful dyes. The process begins with soaking a plain white t-shirt (though a few other cotton items have found their way) in a solution of urea. The girls then use rubber bands to bind folds of the still wet fabric tight enough that when they apply different colors of dye, some parts absorb less dye than others. The shirts then sit overnight. It’s always fun to see what cool patterns are revealed when the they are finally unfolded and rinsed.

Tonight was a camp dance night as we hosted the young boys from Camp Carolina in our gym, and our oldest girls rode over to dance in their dining hall. For years we have done it this way, holding two simultaneous dances to manage better so many children and to play more age appropriate music at each venue. The senior girls seemed most excited about the event, but in a great lighthearted, Rockbrook, way. Instead of fancy outfits, most of them wore campy clothes, t-shirts, even crazy costumes. Most brushed their hair, I suspect, but face paint and glitter were more prevalent than make up. When came to dancing, it was just as silly, with small clusters of girls laughing and jumping together to the beat, almost oblivious to the (much more shy) boys. These are strong young ladies who know how to have good fun. You should be proud!

teenage campers dancing at camp dance

Camp Mastery

Girls yoga class pair pose

Many of the girls at Rockbrook are becoming yoga masters thanks to MK and her extraordinary yoga class. Set in the beautiful, stone hillside lodge (which by the way would be a nice place for a wedding ceremony), there’s plenty of room on the hardwood floor for purple yoga mats. MK plays calm music and begins each class with stretching and relaxation exercises, before introducing 2 or three new Yoga poses. There seems to be an endless variety: tree, half and full pigeon, lotus, warrior, eagle, plank, child, frog and bridge poses. Some poses require two people to balance and harmonize together, adding even more challenge and interest.

Camp girls climbing tower wearing polka dot pants

The alpine tower climbing activity is likewise producing master climbers. Many girls have by now had multiple chances to climb, to work their way up, over and around the different obstacles of the tower. They’ve leaped across the Swinging Logs, scrambled along the Cargo Nets, and carefully balanced up the Corporate Ladder. They’ve done pullups over the Squirrel’s Nest, and enjoyed the ride down from the 50-foot-tall platform at the top. Some girls fearlessly flip upside down for a moment while being lowered (something they call doing a “spiderman”), while others simple hold on anxiously ready to reach the ground.

The afternoon brought the return of the “Redbird Olympics,” an all-camp event of games and relay races we hold down on our lower sports field. We first divided everyone into three teams (Red, White and Blue) making sure to include campers from all three age groups on each team. Each team then built their team spirit by dressing in their color, adding some face and body paint, and creating a team chant. While members of each team competed in different races, the others cheered them on. Pairs of girls tied a leg together for a 3-legged race. Other pairs squared off for a water balloon toss. Groups of 8 raced to thaw a frozen t-shirt by pulling and squeezing it, but also putting it under arms, on bellys and other warm body parts. Oddly, these were races, but we didn’t keep score as the groups rotated through the different activities, making it irrelevant which team “won” in the end. Funny how things can be more fun if you don’t keep score.

three-legged race kids
frozen t-shirt relay race
camp girls enjoying slip n slide

The highlight of the afternoon, however, was the slip ‘n slide and shaving cream battle that followed the relays. With bright, warm and sunny weather, getting wet and flying down a long, slightly soapy, piece of plastic is just great fun. Some girls launched themselves on their stomachs and others on their knees, but it didn’t take long for many of them to be sliding the entire 100 feet of the plastic slide. When the bottles of shaving cream came out next, it was nothing but squeals of delight as the girls raced around trying to slap white foam on each other. Soon arms and backs were slippery and white, but faces and hair quickly followed, with some girls ending up completely covered in shaving cream. Mastery again! Nobody was safe from getting at least a little of the white stuff on them, staff members and directors alike! The girls absolutely loved this whole scene. You can tell by that mischievous gleam in their eyes and the huge grin on their faces. Be sure to scroll through the photo gallery; you’ll see what I mean.

Camp shaving cream fight
Camp girls and shaving cream

With everyone smelling so good after a quick shower, we announced during dinner that (surprise!) tonight we would have a square dance with High Rocks Camp for Boys. Our Senior girls would go there and they would bring their younger boys to Rockbrook so we could hold two dances simultaneously. Everyone was a bit shy at first, but with the help of the caller, soon gained confidence and learned the moves of the Virgina Reel, and basic square dancing. After a quick breaks for cookies and pink lemonade, the last few dances were even more lively and fun. A the end of the night on the bus ride home, I could tell that what began initially as skepticism about this being a “square” dance, had changed into chatter about how much fun they had meeting the boys and laughing at the mistakes everyone was making while dancing. These Rockbrook girls are so friendly and always quick to smile, they know how to enjoy themselves.

Wow, what a great day in the Heart of this Wooded Mountain!

Learning LNT

Leave No Trace Mark and Tara

Today Rockbrook welcomed Mark Ardagna and Tara McCarthy from the Leave No Trace organization. They are currently traveling around the country on an e-tour, providing educational programs for young people that use the Leave No Trace principles to promote responsible enjoyment of the outdoors. Rockbrook was very fortunate to have Mark and Tara spend the day with us and present several workshops to our campers. Leave No Trace (LNT) is a nonprofit, educational organization dedicated to “responsible enjoyment and active stewardship of the outdoors by all people.”  It advocates seven principles (not so much rules) to minimize negative impact on the environment from outdoor activity weather it be a camping trip in the woods or simply walking your dog in a city park.

The seven Leave No Trace Principles

Addressing these principles, Mark and Tara discussed with the campers what it means to plan and prepare for outdoor activity, the importance of traveling and camping on durable surfaces, disposing of waste properly, preserving what we find outdoors, safely minimizing campfire impacts, how to respect wildlife, and being considerate to other people when out.  They led an observation activity where the girls broke into small groups and studied a small area of the forest enclosed by a circle of string.  The girls were surprised just how many different organisms were in such a small area of the forest, and how the more they looked, the more they noticed.  Imagining the entire forest, something many, many times larger than their small circle of string, the girls really understood how following the LNT principles can have such a huge impact. Everyone really enjoyed meeting Mark and Tara and we all appreciated learning so much from them.

Tower climber blindfolded
Camper upside down climbing the alpine tower

Hidden in the woods along a short trail behind our gym is Rockbrook’s Alpine Climbing Tower. This is a 50ft-tall high ropes course with almost 100 different climbing challenges available for the girls. They receive their first introduction to rock climbing here by learning about the safety equipment (helmet, harness, shoes, carabiners, etc.), the belay commands to make sure their belayer (the person holding the belay rope) is ready and working, and the important climbing techniques needed to make progress up the tower or rock. Girls of every age group can sign up for climbing and try the tower, from the littlest Juniors to the tallest Seniors. In addition to climbing one of the routes up the Alpine Tower or tackling one of the challenge elements like the “Cargo Net,” the girls can try and climb blindfolded.  This of course adds a degree of difficulty to the climbing, but it also tends to calm you down and slow you down, thereby allowing you to concentrate on the climbing instead of how high in the air you are.  It’s a strange wonderful feeling and a great climbing exercise.  There’s also a trick the girls often do after they climb and as their belayer lowers them on their belay rope.  They pause mid-air and flip upside down, “Spiderman” style… in true Rockbrook fashion, “just for the fun of it.”

Girls dancing at middler camp dance
Senior campers enjoy camp dance

The highlight of the evening, as you may be able to guess from these two photos, was our dance with Camp Carolina for Boys, our two dances I should say because we held two simultaneously: one here at Rockbrook for the younger set, and one over there for our older girls. We’ve found over the years that splitting the girls and boys up by age allows us to adjust the music and the feel of the dance to match the different interests of 13-year-old and an 8-year-old, for example. Some girls are happy to opt out of the dances altogether, so we always provide an easy way for them to do that, to team up for a “dance alternative” activity of some sort involving an art project and snack.

These dances are a lot of fun for the girls, even if they sometimes start out with a few jittery nerves as well. Fortunately, the counselors are there to help with this, to dress a little silly, not making a big deal about their looks, to be carefree about their dance moves (again, goofy is good!), and to encourage group dances. No pressure, just the fun of being together.

To Build a Fire and Stack Apples

Learning to build a fire at summer camp

o you know how to build a fire? Well if your camper signed up for the activity we call “WHOA,” which stands for “Wilderness Hiking Outdoor Adventure,” there’s a good chance she’ll have learned to here at camp. The counselors talk about the importance of heat, fuel and oxygen. They demonstrate the importance of dry wood (having it pass the “snap test”), and they give plenty of examples of how to stack the wood to insure the smallest twigs light first and the heat generated will rise up and ignite the larger sticks. The girls pick up on it pretty quickly, and when there’s the prospect of roasting a marshmallow, they are surprisingly motivated. 🙂

Kids Hiking Summer Camp

It has been such amazing weather these past few days! Cool in the mornings with a little fog early, and then warm but not too hot in the afternoon. We had one of those welcome afternoon thunder showers today, making everything moist and cool. With the creeks up again, Jessi decided to take a group of girls on a hike to Rockbrook Falls before lunch. This is the largest waterfall on the Rockbrook property, and is formed as Dunn’s Creek cascades down below Dunn’s Rock. You can see it on the camp map. The girls first hike the trail to the creek, but then make their way upstream by hopping from rock to rock, back and forth across the falling water. The falls are a good ways up and really beautiful to see.

Kid Win it summer camps game
Kids Summer Camper games

OK, if not fire building, what about stacking 4 apples in a column? Juggling feathers? Eating an oreo cookie without using your hands, and that happens to be placed on your forehead (!)? These are just some of the games we all played after lunch in our all-camp “Minute to Win It” game. Starting with each age group in their lodge, each cabin dressed as a team and competed in several different crazy relay races. Ordinary items like golf balls and boxes of tissues became props for physical challenges. It was wonderful to see how much fun we could have, how hard we could laugh, trying to do these tasks. Even those of us watching, get a kick, for example, out of seeing someone being wrapped up in toilet paper! It was good camp fun, being with friends and enjoying silly games you wouldn’t likely do at home.

Summer campers kids dancing

After dinner was a highlight of the session for many of the girls, for the senior girls in particular— the dance with Camp Carolina. We held two simultaneous dances with our Seniors going to Camp Carolina and their Middler and Junior boys coming to Rockbrook. Splitting like this made the dances less crowded and allowed us to tailor the music for each age group. The showers at camp got a real workout before the dance, and all 200 hair brushes got used as well. It’s quite a phenomenon! Overall, the whole affair was lighthearted and fun. Tonight the counselors dressed up like traffic crossing guards, and we saw more camp tie dye t-shirts than anything else. Group dancing is mostly the name of the game so everyone can be included.  As you might guess, the girls stick together— safety in numbers!

It was a little late for us, but what a night to wrap up another great day in the “heart of a wooded mountain.”

Summer campers girl dancing