So Many Fabulous Options

camper teach girl to tie climbing rope knowOur morning began as any normal day does at camp… with a hot breakfast filled with lots of singing and enthusiasm! As the day went on, though, the campers were given different opportunities to challenge themselves by choice! A few of the trips that were offered today were up to our own zip line course, kayaking and canoeing trips out to the Nolichucky and French Broad rivers, and a hike to Quentin Falls! With so many fabulous options, it again became tricky for our campers to choose what they wanted to do most. Trips set out and the rest of our girls settled into their activities. Here at Rockbrook, our girls get to choose which activities they want to take for their three-day activity rotations. The night before a new rotation, girls head to their cabins while counselors come around signing them up for the four activities of their choice.

Throughout the day girls worked on looms, made colorful jelly soaps, threw different sized creations on the potter’s wheel, and rehearsed for our end-of-the-session camp play! No matter which activities the girls were in, they were fully invested! For Twilight this evening, we also had a variety of counselor-led events in which the girls could participate. First, there were games of pickleball going on at our new pickleball courts! Girls from different lines came down and tried a new sport. They all enjoyed trying something new and even improved their skills. Next, we had a guided meditation session in the Junior Lodge. After a long and busy day, sometimes it’s nice to sit back and reflect. Girls grabbed a yoga mat, sat down, closed their eyes, and listened to soft words spoken by one of our fabulous counselors.

girls wrapping yarn for weavingThe last option offered was a Zumba class in the gym! Once again, girls from different lines followed the fun dance moves lead by another one of our talented counselors. On top of all of these fun events, there were still some girls playing in the creek, rolling down the hill, and reading on the porch of the Hillside Lodge.

To wrap up the night, the girls got to work on the Carrier Pigeon for evening program. The Carrier Pigeon has been a Rockbrook tradition since at least 1924. With Rockbrook’s 100 year birthday coming up in just 2 years, Sarah Carter and camp mom Marie Brown have been hard at work looking over precious Rockbrook history. The Carrier Pigeon is sent to campers every winter and features a variety of photos throughout the summer. In the old Carrier Pigeons, girls would receive theirs at the end of the summer and it would feature literary work from many girls who attended camp. This year we are trying to incorporate more literary works, such as songs and narratives, into our 2019 Carrier Pigeon.

Girls all over camp spent time tonight reflecting on their camp experiences. They were given a pen and paper along with the freedom to write about whatever they wanted. Girls excitedly turned in their work wondering if they will see it featured in the Carrier Pigeon come winter.

camp gymnastics girls

The Spirit of Rockbrook

Every year, Rockbrook sends out a publication entitled the Carrier Pigeon, which has, in the past, featured poems, photos from the summer, camp memories, and cabin photos. The Carrier Pigeon is sent out during the off season, so that campers can have “mem’ries of Rockbrook all winter long.” Tonight, our campers had the chance to write down their own memories, poems, or drawings to submit for the 2019 Carrier Pigeon. To spark their minds about Rockbrook and what makes camp special, today each of the three lodges had a poster board with a different question for campers to answer:

1. What makes Rockbrook a special place?

Even before you open your eyes in the morning, the natural environment of camp calls out in the form of leaves rustling, frogs croaking, birds chirping, and rain falling. Everywhere you look at camp, you either see the lush forest, ancient rocks, or the shimmering creeks. This close interaction with nature that campers have every day is unusual for many compared to life at home, and it allows campers to have a deeper sense of place and connection to the environment than they otherwise might have. Connection to other people also makes Rockbrook a special place. Since technology is limited at camp for campers and staff alike, we are able to have more face-to-face interactions and are able to build genuine relationships with the whole community. According to our campers, Rockbrook is special because they can be apart from their friends for a year, but pick up again the next summer as though no time has gone by. It is our mission for campers to walk away from camp with some of their very best friends, but we also hope they return to camp to continue building their connections to people and place

2. What is your favorite Rockbrook memory?

While many camper and counselor memories connect back to the special place and relationships of camp, some memories can be of things that are uniquely Rockbrook. For instance, trying out for the camp play for the first time and getting the lead role, or frolicking in the stream at the bottom of the hill. 

Many campers look back fondly on Sliding Rock and Dolly’s cabin day trips, as well as other off-camp trips like rafting the Nantahala. Another favorite memory and time of the summer is the Fourth of July, when camp turns into one big birthday party celebration for America, replete with field games, face paint, costumes, barbeques, and fireworks. Throughout the summer, campers are able to make memories small and large that will stay with them for their whole lives.

3. What makes a Rockbrook Girl?

In addition to being a good friend, a Rockbrook girl is kind and loving to others. She is open minded, honest, and always willing to bend her back to help a friend without asking for credit. She has a great, positive attitude, and is not afraid to embarrass herself, even at a camp-wide dance. This spirit of love, kindness, and carefree living is what we strive for at Rockbrook, and is embodied by every camper that comes to the heart of our wooded mountain. Living in community and having the time to try new things naturally instills these traits in campers and counselors alike, fostering a close-knit culture of supportive, empowered females that stays connected until next summer when camp starts again.