Say hello to Casey Blair, Rockbrook’s new Program Director!
Everyone at Rockbrook is thrilled to announce that Casey Blair will begin serving as the full-time Program Director at camp. If you’ve attended camp recently, you already know Casey because over five years she has been a cabin counselor, Line Head, lifeguard, and most recently the Staff Coordinator. In addition to joining the team of directors, she now will be planning and organizing camp activities and summer events, managing the equipment and supplies for activities, and assisting special program staff members.
Casey was born and raised in Louisville Kentucky. She attended Centre College in Danville, KY, where she received a Bachelors of Art, majoring in studio art with an emphasis on ceramics. After that, she did an internship at the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, working with school groups. From there, she went to University of Louisville, where she received a Master’s in the Art of Teaching (MAT) degree, becoming certified to teach elementary school grades K-5. She did her student teaching at Farmer Elementary and worked with 1st and 4th graders.
Casey is very excited to work at camp year round. She is eager to start planning for next summer, and “getting to talk about camp everyday.” She explained, “the campers keep me coming back— getting to know them, seeing what they have learned at camp and watching how much they have grown throughout the school year is always fun.”
When asked what she loves about camp, she said, “It’s the people. I really love the kind of community that we cultivate here. It is open, welcoming, and encouraging. And of course, I love the North Carolina mountains.”
Welcome everyone to Rockbrook Camp for its 2014 summer sessions! This is perhaps the most exciting day of the year for all of us at camp because it’s when camp finally comes back to life, when the enthusiasm of campers, the energetic anticipation of staff members, and the many months of careful planning by Rockbrook’s directors join forces again to create this wonderful place. Everyone looks forward to the opening day of first session, especially those of us that think about camp all year long… campers, counselors and directors alike. So welcome! This is going to be a great summer.
In these blog posts, we will report bits and pieces of camp life. In addition to the photo gallery (which you access only after logging into your parent account), these daily posts will provide a little detail about what’s going on at Rockbrook. They won’t be a “full report,” so to speak, but instead something that comes to mind as I recall the day, or feel compelled to comment on a photo or idea drawn from the people and events of camp. I hope you enjoy reading.
“A few butterflies” is how one mom described her daughter’s feeling this morning as the campers were checking in. Even when this might be a girl’s 3rd or 4th year coming to camp, those first moments driving up, meeting your counselor and experiencing the buzz of opening day— it can jangle the nerves. At the same time, it’s a happy feeling because there are smiles everywhere… So many examples of “run-scream-hug your camp friend from last summer” kinds of moments, friendly introductions, and excitement. There might be some jitters at the beginning, but with something this big and enthusiastic that’s pretty normal.
And of course it takes very little time for jitters to soften into a new smile and feelings of belonging. The feeling of camp is just infectious that way.
A little rain overnight made the ground this morning a little soft when we opened (especially our sports field parking area!), but as the morning progressed, the sun held brightly the rest of the day. The girls settled into their cabins, set up their bunks and began to explore Rockbrook. One new find was the Gaga pit. I’ll explain that more later, but think of it as an arena to play a special version of dodgeball. It addition, the campers staying on the lower line of cabins were surprised to find the newly renovated bathroom we call the “Be-Bop.” The “Half-Pint” cabin likewise was rebuilt last fall, making it the newest of our 25 cabins at camp.
The sunny weather made everyone’s “swim demonstrations” pleasant and fun. Our chilly lake, which is kept “mountain stream cool” by the creek that feeds it, can be a little shocking at first, but the encouragement from all of the lifeguards and the directors, as well as the vigor of the swimming itself, make it all a thrill. Bright warm sunshine made it all the better. The results? Everyone who tried, passed and received a green swim tag.
Following the afternoon swims, camp tours, games in the lodges and cabin meetings, as well as a brief assembly on the hill to learn songs and meet this session’s Hi-Ups, we all gathered in the gym to watch the activity instructors and counselors perform short skits and songs to introduce all of the options available to the campers during the activity periods. This included costumes that integrated special gear, like the climbing instructors in this photo, music, props and even a few dance steps from some. These skits are also a neat way for the campers to see that their counselors, just like them, are having fun by acting silly, laughing and being supportive all the while. I did notice about 4 different references to the recent Disney movie Frozen… It’s just a hunch, but that might be a major theme all summer long!
It’s been a perfect opening day of camp. We’re all excited and ready to go.
We’re so pleased and proud to announce that Clyde Carter, our amazing Outdoor Adventure Director, has been named the Outstanding Experiential Education Teacher of the year by the Association for Experiential Education (AEE). This is an international award recognizing that Clyde has “demonstrated an active passion for experiential education principles and theories,” has “practiced innovative, experiential educational methodologies,” and has consistently shown “the highest ethical standards in working with students.” We knew Clyde had been nominated for this prestigious award, and recently that he had won. In late November, he accepted the award at the AEE International conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.
In addition to working full time in the summer as Rockbrook’s Adventure Director, Clyde is an Associate Professor of Recreation/Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education at Brevard College. In 1989, with encouragement from Jerry Stone, Rockbrook’s Director at the time, Clyde came to Brevard to establish the College’s Outdoor Leadership major, one of it’s most popular offerings. He helped develop Brevard College’s Voice of the Rivers (VOR) program in 1997 and led expeditions in 1999 and 2008. Throughout the year you can find Clyde teaching courses on Risk Management, Experiential Education, Wilderness Leadership, as well as Rock Climbing and Kayaking.
This is a very special day for Jeff and Sarah Carter because it’s their wedding anniversary. It’s also a special day for Rockbrook because the Carters are the only owners and directors of camp who were also married at Rockbrook as well. So in a way, it’s Rockbrook’s wedding anniversary too!
Here are just a couple of photos from the wedding— August 17, 1996. Friends and family members came for the whole weekend with some staying in cabins. The ceremony was held in the upper lodge and the reception in the dining hall.