Punctuating our Days

Camp salad bar selectionsMeals at camp punctuate our day at Rockbrook, as they do elsewhere, but here they are regular times for not only delicious food, but also songs, conversation, skits, surprise announcements, and even dance breaks. As I write these updates, I should probably mention what we’re eating more often because it’s so great. Rick and his team in the kitchen consistently serve balanced, artfully prepared meals that are made from scratch. His entrees, side dishes, sauces and dressings are all made in house, not reheated, frozen, processed institutional “products.” Rick just loves to cook, actually cook, and add his own creative ideas to the process. So here goes… today at breakfast Rick had a giant mountain of fried potatoes that he delicately spiced with a mix of garlic, white pepper, salt and fresh dill.  Those potatoes joined heaps of scrambled eggs and sausages, along with our regular breakfast bar of fruits, yogurt, granola and other cereals. Then for lunch (in between, of course, there was muffin break… Blueberry with cookie crumble topping, this time), Rick made us fried green tomatoes with a mild rémoulade sauce. This involved slicing dozens of tomatoes, soaking them in a saltwater bath, dipping them in a cornmeal/flour breading made with just the right amount of salt and pepper, and frying each slice until golden brown. Outstanding! Dinner was a little more mainstream with his homemade marinara sauce (onions, garlic and carrots first sautéd, with added crushed tomatoes and spices) and pasta with steamed broccoli.  Someone could write a daily food blog about all the wonderful things prepared for us at Rockbrook. Thanks Rick!

Camp child riding a horseDown at the Equestrian center, Liz, our Director of Riding, and her instructors have been working with the girls in mounted lessons throughout the day. The recent improvement in the weather has allowed our regular riding to charge ahead as well as a few make up lessons to be arranged for girls who missed their riding when it was raining. In addition to the beginners feeling more confident about walking their horses, the ground poles are out, and for some riders, the jumps and other gymnastics have been set up. The girls are returning for each lesson with added enthusiasm for riding, often a desire to ride a new four-legged equine friend, and generally “champing at the bit” 😉 to try the next skill, like learning to trot or the first techniques for jumping. It’s thrilling to see these girls enjoy riding this much.

Teen girls smiling at summer camp tetherball playing child Camp girls chatting in crazy creek chair

Blocks of free time also punctuate our days at camp. Tucked in between our four organized activity periods and our three meals and snack breaks, we have three periods each day when the girls can decide what they would like to do around the camp. This might mean heading down to the lake for a ride down the water slide, a quick game of tetherball, lounging in crazy creek chairs, playing a game of tennis, grabbing a quick shower, having a flip-flop race in the creek, reading, writing a letter, or enjoying the view from a red porch rocker. Not everyone or every camp might see it this way, but we believe camp should be a haven from the hectic pace of ordinarily life because kids benefit from the freedom to meander. Our girls feel empowered when they are given a chance to pursue their interests here at Rockbrook. It really is one of the joys of summer… To have time to enjoy all these great things to do with so many great people.

Camp Girls at sliding rock

Let’s take all the Middlers and their counselors, 93 people altogether, to Sliding Rock! That’s exactly what we did tonight, and it was a blast! We started out with a picnic supper in the forest, and then played a few field games to digest a little, but made our way to the rock around 7pm. Sliding Rock is officially closed that late, but going on our own (with our own lifeguards) is great because we can have the place to ourselves and the girls can easily slide multiple times. Tonight the water was higher than normal, and was so powerful, it was difficult to stand in it at the top of the rock. Several strong counselors anchored themselves to help the girls step out and begin their unusually fast ride down to the pool at the bottom. Our last stop of the evening was Dolly’s Dairy Bar. Combining mountain stream, toe-numbing water and ice cream might seem a little crazy (and doing it at night, even more so!), but when it’s this sweet, these girls didn’t hesitate to pick out a flavor. We all returned to camp a little cold and a little tired, but also full of that satisfied feeling of having had a great day at camp.

Girls at Dolly's

An Abundance of Fairies

Fairy House made from natural materials at summer campOne of the traditional songs we sing at Rockbrook is “In the Heart of a Wooded Mountain,” the title of which has become one of the phrases we use to refer to Rockbrook. Generations of girls, and now alumnae of the camp, understand this phrase intuitively after living among the old trees, moss and lichen covered rocks, and steep hills of this protected place. Another phrase from this song refers to Rockbrook as a “Fairyland of Beauty.” Here too, experiencing the splendor of camp, really feeling the wonder of its natural setting, is just magical. It’s the kind of place where friendly woodland fairies would live and do their work, making everything come alive with color, pattern and texture. With some imagination and free time to explore the woods, both of which are more than abundant around here, you can see evidence of fairies all over camp. It’s natural then for girls to help the many Rockbrook fairies by building them houses. Tucked into little corners by tree stumps, or perhaps under a broad fern frond, campers construct their fairy houses using special enchanted sticks, leaves, moss, and stones. It’s a delicate, and quite intentional process, but today the Rockbrook fairies gained two new luxury apartments thanks to a couple of juniors.

Camp Water Slide girlBlue sunny skies and warm 80-degree temperatures made our morning activities just delightful, particularly after yesterday’s morning rain. The equestriennes were back in the rings learning to post, the archery and riflery markswomen were adding to their target scores, and the Alpine Tower climbers were back on belay all morning long. High above, cabin groups of Juniors were taking their first ride on the RBC Zip Line, screaming and waving their arms with glee all along the 450-foot ride. At the lake, it was a parade of water sliders hurling themselves down “Big Samantha,” as our slide is affectionately, though informally, known. Leaps off the diving board, swimming laps to join the “Mermaid Club,” or just splashing around in a floating tube, were just right for others at the lake.

Creative headband made by camp girl Dancing campers at girls camp Learning to knit at summer camp

Elsewhere in camp, the Hodge Podge craft activity girls were making some serious headbands using pom-poms, ribbons, sparkly beads, feathers and gel pens. Were they practical, utilitarian head bands? Probably not, but colorful and fun? Absolutely! In the dance studio, set in the Lakeview lodge, girls were leaping and twirling across the hardwood floor practicing their dance moves, resting now and then for further instruction. Over in the shade of the back porch of the Curosty cabin, other girls were knitting, some with traditional knitting needles and others using the hoop-shaped “Nifty Knitters.” After selecting their favorite color of yard, it didn’t take long for these girls to learn the basic stitches needed to see a satisfying fabric of woven yarn emerge.

Camp girls smile going down sliding rockTonight we set another record when 120 people from Rockbrook picnicked in the Forest, slid down Sliding Rock, and invaded Dolly’s Ice Cream stand. The group was that large because we took all of the Middlers and Mini session Seniors, plus all of their counselors. Seven buses and five cars were needed to transport everyone, so it was quite a mob. A group this size, while making it louder and a little more rowdy, definitely made it more fun too. The enthusiasm for sliding down the rock, feeling the deep-down chill of mountain water splashing up your back, energized the whole scene as did the everyone’s screams and yelps. Four or five slides later and a short drive down the hill, we all made a stop at Dolly’s Dairy Bar for a yummy cup or cone of their custom “camp” flavors of ice cream like “Rockbrook Chocolate Illusion,” “Slick Rock Rumble,” or “Music Camp Obsession.” Any of the campers will tell you (and probably will when they see you!), “Dolly’s has the best ice cream ever!” You may have to stop by when you pick up your daughter from camp… 🙂

Ice Cream Eating Children

A Lot in our Neighborhood

Girls Camp Swimming
Rock CLimbing Girl

High above Rockbrook, but still on the camp property, is Castle Rock, a bright grey rock outcropping so large it’s visible all over the nearby river valley. You may have seen it if you looked up and east standing on the porch of the Hillside Lodge at camp. Once you hike to the top, up a beautiful wooded (also steep!) trail, there’s a spectacular view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. In addition though, Castle Rock offers us some really great rock climbing. There are several routes to choose from- a zig-zagging hand crack called “Shazam,” and delicate finger crack called “Dragon’s Tail,” and a long, high exposed route called “Bam,” to name a few. When we combine all of these routes with trips we can take into the National Forest, there’s a lot of rock to climb in our neighborhood! And climb we do!

Down at the Rockbrook lake, especially during the two free swim periods, girls are busy in several ways. Some are addicted to the water slide (affectionately known as “Big Samantha” …for no reason other than it being a name that’s mostly stuck!), shooting down and heading right back to the top along the boardwalk. Others are happily perfecting their dives and cannonballs off of the diving board. Some are swimming laps to be awarded membership in the “Mermaid Club,” which earns them a special treat at the end of the session. Today a group of girls was trying to climb up on a floating tube, while others were placidly floating by. In every case, the girls are enjoying the cool mountain spring water of the lake.

Journalism Camp Activity Girls

Meeting in the log cabin we call “Goodwill,” which is named after the plantation in South Carolina where Nancy Carrier, Rockbrook’s founder was born, there is a regular activity called “Journalism.” This is one of the more peaceful options for the girls at camp because it focuses on writing. It could mean creative writing- poetry, short stories, even movie themes -taking surveys or recording interviews around camp. What makes this activity particularly popular with the campers are the writing games they often play. One of these is called “M.A.S.H.” (which stands for “Mansion, Apartment, Shack, Hut”) and it involves the girls writing a list of words fitting into categories like where you’ll live, who’ll be your spouse, what your job will be, and then, using random selections from each category, fashioning a coherent story they can present to the group.  These can be pretty hilarious and fun for the girls, and even more so since they are supposed to predict the future life of the writer.  Once per session, the Journalism activity also publishes a camp-wide newspaper comprised of the favorite writings from the class.

A group of Juniors today were surprised with a trip out to Dolly’s Ice Cream stand for a sweet treat. If you haven’t heard of Dolly’s yet, you will from your girls. It’s a great, classic ice cream stand located near the entrance to the Pisgah Forest, a perfect spot for passersby to stop. Quite ingeniously, Dolly created special ice cream flavors, combinations of flavors and toppings really, and named them after all of the local summer camps. You’d be correct to guess that lots of juniors ended up ordering a cone of “Rockbrook Chocolate Illusion.” Very yummy stuff.

Summer Camp Counselor and Camper
Summer Camp Counselor and Camper eating ice cream

Silly and Chilly

If you’ve been following the photo gallery, you know dressing up in costume is a regular occurrence around here. Every other day or so, we have a special event, or just an announced theme, where we encourage the girls and the staff members to dress up or create a silly character. And the sillier, the better! You should see what these girls come up with when they combine hats, dresses, wigs, make up, paint, glasses and all kinds of improvised props like sticks, leaves and brooms.

Camp Children Dressed UpA great example of this was the “Disney Photo Shoot” the girls held on the hill after dinner, during the hour of free time we call “Twilight.” It’s a time when the girls can hang out, take showers, read, play tennis or tetherball, but when they can join an optional camp-wide game or activity. The “Photo Shoot” was just that: a chance to dress up and pose for a few photos. It seemed to be most popular with the Juniors (K-4th graders), but the counselors were also pretty excited about the chance to pose. I’m not sure how these costumes were “Disney-related,” but I’m sure if we asked, the girls would have a clear answer. In the end, of course, that doesn’t matter because dressing up is really just for the fun of it. It’s a chance to let go a little, to laugh with your friends about how crazy we look, and to be completely indifferent about what people might think. It’s camp!

Camp child doing gymnastics on balance beamDown in the gym, Elaine Trozzo our longtime gymnastics coach is working with the girls. After a thorough warm up with plenty of stretching on the deep blue padded runway (flexibility!), she has been helping them with beam techniques (balance!). Elaine and her staff of counselors are great at tailoring each class to every camper’s level of gymnastics experience. Beginners might be practicing on the low beam, while more advanced girls can work on the full-sized balance beam, for example. Each day the girls can enjoy a different gymnastics event. Maybe the high bar, the mini trampoline, or the tumbling runway- there will be helping hands, instruction and encouragement to make it great.

Camp children going down sliding rockIt looked a little cloudy as we pulled out of camp with all of the Senior girls loaded into 4 buses, but we were hoping the rain would hold off for a picnic and trip to sliding rock. As we drove along Looking Glass Creek in the forest though, it started to sprinkle a bit, so suddenly our picnic needed shelter. Fortunately, we knew just the place were we could all sit and eat while waiting for the rain to stop. You might guess that it was a bit chilly at this point, but did that prevent us from stopping at sliding rock? No way! The rain had finished, and dinner had really energized the girls. Yes, the water was “FREEZING!” but that didn’t prevent many of the girls from enjoying the plunge. I do think the squeals were partly due to the water temperature, but also from the sheer delight that comes from such an extreme experience. With Dolly’s Dairy Bar at the entrance to the Forest, we had to stop on the way home. It’s funny how despite being chilly and wet, nobody was too cold for an ice cream cone!

Full-Throated Fun

Camp girls exploring nature in the lakecamp girl swimming with a watermelonOne of the activities offered each day at Rockbrook is something called “Nature.” While rather broadly defined as anything involving the plants, animals and forests of camp, it’s a real treat for the campers. The notion of exploration, of discovery, describes it pretty well also, because mostly the campers are tromping around through the woods and finding fascinating bits of the natural world. With more than 200 acres of Rockbrook property available, the counselors have come up with loads of really fun ways for the girls to be true naturalists. They take stream hikes, stopping to turn over rocks looking for crayfish and salamanders. Like in this photo, they take nets and capture tadpoles at the lake to compare their stages of development. Or, they may simply hike through the woods, perhaps bushwhacking off-trail, to marvel at some of the huge old growth trees on the property.  Of course part of the fun is getting a little dirty and truly feeling the grit and grime of what they find, but that’s one of the things that helps the girls appreciate the beauty of it all, and for us, is something we can feel good about because of the benefits outdoor experience provides.

During one of the swimming activities this morning, the counselors greased up a watermelon for the girls and organized several fun relay races. There’s still plenty of silt coming down the creek and into the lake making the water cloudy, and this made the watermelon a little more difficult to find when it went under. Having to hunt for a hidden, submerged fruit is surprisingly fun because it can appear far from where you expect it. On a bright sunny day, this is good old fashioned fun, and it comes with a sweet tasty watermelon treat.

girls cheering their friends on sliding rockBeing Wednesday, the afternoon was our cabin day, a time when instead of each camper pursuing her individual schedule of regular activities, the cabin groups and their counselors stay together for special whole-cabin events. Each cabin decides what they would like to do. Many involve hiking, like along the gentle trail to Rockbrook Falls or the steep and severe trail up to Castle Rock overlooking the camp. Today, a few cabins played group games on the hill, a couple of Junior cabins played board games, and others relaxed on the porch of the Lakeview lodge making friendship bracelets. One cabin was caught doing outdoor yoga!

girls screaming on sliding rock girls showing power on sliding rock girls splashing into sliding rock pool

All of the senior cabins took a special trip right before dinner. Dressed in their bathing suits and with towels in hand, they loaded up the buses to head out to a special spot in the Pisgah Forest for a picnic. Our timing was excellent because when we arrived, we were the only people there to enjoy a wonderful grassy field, trimmed with awesome shade trees and just the right number of picnic tables. Rick packed us another amazing dinner of fresh corn on the cob, tortellini, warm rolls, and cool, bright red raspberries. The late afternoon sunshine was gorgeous and we had plenty of altitude to keep things breezy and comfortable. After eating, we couldn’t help but skip around the field and play an exuberant game of “Duck Duck Goose.” You might think teenage girls would be “too cool” for this kind of game, but not so with this crowd.

Our next stop on this outing was the main event: Sliding Rock. Always a favorite, this is the natural waterslide formed by Looking Glass Creek as it drops about 60 feet over a gently sloping rock into a deep pool. Going this late after the Forest Service lifeguards have left (we bring our own) is ideal because it avoids the typical crowds of summer, and thereby allows our Rockbrook girls to spend less time waiting in line and more time sliding.  Is the water cold?  You betcha!  That explains why most of the photos of the girls sliding end up showing them with their mouths open.  A few can remain poised enough to smile for the camera as they accelerate toward to bottom, but most are anticipating the plunge that awaits and just let loose with a wide-eyed, full-throated scream.  You can almost hear it in each shot.  Meanwhile, the rest of the girls waiting their turn are cheering their friends on, clapping and shouting.  It really is super exciting.

With our fill of sliding, there was one more stop to make, and it’s always a crowd pleaser.  On the way out of the forest we took that happy left turn into Dolly’s Dairy Bar so everyone could enjoy a cone of their favorite flavor of ice cream.  There were more screams and cheers of delight as we pulled into the parking lot and all the girls ran to join the line waiting to order.  Dolly’s has refined their serving so it took just a few minutes for everyone to be savoring (for some, gobbling) their treat. Yummy stuff.  It was dark by the time we made it back to camp, bringing our surprise night out to a close, but it was the kind of big group fun we love around here, and a really good time.

Girls at dolly's after sliding rock

Worth Preserving

Learning archery and arrows at summer campThe NC Legislature just passed a bill, and the Governor has signed it, establishing a commission to study the current length of the school year in North Carolina. For the last couple of years, there has been a broad debate about how much classroom learning our children should have. On one side there are those that call for more time in school, more minutes in class per day and more days per year, because it’s believed academic achievement is proportional to the amount of time in school and it’s been observed that children lose some of their academic progress over the summer when they aren’t studying. On the other side, there are those that value the traditional summer break from school (June through August) and understand it as an opportunity to learn equally important non-academic skills, so-called “life skills” or “personal skills.” These are things like being creative and independent, being friendly and outgoing, being resilient and determined, and so forth.

It’s easy to guess what side summer camps come down on. We cherish the summer months because they provide time for camp, naturally, but what’s important about that is all the important “whole child” learning camp provides even as our kids are having a great time. Check out these two articles we’ve already written on this issue: Longer School Year and Amy Chua and Camp.

There’s plenty to say about this, and I’m sure there will be even more debate as time goes on, but it’s worth remembering the real growth children experience at summer camp. When your Rockbrook girls return home, you’ll see it. They’ll be more excited about things, more likely to “dive right in,” and be quick to smile and laugh at the most common moments. They’ll probably seem just a little taller, in several different ways. A camp experience provides so many benefits that are difficult to reproduce at home and at school, it can make a profound difference in a girl’s overall education, and that’s something really worth preserving.

Girls ready to slide down the rock Brevard Sliding Rock Top

Girls love sliding rockToday, as part of our cabin day events, we took all of the mini session Middlers and Seniors to Sliding Rock. The Seniors took a morning trip and the Middlers an evening trip. With snacks packed (and a complete dinner for the Middlers— Rick’s chicken potato casserole, coleslaw, bacon, and nectarines— an amazing, delicious combination), we loaded all the buses for each trip into Pisgah. On both trips we went “after hours” so we could have the rock to ourselves and the girls could slide as many times as they wanted. The record I heard was 11 times. That’s a lot of slippin’ and slidin’! As the girls sit down at the top of the rock and they feel the cold water hit them in the back, it can be bit of a shock, the kind that brings out plenty of wide-mouthed screams. But as they begin sliding, pick up speed and get closer to the final plunge, just about everyone either has her hands in the air, is holding her nose, or is screaming her head off! Sometimes all three!

Topping off these trips, we just had to stop at Dolly’s so everyone could pick out a cup or cone of their favorite flavor of ice cream. Dolly’s is a wonderful ice cream stand located at the entrance to the Pisgah Forest that offers more than 50 different flavors, one of which is named after Rockbrook (there are 20 other camp flavors too), “Rockbrook Chocolate Illusion.” Yes, it’s an all-chocolate flavor with fudge, brownies and chocolate chips mixed in, but also mini-peanut butter cups to “lighten it up.” A little over the top, but yummy.

We are all having a great time… a getting a lot out of it!

Campers Happy at Dolly's

Lovin Camp 80s Style

Camper girls dancing and dressed to the 1980sLet’s flashback to the 80s. That’s exactly what the whole camp did on Tuesday night this week! The word went out at dinner that everyone should bust out their best 80s attire, that they should go back in time and transform themselves into jazzercise junkies and big-haired beauties ready to bop to the top pop of our favorite retro decade. There were so many tie-dyed, oversized t-shirts torn and slung from one shoulder, lycra tights and sweat bands, jean jackets and Ray-Ban sunglasses, it would make your head spin.  But is was also hilarious to see how well the girls could look the part and how many of the songs they could sing— 867-5309 Jenny, I Want Candy, Mickey, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, and of course, Thriller. The counselors had just as much fun as the campers dancing, making a conga line, and leading different group dance moves.  Just like working out in the 80s, we all were sweating and having loads of fun.

It’s been a couple of days of wildlife sightings here at Rockbrook. The coolest was a peregrine falcon spotted down near the Castle Rock Lodge. We’ve known that a falcon was nesting up on Dunn’s Rock, but this was the first time someone had seen it near camp. Up until 1999, the peregrine falcon was listed as an endangered species by the federal government, and even though it was de-listed then, the NC Wildlife Resources Commission has kept the bird on North Carolina’s list of endangered species because peregrine falcons have not recovered fully in North Carolina. Last night Sarah caught a glimpse of a gray fox cutting across the hill. We’ve seen these shy, bushy-tailed, nocturnal animals at camp before, but they are rare, so it’s a nice treat to be reminded that they are roaming around these hills. Rockbrook really is a wildlife sanctuary of sorts. With more than 200 acres of wooded land that remains undisturbed most of the year, it’s easy to see why.

Camper Girls Sliding Rock Campers Children sliding rock Camper kids sliding down the rock

Kids enjoying ice cream at summer campFor our Wednesday afternoon cabin day, the Juniors held a swim party down at the lake with Luau music and games. A perfect way to spend a hot afternoon, but also made complete by a quick trip over to Dolly’s for an ice cream cone. The Middlers’ cabin day was a trip to Sliding Rock up in the Pisgah National Forest. We carted the entire line, eighty something people, to the rock after dinner when we could have the place to ourselves. I think most of the girls were able to slide 6 or 7 times before it was too dark to continue. Naturally, we all had to stop at Dolly’s on the way home for a cone of “Rockbrook Chocolate Illusion,” or some other yummy flavor. Everyone was eager to pick their favorite flavor even after dunking ourselves in the cold Looking Glass Creek water of Sliding Rock.

Oh, I forgot to mention that Rick and his kitchen magicians amazed us all again with a dinner of homemade pork barbecue, beans, coleslaw, fresh cut fruit, and chips. It takes all day to prepare the barbecue, but it’s worth it. We’ve been hearing the “Cook’s” appreciation song sung a lot these days!

We Swim, Dress Up and Slide

It’s hard to say which flavor of muffin is most popular at camp. With Liz, our baker, creating so many new varieties from scratch— not to mention the traditional kinds— there are too many to choose from. There’s blueberry, but also key lime muffins, cranberry walnut, but also chocolate chip, and sprinkles, and white chocolate almond! Liz arrives at 6:30am each morning and gets to work right away to have the muffins baked and cooled by the mid-morning muffin break. Since there are more than 300 people (campers and staff members), that’s a lot of muffin trays, papers and individual dollops of batter to prepare! The muffins are always so good the girls literally run to the dining hall when they hear the bell announcing “Muffin Break.” For everyone at camp, Liz is a hero!

In fact, the entire kitchen crew are heroes at camp. Rick and his crew are really working hard to create great balanced meals for us, and this isn’t “camp food,” pre-processed, frozen, nuggets of whatnot fried and served with ketchup. Nope. All the main dishes are homemade, from the pizza dough, to the pancakes, to the chicken and dumplings. Rick puts together every meal’s menu, so for dinner yesterday we had baked tilapia, wild rice and a spinach salad. Each tilapia fillet was spiced individually, and the salad included a homemade sesame salad dressing. It’s also amazing how Rick takes time to make special vegetarian options. So for example, he made vegetarian dumplings combining green tomatoes, goat cheese and a light sauce with the dumpling dough. It was a pleasantly surprising combination, and with a big green salad, made a great meal. Sorry to talk so much about the food at camp, but after being away for a couple of nights camping, it’s hard not to!

Junior camp girls play dress up game Middler camps go to sliding rock trip camps senior girls go on swimming trip

Wednesday we took cabin photos before lunch and during rest hour. Gathering everyone in each cabin, dressed in their camp uniforms, and taking their photograph is a long tradition at Rockbrook. Part of the fun is that each cabin gets to select where it would like the photo taken and how to arrange each person. There are so many different places at camp to pose— on one of the many huge rocks, down by the lake, standing in a creek, or on a porch or set of steps. It’s fun for campers to keep their copy of their cabin photo and to collect them over the years in a scrapbook or camp photo album.

For Wednesday afternoon’s cabin day activities, the three lines split up. A few junior cabins went on short hikes to Castle Rock and Rockbrook Falls, but one stayed to put on a dress up fashion show in the Junior Lodge. Silly, silly stuff. Meanwhile, several cabins of seniors took a quick trip into the Pisgah Forest to take a dip in a swimming hole. The water was pretty chilly (like all the creeks and streams in these mountains), so it took a while for most of the girls to get wet. After dinner, all of the mini session Middlers took a trip up to Sliding Rock. Many of the girls had never been to Sliding Rock before, so it was particularly fun to see them zip down the rock and funny to hear them scream when they plunged into the cold water below. There are lots of photos of this in the RBC gallery. Naturally, on the way home, we had to stop at Dolly’s for a cone, a yummy sweet treat of some kind. Being all things chocolate, the Rockbrook camp flavor is still one of the most popular. It was a little bit of a late night for these Middlers by the time we got back to camp settled down, but we all enjoyed ourselves in true RBC fashion.