It’s hard to believe it, but our 2018 summer season has come to a close. After our glorious though short time together, it’s now time for everyone at camp to say farewell to Rockbrook for another year.
It’s really been an amazing summer, one that I think everyone will remember fondly. We could try to measure it by counting rounds of ammunition shot at riflery, pounds of clay shaped into pottery vessels, or muffins consumed during our mid-morning break. But adding up the materials of camp seems superfluous. We could look at the Mermaid laps swum in the lake, horses ridden, or trips down the Nantahala River rafting, but that too would be an inadequate measure. Looking at all the friendship bracelets tied on wrists, or the songs sung in the dining hall together, or the skits performed as cabin groups, gets us a little closer because they represent the friendships formed and strengthened while at camp.
It might be tempting to list special events— the exuberance of the shaving cream fight, the support and talent performed in the “Wizard of Oz” production, or the joyful celebration of the “Expedition Earth” banquet. We could point to accomplishments like being in the bullseye club for archery, winning the mop award, or climbing all three sides of the Alpine Tower. Camp could be understood as a success for all these reasons too, but there’s a deeper sense that we’ve all experienced something very special this summer.
All of these details are part of the answer, but I think the campers and staff members alike will mostly remember their camp days this summer by how they felt while here. It’s not what we did each day, but how we felt while doing it that has made this summer special.
It simply felt really good to be this active outside each day. It was a relief to find all these caring people who immediately accepted and encouraged our true selves. We felt more confident and competent with each daily moment of success. We felt truly connected to the people around us. We felt happy exploring the creative, sporty and silly sides of our personality. We experienced moments of pristine beauty and wonder in this lovely natural environment. We reveled in the constant current of friendship that buoyed everything at camp. Away from the habits of home, absent the pressures of school, given meaningful freedom, our camp days were inherently satisfying, rich with opportunities for new experience.
Our camp life this summer was amazing for all these reasons. So as we say farewell to camp for now, we’re sad to leave our friends and the good feelings that energized our days. We’re sad that the special way we feel at camp has to end until we can return next year.
Meanwhile, we can be thankful. Thanks to everyone for being the great girls of Rockbrook, contributing your love, energy and care to making camp life this wonderful. Thanks to everyone!