A Recipe for Community

Creativity DancersOne 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 GirlCamp Girl Aiming a RifleHave 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.

Girls Camp Dance Costume Summer Camp Girls dancing at costume party All Girl Summer Camp Party

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

Her Very First Ride

Little Summer Camp girl horseback ridingFor little girls, taking their first equestrian lesson can be a mix of excitement and nervous jitters. It’s exciting because horseback riding seems so fun when you read about it or see it in movies, but for your first riding lesson, it can easily be a little overwhelming. There is so much to learn— special clothes, important safety rules, riding gear for the horse, how to mount, different riding positions, and communicating with your horse. The horses and ponies can seem so huge! And there is a lot to remember all at once.

That’s why it’s so important that a girl’s first experience learning to horseback ride be a safe, caring, gentle introduction. It’s crucial that her instructor be experienced working with small children, that he or she be kind and patient, and that the pony be calm and gentle in the ring. Taking small steps, gradually gaining confidence and greater understanding, is the best way to maintain a girl’s enthusiasm for riding. The best children’s horseback riding centers know how to pace this kind of progression.

The equestrian program at Rockbrook Camp has a long history of introducing young girls to horseback riding. Camp has just the right combination of skilled instructors and gentle ponies, enthusiasm for riding, and great equestrian facilities to encourage girls on their very first ride. At camp, we’re well prepared to make every girl’s first horseback riding experience a positive one. It’s the perfect recipe for a life-long love of horses and horseback riding!

A Confident Equestrienne

Equestrian Kids Camp Riding

If you’re a horse kid, an equestrienne (a girl who loves all things horse related), then you will love the equestrian camp programs at Rockbrook. You’ll of course learn a lot about riding and improve your horseback skills, but you’ll also gain important equestrian confidence. This photo shows a little of that. It’s a great shot of what it feels like to be comfortable in the saddle, to really know and trust your horse, and to build up a set of instincts about horseback riding.

The secret to all of this is not just great horses and great riding instructors; it’s also making the equestrian lessons fun for kids. With the right match of horse and rider and the right level of instruction, you feel good in the activity, not worried about anything and certainly not bored either.  At Rockbrook, we’re riding, and learning, and becoming more confident equestriennes, and having tons of fun doing it.