Each session, the Hi-Ups, our oldest (10th grade, 16-year-old) campers, go on a three-day outdoor trip with Jeff. It’s a special trip packed with adventure, really great food, and time to relax and enjoy being together. It’s impossible to mention all the highlights, but they include things like wake boarding, waterfall hiking, camping, swimming, rock climbing, and cliff jumping. At one point, the girls swam up to a waterfall and climbed up several rock ledges to pass through the falling water into a small cave behind. The pounding cold, cold water and the roar of the waterfall made this such an intense feeling. When jumping into the lake from different heights, we could always count on hearing big happy screams. And the food… steak burritos and burgers for dinners, lunches of sandwiches and wraps, and eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns, blueberry and chocolate chip pancakes… Yum!
This session our camp-wide musical was Schoolhouse Rock, and today was the big performance for everyone at camp. This is a wonderful play that has lots of parts and plenty of familiar songs making it easy to includes campers of all ages. Based on the popular TV series, we heard A Noun is a Person, Place or Thing, Three is a Magic Number, Conjunction Junction, and several others sung by different groups of girls. The audience was thrilled to several solos and plenty of dancing, really giving several girls a chance to ham it up!
The final event tonight was our closing campfire, the “Spirit Fire.” This is a tradition that goes back to the very beginning of Rockbrook. It’s a special campfire attended by the whole camp dressed in their “whities” (camp uniform and red tie), and is a chance to sing songs, recognize and reflect upon everything we’ve accomplished over the session. Girls take turns speaking about their time at camp, and about what Rockbrook has come to mean for them over the years. It’s a wonderful, calm time to remember our camp friends, as well as the fun and excitement shared during the session. To end the Spirit Fire all the campers and counselors light a small white candle from the central campfire and then stand together for a last couple of songs. With all the lights off in camp, with the sounds of the creeks and crickets, and with the whole camp softly singing by candlelight, this is just beautiful, and a very special time.