Symphony of Fun

Happy new CampersWelcome new mini session campers! We’re very excited to have you join us at Rockbrook. For all of us on the staff and for the First Session campers already twirling through their session, this was a big day where new girls would be joining the camp community. More girls naturally means more fun, more voices singing in the dining hall, and lots more action throughout the camp. After a nice smooth arrival process— cars parking and unloading, luggage being carted to cabins, checking in with the office folks, nurses, and head screeners —cabin groups of new girls where exploring the cabin together. Serving as both a tour of camp and an introduction to the various activity offerings, these groups followed a scavenger hunt where they collected bracelets hidden at different areas of the camp: at the tennis courts, gym, health hut, and upper pottery studio, for example. It’s good to start with a little orientation, and this is a fun, active way to learn your way around camp.

We’ve been getting wonderful feedback about the new covered arena and stable we added to Rockbrook this past year. We wrote about the construction of the arena earlier, but today we had several parents take a tour of the facility and remark how much they were impressed. “It’s gorgeous!” was the most common comment. One mom said she thought this was the nicest covered horse arena in western North Carolina. I’m not sure about that, but its size and its quality footing (fiber additives blended with silica sand) do make it stand apart. Later we’ll post more information about this great addition to the horseback riding program at Rockbrook, but it was nice to hear a few “horse people” say they were impressed with our design and finished project.

We took some time after lunch for the newly arrived campers to demonstrate their swimming ability to our lifeguards, and when successful to earn a colored swim necklace. For some girls, the mountain stream water feeding our lake can be shockingly cold and thereby make it more difficult to swim and tread water as our “swim demos” require. So a girl who swims well in a warm pool may appear less confident in the Rockbrook lake, but we’ve found that with some practice and assistance from the waterfront staff, she can get used to the water and improve. On a warm summer day, the lake feels great, altogether refreshing. And when the water slide is open during free swim periods, and the lake is filled with girls diving, floating, playing games and swimming laps, the lake is absolutely delightful.

Flying Jedi Girl Light Saber Duel Kids Star Wars Costumes

One of the best ways to kick off a new camp session is to launch right into an all-camp event, something that brings everyone together for music, dancing and costumes with surprising creative activities, challenges, and games with prizes. Just add a theme, and this combination becomes a carnival, a multi-station, free-flowing symphony of fun. That’s exactly what we did by throwing a Star Wars themed carnival or “Jedi Knight Training Academy.” The Senior campers and counselors built and operated 10 different stations like the “Matching on Mars” game, “Death Start Destruction” shooting game (using Nerf pistols), “Pin the Saber on Yoda” game, and “Shoot the Sith” game, for example. There were two huge inflatable games: something called “Leaps and Bounds” that seemed really difficult, and a bungee cord race. We had our snow cone machine grinding out pounds of ice for everyone, and a couple of sprinklers set up to keep things cooler in the bright sun. For costumes, the were many Jedi Knights, a team of Darth Vader characters, and probably a dozen girls dressed as Princess Leia. One counselor dressed as Yoda and another as Darth Maul, but my favorite was the baby Wookie being carried around. As the campers arrived at the landsports field, they could make their own lightsaber from a foam pool noodle and different types of tape. They could have their fortune told, their face painted (“The Face is with You”), or challenge a Jedi master to a lightsaber duel. There were plenty of things to do for everyone, easily filling two hours with activity. A perfect camp Sunday afternoon!

Star Wars Girls

Open the Gate!

Rockbrook Camp Buddies

Open the gate! It’s time for camp to begin! Yes, as we welcomed our first session campers this morning, we officially launched Rockbrook’s 2017 summer season. The cabin counselors had just finished their week-long orientation and training, and were eager to finally meet their campers. The maintenance crew had just finished up a few improvement projects (more about that later), along with the regular grass cutting and sweeping (so many porches!). The kitchen staff had fired every oven, stocked the pantry and walk-in cooler, and was set to reveal its daily scrumptious surprises. The nurses had stocked the first aid kits (more than 30 of those!), prepped the infirmary ward, and reviewed the health histories of everyone attending this session. Keeping an eye on all of it, the directors checked off a few things on “their list” and answered questions as everyone made their last-minute preparations. We were ready.

With all this preparation, it’s easy to understand how we are all so excited for opening day. You probably got a good sense of that when you drove in this morning and saw the smiling faces, cheering counselors, and bubbling, buzzing activity on the hill. As campers arrived and raced from their cars, the atmosphere built all morning. Once again, about 80% of the campers this session are returning girls who attended Rockbrook in the past, so these families recognized the quick check-in procedure and happily spread throughout the camp helping get the cabins settled. By 10:30am we already had 100 campers in place, and already making a friendship bracelet, taking a hike to Rockbrook Falls, and pairing up with old and new friends to explore the camp a bit. The whole morning seemed relaxed and natural as the camp came alive with all these excited people.

Camp Cabin Mates Arrive

Rick our long-time kitchen manager and head chef wowed us all with his homemade mac-n-cheese for lunch. A few girls chose the gluten-free, vegan version he also made, but everyone seemed more than pleased with their warm, heaping slices of this comfort food… even more so when the temperature dropped and it began to rain while we were eating. That was perfect timing for a little rain to arrived because we could finish our meal and the girls could return to their cabins for their first cabin-meeting while the rain passed. That’s the typical rain event around here; a storm moves through and fairly soon afterwards passes by and we’re back to brighter weather. By the way, if you are ever curious about the weather at camp, we have a fun new way for you to check it. We installed a weather station in the heart of camp that measures temperature, humidity, rain and wind and then reports that real-time data to several online weather sites, the most popular being Weather Underground. Go to this link for Rockbrook Camp Weather information and forecasts on the web. Along with current conditions, there are historical graphs and radar maps there too. If you have an iPad, there is an app that shows all of this data with a slick graphical interface (You’ll need our station ID: KNCBREVA27).

With the rain cleared, the rest of the afternoon and evening unfolded smoothly. Cabin groups toured the camp, enjoyed get-to-know-you games, and learned, or re-learned, several camp songs. An Austrian Went Yodeling! Meanwhile, whole age groups arrived at the lake for their aquatics orientation. There the lifeguards introduced our tag system and explained how our “swim demonstration” works. This year, all of the campers receive color-coded “swim necklaces” that correspond to one of three swimming abilities: Blue, which indicates a swimmer with no restrictions, Green, which requires a life jacket if swimming in the deeper section of the lake, and yellow for those girls uncomfortable in the water and who should stay in the shallow area of the lake with a life jacket on. Our swimming staff is quick to encourage girls to work on their swimming skills and perhaps advance levels, but for everyone the lake is a refreshing, fun experience.

The other important task for the day, again focused on orienting the campers to the camp, our activities, and to each other (!), was to learn about this summer’s activity offerings and instructors. The campers will be selecting their activities this evening, so they must first learn about the options. This brought us all to the gym where the activity instructors presented skits and songs describing the offerings. We all sat in our Crazy Creek chairs on the floor and laughed and clapped for the staff performances.

Camp is ready; the staff is excited and ready, and now the campers are more than ready for the action to begin. Let’s get to it!

Ready for Swimming

Positively Euphoric

Summer Girls Camp ArrivalsArriving at camp late in summer, as did our August Mini Session campers today, is a unique blend of excitement and relief. You could see it on their faces as they drove up the driveway this morning, and as they first met their counselor— bright, wide grins despite a twinge of nerves, and almost a feeling of liberation from the agony of waiting for camp all summer. So much waiting! Finally, these girls have arrived and we can get started with camp, all the friends, different activities, and fun surprises of life at Rockbrook.

Once the arriving girls got settled in their cabins, they joined the full session campers rotating through a sampling of camp activities. Tying friendship bracelets, playing tennis or gaga ball, hiking to Rockbrook Falls, picking flowers in the RBC garden, and making a wind chime or headband— there were plenty of ways to get busy right away… meeting people while learning about camp.

Burgers (beef and vegetarian) and fries, plus fresh cut cantaloupe and salad for lunch settled us down just as it filled us up. Rest hour then gave the new girls a chance for a quick camp tour, a stop at the lake for a swimming demonstration, and time for a cabin meeting before the main event of the afternoon.

Pie Throwing GirlInflatable Water SlideAnd it was fantastic! With counselors and help from the Hi-Ups (our 10th grade campers), we threw an all-camp carnival right in the center of camp complete with different snacks, group games, fun dance music, silly challenges, and small prizes for everyone. With camp completely full of girls now, we created lots of options to give everyone plenty to do. Blue skies and a few light clouds floated by above while the girls spent to next two hours wandering from game to game, stopping to snack, dance and play as they liked.

Water balloon sling shotSnow cone girlsSetting the tone right away was our favorite DJ Dawg back again to pump great dance music across the hill. For snacks (probably the second most important element at a party!), we had coolers of lemonade, a popcorn popper popping nonstop, and a very popular snow cone station. It was a hot afternoon, so we made several water events available too: a 35-foot tall inflatable water slide, a “dunk booth” beanbag challenge, loads of water guns, and a sprinkler to run through if the girls got too hot. Another game had the girls launch water balloons using a slingshot contraption. A second inflatable was an obstacle course that pitted two girls against each other as they crawled, climbed and scrambled through… while laughing hysterically.  There was an area where the girls played Pin the Tail on the Donkey, another where they “fished” for rubber ducks from a pool, and another that challenged them to eat a doughnut or apple tied to a string. We had yard checkers, a giant game of Jenga, a ball toss game, and a corn hole game. There was a giant bubble station, three staff member offering face painting, balloon animals being tied, and two brave Hi-Ups running a “pie” (whipped cream on a pie tin) throwing station.  Apparently, you smell like cheese after being splattered thoroughly with whipped cream. Another messy game that the girls loved was Twister, only made more difficult with the help of shaving cream and a little body paint on each spot. Messy and fun.

Messy twister gameGiant Jenga game outsideIn every direction on the hill there where happy girls entertained by the games, enjoying dancing, cooling off, getting a little messy, and having an excellent time at camp. It was pretty hard to take it all in! Looking around, it was clear at least that this was a great way to open up the session. It got everyone involved, the full session girls meeting and playing with the mini session campers, and helped set the tone (positively euphoric) for the coming week.

There was about an hour of free time before dinner that allowed the girls to take a shower and clean up. Later, everyone signed up for their first set of activities so in the morning we can launch right into action.  We’re just getting started and looking forward to the coming week!

photo props girls at camp

The Excitement Was Everywhere

camp girl group cabincamp girls signing“Good Morning, all you Rockbrook Girls” and welcome (welcome back) to camp! Today, as we opened our third session of the 2016 season, we were so excited to greet the girls and their families arriving at camp. The excitement was everywhere as the girls smiled and waved from inside their parents’ cars, jumped out to hug an old camp friend, or just marveled at the wave of enthusiasm coming from the waiting counselors. It was a morning of meeting friendly people, learning names (made much easier by the wood chip name tags everyone was wearing), and settling into the cabins. As the girls arrived, pockets of activity sprung up on the hill. Some bunk mates, quick friends, decided to take a hike together to Rockbrook Falls, and others to Castle Rock. Some played tennis, and others tetherball. Just wandering around in the sunshine, being part of the welcoming, was fun for most everyone. The whole morning felt wonderful, in many ways pleasantly familiar, yet also poised with anticipation for what we all know will be a great time together. It may have been a record, but by about 11:30am all the campers had arrived and the parents had departed leaving us to get started.

An assembly under the huge walnut tree on the hill is the perfect way to do that. With crazy creek chairs unfolded, Sarah and the Hi-Ups (10th grade campers) led everyone in several camp songs and the line songs. She introduced the directors and the head counselors who assist each age group. More than a first introduction to the people and organization of camp, it was a brief, official welcome to the mountains.

Lunch was a guaranteed crowd-pleaser: Rick’s secret-recipe macaroni and cheese, steamed peas, and fresh fruit salad. Of course, there were the two super-stocked salad bars and peanut butter and jelly stations to round things off as well, but bowl after bowl of the mac-n-cheese seemed to roll out of the kitchen as the girls went back for seconds, and even a third helping.

Girl writing her name inside camp cabinCabin meetings after lunch, during what’s normally our “rest hour,” gave the girls a chance to learn about the daily chores in the cabin like sweeping and emptying the trash, and to discuss a few of the all-cabin rules like respecting each others belongings, for example. This was also a chance for everyone to “sign” the inside of their cabin by writing their name somewhere on the rafters or bunk beds. That’s a Rockbrook tradition that reaches back into the 1950’s. Originally, I think the girls used shoe polish to sign their name and date. Now it’s usually a small name written in pen, but we’ve also seen “John Hancock” style signatures in multiple colors of paint. Later in August, we are hosting almost 200 Alumnae at Rockbrook for a reunion celebrating our 95th year, and I suspect many of the women attending will spend some time searching for their name that they wrote as a girl at camp.

It was time to cool off with some swimming after that. As the age groups took tours around the camp learning the different activity areas and the names of the many buildings (“Where’s Hobby Nook?), they changed into swimsuits and rotated coming down to the lake to demonstrate their swimming ability for our team of lifeguards. This “swim demo” requires the girls to swim out into the deep part of the lake about 50 feet, return using a back stroke, and then tread water for a full minute. Considering the temperature of our stream-fed lake (chilly!), this can sometimes be a challenge, but almost everyone was able to complete the demo and receive a pink swim bracelet and white swim tag identifying our strong swimmers. The whole scene was more festive and fun than you might expect since we were also serving lemonade and playing Reggae music. Pretty soon, we were laughing and enjoying ourselves, nodding our heads to the music, having a grand summer time.

swimming lifegaurds camp skitIt’s another long tradition at Rockbrook that the girls select their activities after they arrive at camp. We believe they thrive when given this kind of choice and enjoy the flexibility that comes with switching the schedule halfway through the week to try a set of new options. To orient everyone to those options, we spent some time this afternoon watching the counselors present songs and skits (usually a bit of both) about the amazing activities they have planned. The number of opportunities can be a little confusing, so the skits help the campers know what’s new, learn where each activity meets, and see which counselors will be the instructors. The climbers showed off the climbing wall. The lifeguards performed a skit about the toys and games available at the lake everyday. The fiber arts staff showed a few of the cool weaving and sewing projects the campers can learn, and there was an impassioned song devoted to tennis, volleyball and gagaball. After dinner, the campers will sign up for their first set of in-camp activities. Knowing the options and where everything happens, they are now ready to make better choices for this rotation. We’ll also announce the first out-of-camp trips tonight, making it even more difficult to decide! But deciding: that’s part of the fun.

We’re all excited to get started. The counselors and special activity instructors are ready and eager to get these girls busy creating, riding, climbing and so much more. Looking around, it’s pretty clear that the girls are ready too. Let’s begin!

Swim Girl Campers

Exciting for Everyone

Girls Summer Camp CampersGirl swimming with gogglesArriving at camp, as our 2nd July mini session campers did today, is exciting for everyone. For the full session girls already here and half way through their long session, the arrival of new friends, many of whom we already know, is invigorating because it means camp will again kick up a notch with new conversations and new people to play with. For the girls arriving, the anticipation of camp starting —all that pent up enthusiasm and energy— can finally be released. For everyone, today was a chance to reunite with old camp friends… and we saw plenty of full-on hugs to prove that! …or to meet new people that surely will become friends before long. The whole morning was a festival of smiles as the arriving mini session campers smoothly checked in, met their counselors and got settled in the cabins.

Right away, the arriving girls got busy with hikes to Rockbrook Falls, which is one of the larger waterfalls on the camp property. They gathered on the tennis courts to hit a few balls and play a “speed game.”  Some, as another option, chose to stop by the gym to play gaga ball or basketball, while others made their first lanyard or friendship bracelet on the hillside lodge porch. I could tell the girls appreciated getting started with a camp activity in the first few minutes they arrived.

Rick’s homemade pizza, along with more salad than we could eat, made our first meal delicious and familiar at the same time. Tours of camp during rest hour, and trips to the lake for swimming demonstrations, plus cabin meetings (a chance to get to know each other, rearrange trunks and other personal items, and learn important camp rules) came next. It being a hot sunny afternoon, roaming around the camp and finally stopping at the lake for a quick swim felt really good.

Apple on a String Game Inflatable water Slide girl Messy Twister Game

What better way to open the camp session, though, than with an afternoon carnival? When the bell rang about 3pm, Chase our program director, with the help of almost 20 other staff members, pulled out all the stops for this amazing all-camp event on the grassy hill in the center of camp. Like all great parties, this event combined fun dance music, several options for snacks, group games, challenge games, and in this case, about 200 excited girls to enjoy everything with.

There were two huge inflatables to try: a 35-foot water slide called the “Wild Rapid,” and an obstacle course that allowed two girls at a time to climb, crawl and scramble through. There was a cake walk organized for girls to earn small cupcakes. One area had girls playing Pin the Tail on the Donkey and choosing rubber ducks from a pond, while another allowed girls to “fish” (using a stick with a string and magnet attached) for prizes. Two Hi-Ups enjoyed running a pie throwing station, two more, a beanbag “dunk booth,” and two others a challenge that involved eating an apple or doughnut hung by a string.  We had face painting, yard checkers, a ring toss game, a giant bubble station, and a game of “Messy Twister” (messy from shaving cream and a little body paint) also going on. Pumping across the hill was music by DJ Dawg, who was also teaching dance moves to groups of girls. Snow cones and popcorn kept us snacking too. Plus we had fun busting open several piñatas and scrambling for the pieces of candy that came spilling out.

With so many options available, you could stand on the hill and see happy groups of girls in all directions, each smiling and laughing as they got a little wet, maybe a little messy, and had a blast zipping from area to area. One small Junior camper ran by me, snow cone in hand, shouting, “This is the best day ever!”

Later in the afternoon, some girls chose to take a dip in the lake, while others took a shower before dinner, capping off a fantastic opening day. We’ll start right in with camp activities in the mornings, and soon the first whitewater rafting trip will be going out.

We’ve only just gotten started, and there’s so much to look forward to!

Teen Girls Summer Camp

Keen to Get Started

Rockbrook Kids ArriveWelcome (back) to Rockbrook! As we opened the second session and first July mini session today, it was clear again that arriving at camp is a pivotal moment for everyone— the campers, staff members, and yes the parents too. It’s certainly a day charged with eagerness and excitement… to the point of squealing in some cases, and quite understandably some jitters here and there, but it also marks the start of something we know is going to be great. It was wonderful to see the girls quickly settle in, meeting their pen pals for the first time, or reconnecting with their camp friends from last summer with huge hugs. A few parents mentioned that they were a little surprised, but also proud, to see how easily their daughter said goodbye and ran off with friends, literally leaving them in the dust! Friendly people everywhere, hikes, games and the first of many conversations already underway, it was a delightful opening day.

One of the magical parts of life at Rockbrook is the opportunity to explore. There are simply countless wonders to discover— old crooked trees, massive boulders and tiny flowering plants clinging to the side of a creek. There are log cabins, activity buildings hidden in the woods, a tunnel, a cave, several waterfalls, and a rock face promising a view of the distant mountains. In addition to the lake, there’s a creek to play in, a gaga ball pit, lodge porches with red rocking chairs, and forest paths that lead off in several different directions. And our daily schedule at camp provides several blocks of time for the girls to do this exploring. This is why we began immediately with tours of camp. Each cabin group and their counselors took a brief walk around camp identifying landmarks (Where’s “Hiker’s Rock?”) and explaining where the activities take place. Oriented to the physical layout of camp, let the exploration begin!

lifeguard Swim TestRight after lunch, as the heat of the day set in, we opened the lake to have all the campers demonstrate their swimming ability and cool off at the same time. We have a swim tag system that helps our team of lifeguards know which girls are strong swimmers and which should be restricted to the shallow area of our lake or be required to wear a PFD when in the water. To receive their tag, all the girls first perform a “swim demo” for the guards, a swim out about 50 feet in the deep part of the lake, back another 50 feet using some kind of backstroke, and finally treading water for a full minute.

You might think this sort of “swim demo” (AKA “test”) is scary or at least a little nerve-racking, and for some girls it is, especially when you consider the chilly temperature of our stream-fed lake. There are a few things that happen, though, that make this time at the lake more fun and festive than worrisome or distressing. First, it’s an incredibly supportive setting with all the lifeguards cheering the girls on, all the Directors likewise being encouraging. There’s camaraderie in the fact that everyone comes down together to “jump in the lake.” Add to that the congratulations afterwards no matter what color tag is earned. With everyone at the lake, colorful towels strewn about, it’s a lively atmosphere. We even pump out some laid back Reggae music to inspire the girls to take it easy and relax. Even for those girls who opted to not do their “swim demo” (and thereby chose not to participate in any of the water-related activities at camp), the afternoon was lighthearted and fun.

Camp lifeguard SkitTo explain the activity options available this session, to orient the girls to what happens during their 4 scheduled activity periods, we held an assembly and watched the counselors present skits and songs about what they have planned. The adventure staff (rock climbers, kayakers, zip line leaders, and hiking guides) presented some of their cool, colorful gear and explained how to sign up for these special trips. The lifeguards sang a song about the “Mermaid Club,” the fun lake toys, water slide, and free swim games available. All of the craft instructors showed off the amazing weaving, jewelry, sewing, ceramics, painting and paper projects that the girls can make. Later tonight, after dinner, all the campers will select their first set of activities, and now knowing the options, they can decide more enthusiastically.

We’ve got an excellent group of counselors and skilled staff members ready to unfold elaborate, multifaceted plans for creativity, adventure, and loads of silly fun. And we’ve got a completely packed camp of girls keen to get started. So let’s do it!

Camp Assembly kids

The Fun was Multiplied

Girls Camp ArrivalsToday we proved it again. We proved one of the basic principles of camp, something that we know makes things better… more fun. It’s simply this; if it’s good to do something with a few people, it’s more fun to do it with even more people. Certainly there will be diminishing returns at some point, but generally speaking at camp our fun ramps up further when more kids join in. Games of Gagaball, swimming in the lake, making pottery, kayaking down a river, doing yoga, playing tennis, even relaxing in one of the red rocking chairs on a lodge porch— there’s more conversation, reward, emotion, silliness and fun when we do any of these (and other examples too!) with others. It’s an easy lesson to learn in a place so community-minded as Rockbrook. Being inclusive, friendly, open and generous, leans us all toward each other, encouraging more meaningful relationships. At camp we seek each other out, thrive inter-acting, and enjoy everyday with friends.

Today’s proof came when 75 Mini Session campers arrived and joined the full session girls. Right away, as cabins filled with new smiling faces and new wood-chip name tags were spotted around camp, it felt more festive. It took really no time for these new campers to jump right in, to be hiking, playing tetherball, tying their first friendship bracelet, and romping the hills of camp with their cabin groups.

Camp Cabin AwardJust before lunch, we all gathered on the central hill of camp under the old walnut tree for an assembly. This is a gorgeous shady spot that looks out at the Blue Ridge Mountains in the distance, and serves as an amphitheater of sorts for us. Sarah began the assembly by welcoming the new campers to Rockbrook and introducing the directors, special staff members, and head activity instructors. Then we all felt the power of the added enthusiasm provided by these new campers when the Hi-Ups, the oldest girls, led the camp singing the different “Line songs.” Part song and part cheer, I bet folks all over the river valley could here us!

Camper Obstacle FunObstacle Race kidsThe best proof came after rest hour when the counselors set up a crazy obstacle course for the campers. We warned them to dress in swimsuits because they were apt to get hot and wet running to each station, challenge and obstacle. Some of these were a little messy, like the color run where blasts of colored powder and water balloons (thrown by a couple of counselors) blocked their path, or the “noodle crawl” that had the girls duck under a net and crawl through an area of wet noodles. Other obstacles were physical, like weaving through a maze, jumping over bales of hay, and stepping from stone to stone along the path.  The obstacle course ended at the landsports field where we had an inflatable water slide and a huge dance party. Snow cones and chilled watermelon, plus lawn sprinklers and an army of counselors armed with water guns, helped keep us cool in the afternoon sun. Face painting, hula hooping, corn hole games, and loads of dancing added to the fun. Karin and Abby, two of our camp photographers, caught most of the action, so be sure to check out the photos in the online gallery. You can tell by all the faces, the fun was multiplied. Good active, messy, fun.  You know it’s been a great camp day when everyone in camp needs a shower before dinner!

Color Run Fun Kids

Eager Enthusiasm

Camp Friends ReturnToday, our very first day of camp this summer, was exciting. We opened the summer 2016 summer season today with our first session girls arriving all morning beginning around 8:30. Like every opening day of camp, it was exciting for everyone— the campers, counselors, and directors alike. But there’s something special about the first opening day of the summer. We’ve had to wait for so long, have so many new fun things planned, been preparing the camp facilities, gathering equipment and supplies from new kayaks to yarn for weaving. We’ve been thinking about camp for months, literally all year long waiting for this day! Mostly, and this is the best part, we’ve been thinking about all the great campers who will be attending Rockbrook this summer, all of your great girls. It’s wonderful to see them again, to see how they’ve grown and feel their excitement for camp. For the new campers too; it’s a delight to welcome them to Rockbrook. Bringing all of this together, the eager enthusiasm and anticipation for camp, made the morning full of smiles, cheers, and hugs. With this kind of feeling, it’s already clear this is going to be a great session.

After speeding through the arrival process (perusing the latest RBC gear, meeting the office folks and medical team) and getting settled in the cabins, parents said goodbye and the girls launching right into group games (hula hoops!), hiking the trail to Rockbrook falls, tying their first friendship bracelet of the summer, warming up their tetherball arm, and just catching up with a new camp friend sitting on the hill while enjoying the view.

Camp Lake DiveCamp life is life lived outside… or at least mostly outside, with our rustic screened cabins, and daily outdoor activities. The weather is naturally always a factor. Like today when the forecast called for a 90% chance of rain after lunch, we thought we’d surely be unable to open the lake for our “swimming demonstrations.” As is often the case here in the mountains however, the rain was spotty, hitting some places more than others, and we were lucky most of the afternoon. Clouds rolled by with patches of sun appearing now and then allowing us to hold a Reggae dance lake party during the swim demos (with hot chocolate waiting for the girls after sampling the chilly, stream-fed Rockbrook lake), tour all of the camp activity areas, laugh through counselors performing their activity skits, and sing songs together during an assembly of the entire camp on the hill. A sprinkle of rain cooled things down at one point, but it didn’t slow us down much at all.

We’re off to a wonderful start. The group of counselors we have this summer, fresh from our week of pre-camp training, is one of the best we’ve ever had. Each one brings talents and skills to teach, but more importantly is a lovely, kind person who will take great care of your girls while here at camp. Likewise, the administrative staff from last year have returned and are ready to guide everyone as we reform the community that makes Rockbrook special. It’s a pleasure for all of us to be here with your girls.

Girls Camp First Day

Girls Camp Swim Buddies