Totally Groovy

70s party decorations
camp 1970s costume party

Can you dig it? Yesterday’s banquet really showed us how girl power can be a peace-loving, psychedelic, disco party of good vibes as our 9th graders unveiled their surprise theme: “That 70’s Banquet.” Weeks in the planning, the girls dug deep into the style, music, and slang of the 1970s to decorate the dining hall, dress in amazing costumes, and perform choreographed dance numbers for the whole camp. Every inch of wall space was covered with painted posters depicting iconic 70s references: Charlie’s Angels, Scooby Doo, Queen, Disco Dancing, Elton John, Richard Nixon, ABBA, and Wonder Woman, for example. The walls were a rainbow of tie-dye colors, with balloons, lights and streamers strung through the rafters.

With the girls dressed as different artists, we saw amazing performances by Freddie Mercury, Josie and the Pussycats, Donna and the Dynamos, along with Go-Go dancers, hippies, and roller skaters. The girls served dinner throughout the party: “peaceful popcorn,” “groovy grapes,” “trippy tortellini,” “chill out chicken,” with “watergate water.”

Naturally, the whole evening was also a chance for everyone to dance to 1970s music, with a few contemporary pop hits mixed in. There were moments were I’d guess we had more than 200 campers and counselors all up dancing and getting down. It was a totally groovy night!  Completely far out!

Little Mermaid Camp Musical

This afternoon, we all were thrilled to watch the performance of “The Little Mermaid.” This was a huge endeavor, to produce from scratch a complete musical. About 50 campers participated in some fashion to paint scenery, design costumes, perform a singing or speaking role, join the ensemble or work on the tech crew. The girls rehearsed during their drama activity time over the session, honing their parts, and now putting on an incredible show. They seemed so excited to be performing, having a great time on stage. Lindsay brought the house down when she sang “Part of Your World” with everyone stunned by her singing talent, and Ella, playing Sebastian, likewise impressed the crowd with her version of “Under the Sea.” In just a few short weeks, these girls put on an spectacular show!

Finally, we closed the session with our traditional campfire ceremony, what we call our “Spirit Fire.” This was a beautiful time together, all dressed in our uniforms, huddled shoulder to shoulder around a warm, glowing campfire.  We sang some of the more thoughtful camp songs, heard short speeches about what Rockbrook has meant to us over the session, and simply held tightly to our camp friends by our side.  It was an emotional time for most of us, knowing that we would be saying goodbye in the morning. It’s hard when something this good, something this important to us, has to end for another summer.

This has been a wonderful session… really great girls, kind, generous and enthusiastic. It’s no wonder the friendships formed here are so strong, so genuine, and so meaningful.  It’s no wonder these girls love camp.  Thank you everyone for being a part of this magical community.

camp girls with braids

An Upbeat Celebration

Pottery Camp Works

Throughout the session, over the last few weeks, the girls have had their hands deep in clay making all sorts of small sculptures, decorative tiles, vessels like cups and bowls, and just about anything they can imagine. Both pottery studios were almost like factories with campers producing incredibly varied forms, works of art really, from the uniformly brown clay. More recently over the last few days, everyone took the next step of carefully painting glazes on their pottery pieces. The glazes paint on in dull-looking colors, but after the final step— firing in a kiln —they take on the shiny, more vibrant color you expect. Last Night Michelle, the director of our Ceramics Program, fired two completely stacked kilns containing all the work of the campers.  That’s an almost 24 hour process, with the temperature slowly rising (to drive out any lingering moisture) and then holding at 1940 degrees for almost 12 hours. It’s very exciting to open the kilns after all that time and heat, and to see how the pieces ultimately turned out. This morning Michelle unloaded the kilns and set out all the finished pottery so the girls could claim their work. Such a colorful exhibit!

Kid flying on camp zipline

By the end of the day today, even using part of the free time before dinner, Andy and the climbing staff accomplished the goal of allowing every single camper to ride on the zip line. The Rockbrook zip line is a huge thrill. It’s 450 feet long and begins after you cross a swinging bridge suspended high above a ravine between two large rocks. The bridge is about 100 feet long and has (quite intentionally) missing planks, forcing the girls to step carefully from plank to plank over each gap. So right from the start, an adrenaline focus comes naturally to mind. Of course, while on the bridge, the girls are wearing a climbing harness and are securely tethered to a safety cable above. Not long after that focus, when the girls clip their double-wheeled pulley into the main zip cable, and then leap off the launch rock into what feels like 150 feet of empty space below, the whole experience tends to elicit wide-eyed surprise. Some girls simply cling to their tether and smile as they fly down the cable, while others whoop with joy, hands stretched high in the air. Either way, the first thing we hear on the landing platform is, “I want to do it again!”

Olympic Final Camp Dinner
Camp Dinner Party Entrance

Tonight was something everyone in camp was looking forward to, our end of session banquet. Based on a theme kept secret from everyone except the CA girls who planned every aspect of the event (costumes, music, decoration, food, skits, and choreographed dance numbers), the banquet is a fantastic party thrown for the entire camp. The CA campers spend all day decorating the dining hall, again in secret, until the theme is finally revealed as the campers enter through a tunnel of arms. Our banquet theme for this session… The “Rockbrook Olympics!” The CAs created a festive international party with posters of Olympic sports, flags of countries from around the world, streamers, balloons, and table decorations highlighting different countries and sports. They built an awards podium, and presented a synchronized swimming routine, a boxing dance number, as well as opening and closing ceremonies, complete with an Olympic torch. They served “Olympic Onion Rings” “Misty May’s Mixed Vegetables,” “Gold Medal Chicken Nuggets,” and “Shawn Johnson Strawberries.” Through the dinner, as the girls nibbled on all the different courses of food and enjoyed the candy also decorating the tables, they had dance breaks, spontaneously jumping up to dance in the cleared center area. The girls and staff members, all dressed in their blue RBC t-shirts, seemed so happy, laughing and dancing, pausing now and then for a quick photo. The banquet was a wonderful mix of fun dancing and food, colorful decorations and entertainment, but most of all, an upbeat celebration among now very close friends.  These girls know how to enjoy themselves!

Campers and Counselor at final camp dinner

New Orleans Camp Girls

New Orleans Camp Party
New Orleans Camp Girls

Yes, that’s what we’ve got at Rockbrook…!!! New Orleans camp girls!!! You might find it odd that girls from Louisiana would go to summer camp in North Carolina, but there’s a long tradition of exactly that, with generations of New Orleans and Baton Rouge children representing their cities at Rockbrook every summer.

And this is the time of year when we gather current NOLA girls (and alumnae!) for a Rockbrook party to celebrate the great time we had at camp last summer. Miriam and her sister Susan, who both attend Rockbrook’s 2nd session, hosted the party at their home in Carrollton. Chase and Grace brought plenty of photos and videos to present, and with a great crowd of both current campers and new girls interested in attending camp next summer, it was a really fun time. Thanks everyone for such a fantastic event!

These events are probably the best way to recharge your Rockbrook spirit, and if you’re new to camp, parents and children, to learn what makes Rockbrook so special.

We have more parties in other cities planned, so check the schedule to see if you can attend!

On the Road Again

Howdy All!

Charlotte and I recently returned from a Rockbrook Roadtrip, and I wanted to share some of our highlights with you.  We traveled far and wide looking for RBC girls.  In just seven days we landed in five different cities, spent time with six awesome host families, met eight new canine friends, filled the gas tank close to ten times, saw nearly 150 slices of pizza be devoured, and laughed with countless Rockbrook campers, alumnae, and new pals. Needless to say, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

camp party girls

On day one, we headed south from Brevard and made it to Atlanta where we had a Rockbrook party at camper Kate’s house.  Kate hosted the party with her mom, Betsy, a RBC alumna.  We had so much fun! We weren’t ready to leave Georgia after we had such a great time in Atlanta, so we made stops in Columbus and Macon.  In Columbus, we laughed all night with Emma, our host camper, and her brother Cam.  We fell in love with their new puppy, Tank, but Emma wouldn’t let us take him home.

girl camp event
tank resting
Tank resting in his basket!

Tank wasn’t the only furry friend that we wanted to take home with us.  We had a party at Anna Kate’s house in Macon where I was introduced to her sweet dog, Ollie.  I had heard rumors that Ollie was one of the best dogs I would ever meet.  Let me assure you, THE RUMORS ARE TRUE.  We saw lots of Rockbrook campers at the party in Macon, and Anna Kate’s mom Kathleen, a former camper herself, built a fire so we could all make s’mores.  Yum- talk about a crowd pleaser!

Anna Kate and Ollie
Anna Kate and Ollie roast a s’more
Georgia Camp Girls

We visited Charlotte’s mom’s house in Georgia before heading North for our last two shows.  It’s only necessary that I mention this because I was able to snap a picture of LITTLE CHARLOTTE that I feel I must share with you.  Enjoy.  

Charlottesville VA

After three fabulous shows in Georgia we made the eight hour drive to Charlottesville to catch up with camper Hannah Margaret and her parents, Wendy and Ed.  We loved seeing so many Rockbrook girls in Virginia, and a couple of loyal counselors, Lyndsey and Greer, made appearances also.  However, it was Hannah Margaret and her dog, Freckles, who stole the show in Charlottesville.  Freckles, a show dog in his own right, has won ribbons in a couple of local dog shows with Hannah Margaret as his trainer.  Go Freckles, Go!!! 

Camp party friends
Camp Alumni gathering

We were sad to leave Charlottesville, but excited to make it to DC where campers Tia, Wiley and Sarah were waiting for us!  The DC party, hosted by Alison and Jill, was such a blast!  The energy was amazing, and everyone was so excited to hear about camp.  We gave all the girls some RBC shades, and they rocked them To wrap our trip up, we had dinner with some of our favorite Rockbrook counselors in DC.  Elizabeth, Katie, Christine, Jane, Kendal, Charlotte and I laughed all night long.  It was great to catch up! We had such a great time out on the open road, and we loved seeing so many Rockbrook faces- new and old!  Thanks for coming out, y’all!  We hope to see you all again soon!