Many of our campers return to Rockbrook year after year, as if this special place in the heart of the wooded mountain calls them back. Some campers even go on to be counselors, and help create the magic that they experienced as campers for a new generation of Rockbrook girls. Before they become counselors, however, a few campers get the chance to experience parts of being a counselor while still being a camper. These are our Hi-Up campers, who have just finished tenth grade. Hi-Ups have lots of special responsibilities at camp. They help set up for each meal in the dining hall and clean up afterwards, teach Rockbrook songs, and ring bells, just to name a few. They also get a chance to develop their leadership skills through Girls With Ideas sessions. Hi-Ups stay busy, but they also get to have a lot of fun! Hi-Up cabin day is always on Thursday mornings, where they get to take a break from their responsibilities at camp and enjoy being together.
Today, I was lucky enough to be able to drive them up to the Blue Ridge Parkway and join in as they hiked and climbed along a two-mile loop at Graveyard Fields. It was amazing to see the strong relationships these girls have formed over their years together as campers. We stopped for a snack break at one of the oldest trees in that part of the forest and all were in awe at the beauty of the moment. Rockbrook brought these girls together years ago, and it is the simple magic of the place that keeps them coming back year after year. Soon, these girls will be counselors, but for now, they have the chance to simply enjoy the time they have together. Standing there beside a tree at least as old as the camp we all share, a Hi-Up named Jackie put it perfectly when she said, “I miss this moment! I haven’t left it yet, but I miss it!” Camp is incredible in that way— every moment can be special, just because of who you share it with.