July 31, 2010 by Don Gentle
Pictures from July 31, 2010 (password required)
Years of history go into Saturday’s here at High Rocks. For many years Sumner Williams (co-founder of Camp High Rocks) would make pancakes for all of camp on Saturday. The tradition has been passed on to Hank, and he truly gets into the “Zen” of pancake making. It’s fun to see him back there hamming it up with the kitchen staff, yet taking every flip as serious as landing an airplane. I think the boys get a kick out of seeing Hank in an apron getting them all jazzed up about his wonderful buttermilk pancakes! He out did the boys today. Hank just kept making cakes until they couldn’t eat anymore; he then gloriously claimed victory with more cakes in the pan the boys could finish!
I cannot believe it has been almost a week here at camp. So much can happen in a week here at High Rocks, it”s amazing! The boys get over homesickness, learn to make their bed, make new friends, and make it to all their activities, mostly on time…mostly. Camp has a wonderful way of creating a little self reliance coupled with a touch of self-assuredness; life skills that will be used for many years to come.
I have had the pleasure of leading our morning assembly the last couple of days. I get pretty excited waking these boys up, getting them to learn new songs and just the general corniness of the whole event. By the last day of camp, these guys will be belting out the camp songs like they have known them for years. My favorite part of assembly is what we call the motion song. A song designed to get the blood moving, the heart pumping, and the mind excited! We jump around, dance and create strange choreography only found at camp. What a joy.
After wandering around camp the last two days, watching the boys learning in their activities, I was amazed at how much they have learned in just a few short days. One of our activities here is mountain biking. The guys love it, but it’s hard work! Not only do they tend to forget about the uphill part, but many of the younger boys have never been off pavement, and some have only just started riding their bike. We spend the first few days orienting the boys to the bikes and the new terrain on the athletic field where the ground is mostly flat and the grass soft and bouncy. I was truly amazed slots machine online to see these guys fall time and time again only to come up screaming “this is awesome” and jump right back on their bike.
Sometimes activities are re-invented here at camp. The waterfront today was a good example. We tend to have a little fun in activities on Saturdays by mixing it up with games and themes. Today at sailing the boys were working on capsize drills; purposely tipping the boat over in order to practice righting the boat. I’m not sure these guys will ever want to do anything else in sailing again… As far as they are concerned, we might as well call it boat tipping class. The boys wanted to do it again and again…and again. The cool thing is that these guys are learning an important safety skill and they will be very well practiced since our wonderful staff have made it so fun.
Canoeing had a similar theme…Dragon boat paddling. Load up a canoe with eight or nine guys and ask them to paddle around the lake. Of course, the end result is usually a boat tipping over. The boys took joy in learning what is called a “Capistrono Flip;” a special deep water technique where you lift the boat upside-down out of the water, then flip it over without getting water in it. Again, by the time it was over all they wanted to do was get back in the boat just to watch it tip over again. Sometimes a little chaos is a good thing :).
Have a wonderful night!