July 30, 2014 by Don Gentle
What a fantastic day at camp! The boys are learning new skills in their activities, making their own choice period options, and having a blast! It is really cool to see the boys settling in to their new camp home. It’s pretty funny how these boys share their space. I wouldn’t say that sharing a bedroom and one bathroom with six other people was why they want to come to camp. What I find intriguing is that it never really comes up that this cabin space is so much different than home. What I enjoy is that some of these boys will be their new friend for years to come. Sometimes camp may be the only time they see each other, but they will hang out like they just saw each other yesterday come next summer. Boys are good like that. My daughter is all about writing her friends from camp. She gets excited about receiving letters too. Boys hang it up for 48 weeks and pick up right where they left off. Pretty cool.
I know many of you parents are wondering how everyone is doing, and I hope the nightly blog and pictures give you a good sense of the daily routine of camp. In the next day or so is when the first letters from camp will be arriving in your mailbox. There is the possibility of letter coming home that may worry you. So let’s talk about homesickness. It’s not a scary word. It’s all about growing up one step at a time. After more than 20 years here at High Rocks, I have some pretty good experience about kids and camp. That being said, a little homesickness is normal. More often than not, what you are reading in those letters today has passed and they are on to bigger heights. Remember, we are professionals. If you feel worried at all just drop us a line. Don’t forget to do the same for your son. Give him some encouraging words; tell him how proud you are and how he will be just fine. Try not to go on about how the dog misses him, or all the cool things you are doing at home. When you are learning to take some steps on your own, sometimes you stumble. It’s definitely not a reason to stop walking. Camp is a super place to step out on your own. Don’t forget, the boys love mail. So keep sending it.
Back to the excitement. Today some of our first cabin groups were up on the high ropes course today. Tonight we also have our first cabin overnights of the session. Boys will head out to one of five different open air shelters out on our 1100-acre property. They will spend the night relaxing by the fire, cooking pita pizzas, and roasting marshmallows. They will come back just before breakfast with the results of all last night’s events ground into their shirts like abadge of honor. It’s a perfect night for a camp out!
Last night, the boys and their counselors thought up their age-group nicknames. Rather than just calling them “group 1,” or “juniors,” we have the age groups come up with a fun name that usually precedes a chant or song. You’ll have to wait and hear the chants from your boys on parents’ day, but the group names are as follows along with their evening activity plans for tonight:
- “Hill Billy Warriors” (Hillside & Connestee) Tonight they are on the soccer field.
- “Aggressive Squidwards” (Lakeside & Foxhollow) These guys are heading down the water slide tonight.
- “Men of the Woods” (Flattop & Chalet) This is their “Chill Night” at Sliding Rocks and Dolly’s Ice Cream!
- “Do It for the Vine” (Windswept & Outpost) Windswept is playing games on the athletic field. Outpost is on their cabin overnight.
- “The Most Annoying Noise in the World” (Lookout & Pinnacle) Tonight just Pinnacle is in the cabin field for a game of capture the flag. Lookout is on their cabin overnight.
- “Trains” (Halfway & Holiday) These guys are on their cabin overnight.
I am already excited about tomorrow! Have a great night!