July 20, 2014 by Don Gentle
As we head into week four for the majority of our campers here at High Rocks, I was intrigued by what Jeff presented to the group this morning down by the lake. He took a moment to talk about practice, asking the campers what they thought it meant, and their ideas about it. He then talked about how High Rocks is a great place to learn how to practice. There are so many moments in our activities and daily camp life to practice at what we want to eventually become habits. What he ultimately described to the boys was that camp is a great place to consciously build habits.
These campers spend hours practicing in their activities, but they also practice being part of a community, friendship, mentoring, listening, moving, and even using a broom. So not only are they becoming good archers, they are also becoming good members of a community. High Rocks creates an incredible environment to practice these skills of character. I feel like the most compelling statement that was presented is that “We are what we practice doing.” In a sense that is true about everything we do. We are not great paddlers because we did really well once; rather we are good paddlers because that is what we are practicing to do. The more we practice at something, the more we will be that which we practice. Jeff made a point of reminding the kids that practice has a dark side too just like most everything. If we practice beign a bully, then we will become a bully.
So the challenge was made to practice at all of the things you would like to see yourself become. He ended with a quote from Aristotle “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Here at High Rocks we are building habits that will later prove to be what we have become. It really puts a whole new meaning behind making your bed every morning, brushing your teeth, helping out a fellow camper, or even learning how to rock climb.
So as the boys continue to practice this week in their activities, many will be challenged on new rivers, rocks, trails, and targets. This last week of camp is always the most exciting! I am always amazed at what these boys have become!
Speaking of exciting. We sure had a blast this afternoon. It was pure boys excitement as the information and directives came out about the impending “ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE” right after rest hour. It was an afternoon of missions, secret “cures,” attacks, and retreats as the zombies spread across camp like a vicious virus. Just as it appeared that there would be no hope and the humans would all perish, a cure was created and tested. As the humans slowly started to regain control of their world, the zombies retreated. Finally, in one last massive push, the humans cornered the zombies in the tennis courts and prevailed by curing them all! Who knew the world would almost end only to be saved in a matter of just over two hours. Just another awesome day at High Rocks…
There are some great pictures from last night’s dance with Keystone Camp and the Apocalypse. It is going to be an incredible week!