Independence is Incredible
August 7, 2014 by Don Gentle
This could have been the best day of the session. They weather was absolutely perfect. The boys were having the time of their life. I simply enjoyed watching it all happen today. As I wandered around camp, I was amazed to see these boys mastering their environment. They have made their own decisions about what they want their camp experience to look like. Today was no exception. Choice period had so much going on today. The waterfront was filled with paddle boards and canoes. There was even a luau going on at the swimming area with the rock-it in full action. The gaga pit was filled. The bouldering cave had the usual group of boys hanging out to practice tough roof moves and just enjoy being with other climbing friends. Small groups of guys were sitting out on the cabin porches playing cards or other interactive games. Finally, just about every hole on the disc golf course had a small group of guys cheering each other on as they made there way on throw at a time all the way through the course. Choice period is the best time to see the boys in their social space.
I have enjoyed listening to these boys talk with their friends about some of the most random stuff. It’s pretty cool to see what these boys do when they think adults are not around or listening. Surprisingly, it is quite different than when they are speaking with their parents or even their counselors. They become a different version of themselves. Of course there is always a little posturing, some stretched truths, but there is also confidence, assertiveness, and even listening. Boys still impress me with how easily they can all get a group together and play cards, or go play disc golf. They can be in a heated game in the gaga pit, calling each other out about who got hit with the ball and where. At times it seems like an argument, but it never gets too far. The next minute one boy asks if the boy he just called out is ready to head to dinner. “Sure man, let’s go.” Off they go…
These boys are creating themselves here at camp. Sometimes they are re-creating themselves. Either way it’s on their terms, with their thoughts, choices, and words. As parents you may only see a glimpse of what your boys are like at camp, but I want you to know, it’s pretty cool. They might not be able to keep up with all their stuff, but they sure can learn how to be themselves here at High Rocks.
Some of my favorite pictures were the shots taken at Pilot Rock today. It’s a fairly easy climbs as far as ratings go, but man is it long! Great exposure and great views. Just a glimpse of what these boys are up to today. We also had the two-day backpacking trip return from Panthertown Valley. Finally, the last of the river canoeing trips went out today.
Parent’s Day Planning Guide for Saturday
- No need to arrive before 9:30- have breakfast in town, go by Quotations and get a latte, read the newspaper, then leave Brevard after 9am
- Arrive around 9:30, campers will still be in assembly until around 9:45 or later
- We will direct you to the gym, where trunks will be loaded
- From the gym you will drive to the parking area on Campfire hill
- Once assembly is over (around 10:00 AM) each camper will be able to demonstrate the activities of his choice. He will want to introduce you to all of his activity counselors. The best is to just follow along and listen to all of the great stories he has to tell.
- Make a point to catch up with his cabin counselor. He may be in an activity area that he teaches. Your son will know where to find him.
- Please plan to stay until noon and join us for an early lunch that starts around 11:15. If you were not planning to stay for lunch originally, don’t worry- we always plan for extra & will have plenty to go around.
- At some point during the morning-
- Stop by crafts to pick up any projects
- Go by the cabin to pick up personal items that were wet or did not fit in the trunk (all of his items should be on his bed)
- Check out at the camp office & infirmary to pick up your packet (please bring a checkbook in case there is a small balance due) and any medications
- Peruse the “lost & found” items
- It is fine to bring other family members or friends that might be interested in seeing camp. We ask that pets remain at home.
- So it looks like we may have some rain on Saturday. So, let’s all plan for rain with our umbrellas and raincoats. That will assure us that it won’t :).
What’s Next? I always have parents ask about the difference between our two-week session and our longer sessions. The two-week session is meant as an introductory camp experience and all of the trips during a two-week session are beginner level trips. In every session our goal is to have a progression of building skills in the activities. When boys move on to longer sessions as they get older, we are able to build on their previous experiences and keep them at an appropriate level of challenge. As you are planning for your son next summer we are happy to help with any questions you may have about which session may be the best for your son.
I will have a few pictures and one more post tomorrow night. Safe travels!