June 11, 2015 by Don Gentle
What a fantastic day at camp! We had a number of trips and events going on today. It was great to see how much these boys have learned in just a few days. They are having an incredible time! My day started around 7:15 with the typical stroll up the hill to the dining hall for a short meeting. For the first couple days you could here the Hillside boys rustling about and looking out the window. This morning, they were out cold. A couple of the groups from last night’s cabin overnights were heading back in, looking a little groggy as they meandered back to their cabins.
There was plenty going on before the the morning bell. Of course the kitchen was busy with breakfast, but there were also a couple groups getting ready for an early breakfast to seize the day in the forest. Both a rock climbing trip and a caving trip were assembling by the bell to head into breakfast at the wake-up bell. The rock climbing trip was heading off to the south side of Looking Glass Rock in Pisgah National Forest. The cavers were off to a so-called “indoor hiking experience.” Plenty dark and muddy, with some tight squeezes here and there just for fun!
After breakfast, some of our younger paddlers were heading out to the French Broad on their first river experience in tandem canoes. Meanwhile, a group of hikers headed over to Bridal Veil Fall in DuPont State Recreational Forest.
With all of that happening it was hard to believe we still had a full in-camp program going on today. I was lucky enough to tag along with the oldest group of mountain bikers this afternoon. I enjoy seeing the instruction from a campers perspective. I also like the boys to see I can still keep up with them :)… Ryan Donovan has that program on lock down! The boys started with a quick warm-up, a few new skills and demonstrations, then we hit the trail that would eventually take us up a hill called “chain breaker!” The name alone should give you a clue about how steep it might be. We descended back down rocky top pasture trail that includes a series of open pasture with small rock outcroppings hidden in clusters of trees. As the trail winds down the hill, each cluster and rock presented a new challenge. We rolled back into camp passing all the excitement in shootings sports, woodworking, soccer, and finally the climbing tower. I truly enjoyed my experience as much as the boys did.
I spent some time on the mystic hill near the dining hall as the youngest age group was preparing for their cabin overnight experience. What a fun group of boys super excited about heading into the woods for the night. I am looking forward to the results of what the cheesy, sticky , smokey, dirt sprinkled event will reveal as the boys return in the morning.
The rest of camp spent the evening heading off the rope swing, the water slide, and some played a few tag games on the soccer field. Finally, they wrapped up their day with a fresh baked chocolate ship cookie and a cold glass of milk just before heading back to the cabins.
As the sun sets on another incredible day at Camp High Rocks, the first rain drops of the day are scattering down in the trees. I can hear the tree frogs general excitement, but not much else. What a perfect way to head off to bed. It could very well be a perfect day!
Sure is great to be here,