April 1, 2016 by Will Johnson
Spring is here at High Rocks, and we are glad! The days are warmer and longer, the frogs are peeping in the trees, and wild violets festoon the grounds at camp like purple sprinkles on a verdant cupcake! We’ve been hard at work getting ready for this season since camp ended last August and we can’t wait for opening day. Particularly, we are thrilled to reveal a number of improvements to our facility, as well as some exciting new program developments! Here’s the deal:
We’ve paved the surface of the GaGa pit; the dust clouds formed by the former natural surface settled on the grasses of the activity field and lent them an unsightly brown hue. The need for paving was further justified by the unacceptably fun conditions which developed in the pit during rainstorms – mud GaGa was deemed “too cool for school” by the Transylvania County board of education during a routine, state-mandated review of our activities. Additionally, we’re adding Multivariate Calculus as an all-day activity on the school board’s recommendation to incorporate more STEM programs into our offerings.
New equipment is pouring into camp every day, too; we just received a shipment of brooms straight from the UK! The bludgers, quaffle, and snitch will arrive on Monday. As if we haven’t been busy enough putting hoops and grandstands around the
soccer field quidditch pitch, we’ve also stocked the lake with a fresh crop of frozen fish, installed a carousel at the barn, and added an elevator to the interior of our climbing tower!
Too bad it’s only April Fools Day!
Seriously, though, we have had a rocking winter and are SO EXCITED for summer!! We’ve run a full-court press on the facilities and grounds this year; the Gym looks like a whole new building, the cabins and dining hall are sporting fresh coats of paint, Foxhollow has updated bathrooms, plus innumerable other fixes! You’ll just have to see everything we’ve done when you get here. Huge thanks go to Danny Stewart for making camp more beautiful and functional each and every year!
The entire year-round staff has been busy since camp ended last August, and not just in maintenance!
- Zoob Gentle and Woody Noland have been gathering the band back together and seeking the freshest new staff members for 2016’s dream team.
- To add more mayhem to an already packed schedule, Don Gentle has joined an all-male dance troupe: Pisgah Thunder. No joke! They dance at events in Brevard to raise funds and support for the Cindy Platt Boys & Girls Club of Transylvania County. Don’s shimmying skills are a tremendous asset to the Thunder – everyone who has seen him in morning assembly knows that his hips don’t lie.
- Mirenda Gwin has been running a tight ship as the Admiral of our Office, but makes time to soak up nature not only here in WNC, but also in such exotic locales as Mexico, the Caribbean, and the Grand Canyon!
- The Birdsong family has been at the grindstone all winter, as well. Townsend works closely with Don & Zoob on our core business functions, tends the barn, and even hops on the tractor when the weather is nice.
- Hank has been a road-cycling machine this year and recently completed a 120 mile ride, crossing over the parkway twice as well as climbing Caesar’s Head! He and his sons Mark and Benjamin stay busy managing a number of online summer camp directories.
- I continue to wear a number of hats throughout the winter season, but generally split my time between the office, the grounds, and any waterway deep enough to float a kayak.
There are 71 days until we open our three-week session! From now until our first Father-Son program, there are only 41 days! We’ve got plenty to do, yet, but I know we will be ready to open when the time comes. Until then, the staff here wish everyone well and remind you to make sure that you’ve got closed-toed shoes, a water bottle, and a great attitude as you venture forth in your own endeavors this spring. I hope your day is as great as a day at Camp High Rocks!