It Just Keeps Getting Better
June 15, 2016 by Don Gentle
As I have now entered my twenty-third summer here at High Rocks, I have come to appreciate camp in different ways than when I was 25. I have come to enjoy the community here more than anything. When I was twenty-five, I was all about the paddling program and how many kids we got into kayaks and how many kids we got on the river. While those are still important ideals for young men, the picture has become much bigger. What I have come to learn and ask our staff to focus on is the need for individual attention, for respect, empathy, and the fact that everyone depends on one another. One of the last things I shared with our staff at the end of orientation is that everyone here matters. At times some will be leaders at times they will need help. Regardless of the situation we all work together for the betterment of each other. We are stronger, faster, happier, and definitely cooler when we stick together; when we appreciate our differences and still find a common cause.
Building skills at camp breeds confidence. Confidence breads leaders of tomorrow (or at least adults that know how to make their bed 🙂 ). There sure was a lot of confidence out in camp today. It was another beautiful day with a touch of needed rain just before lunch. It was all sun and fun for the afternoon! There was a fantastic hike up Rich Mountain, and great trip down the Green River, and tow groups of climbers up to the High Rocks. The boys are having a blast and even looking out for one another.
The Hurricane Proof Shelter
One of my favorite picture shots today was of the boys who endured the hurricane test after setting up their shelter. The hiking staff spent the better part of each period showing these guys the best ways to setup tarps for backpacking. They then let the boys setup their own tarps. The test was then the artificial hurricane created by a hose, leaf blower, and a giant pot lid (the thunder). Most of the boys stayed dry, some received immediate feedback on the errors of their way. A perfect example of how we teach life-skills here that are also a lot of fun!
Tomorrow is another fantastic day ahead. Time to rest up.