You Can’t Do This at Home
June 22, 2016 by Don Gentle
What makes camp amazing is not just the adventure program but the fact that we are doing all of this away from our parents. Of course, the activities are incredible, but the process, the journey of what we call camp is where the jewel is found. While parents want to be the one to teach them everything, you can’t teach independence, you can only give it. It is something first to experience, then to meld and mold into what it really means. High Rocks is a great place to learn independence; from making a bed to making it canoeing on time, independence is found all through the day.
I have enjoyed watching boys move into this second phase of the session. What I call the grit of of camp. The relationships become real. The boys have to confront feelings, frustrations, and each other. That wet bathing suit that your cabin mate keeps leaving on your bed was funny at first, now it is becoming a problem and it can no longer be ignored. This group process is an important part of the experience. Guided by caring and skilled staff, these boys can learn how to discuss issues of difference whether it be opinion, point of view, or just a mis-understanding. It is all part of this 21-day expedition we call camp. This “storming” is an important part of the process.
I tell parents that it’s not even fair sometimes. You can never be as cool as our staff. One of the key reasons all of this works is because our camp staff is admired so much by these boys. It gives the staff a precise advantage to handle all that comes their way, because the boys want to stay on their good side. It’s a funny dynamic, but it sure is whole lot more than soccer balls and canoes…
We had a ton of boys out of camp today. Our advanced three-day boys were still out in high Pisgah until this afternoon. We even had another day hike up in Shining Rock today. Our paddlers headed out to the Tuckaseegee River today. There are some great shots of the first drop and a few others. The climbers were out and about on Looking Glass once again.
I cannot believe the next weekend is already approaching. I pick my girls from Camp Illahee on Friday! I can’t wait to see them! Their three-week session is just wrapping up. I have to live vicariously through the internet portal just as you do for three weeks. I am looking forward to hearing about their adventure. I love to here the stories!
As we get busier into the meat of the session with trips, you may find that your son is not pictures. We try to get some cameras out on trips, but it doesn’t always work. Try not to fret.
Have a great night!
June 23, 2016 by Terry
Don: what a wonderful insight on how High Rocks teaches Independence. High Rocks people make the difference; counselors and campers alike.
June 23, 2016 by Kathy
I love your comments! Thank you for the life-lasting experience you offer these young men. I am a grand parent that feels a little more hopeful about the years ahead knowing that natural surroundings and those that”play in it” will have a groundwork experience to call upon in the future thanks to people like you and your staff. God bless you one and all!!