Upper Senior Challenge and the 5th Year Backpack
June 24, 2018 by Don Gentle
Another fantastic Sunday here at High Rocks! After a much-needed sleep-in, the boys worked hard to get their laundry up to the lot before breakfast. We had a great meal, then a little bounce around time in assembly before heading down to the lake for our morning service. Several of our staff created a dramatic reading fo The Lorax with a discussion afterward. A great lesson showing the importance of taking care of place just like Camp High Rocks.
This afternoon brought about a number of age-group activities that included the water slide, canoeing, capture the flag, and the mud pit. The main event, however, was the“Upper Senior Challenge!” Again, this event is similar to an adventure race that is put together very much like ‘The Amazing Race.” Teams have to move from place to place performing tasks. Each clue takes them to another part of camp where they have to read and communicate the challenge appropriately to the other team members. Most all of the challenges are activities some of the guys have been doing for years at camp. Teams are divided up by cabin groups and only the oldest “upper-senior” group competes. Activities included a lot of running, shooting sports, mountain biking, climbing, canoeing, the rope swing, tennis, soccer, and fire building. It was truly a challenge for these boys.
The most important part of this event is that they have to do it as a team. The cabin group cannot start another activity until all the members are there and they do not finish until their whole team has passed the finish line. It is amazing to see these boys motivate and cheer each other on throughout the whole event. Of course, some are more athletic than others, but not all of the skills are athletic and everyone pulls their weight. It is one of my favorite Sunday events in camp. I really enjoy seeing these boys, some of who have been here since they were seven, show their mastery and skills they have learned through the years of camp. There are a number of pictures that really show how much these guys put into it. What a fantastic group of young men.
Our day ended with a great cookout on the lawn followed by campfire and a fantastic story from a longtime staff member Brad Carter, who just happened to be coming back a few days a week this summer to help us out in rock climbing. Brad told us a great story about one of his epic climbing endeavors. The boys really enjoyed it.
Near the end of campfire, we handed out five-year backpacks for this session. There were sixteen campers that received them tonight. All of these boys are about to complete their fifth summer here at High Rocks. We also have 45 boys this session who have been here five years or more! High Rocks is a place where you can grow up. I have known many of these boys since they were eight and nine years old! I have watched them overcome challenges, work through frustrations, and have the time of their lives! I really enjoy seeing these guys come back year after year! Interestingly, there is another 31 who are in their fourth year this session! I am looking forward to handing out packs to those boys next year.
I can’t believe we only have four days until parents’ day. Not to worry, it is going to be a busy one, with a ton of boys heading out of camp. We are super excited about this coming week!
Have a great night,