Waking Up at High Rocks
July 3, 2018 by Don Gentle
The day began swiftly as the morning bell rang and Sumner belted out revelry on his trumpet from the roof of the dining hall! Just as he finished you could hear very loud “CHARGE!” A new day at High Rocks has begun! Soon camp was alive as I yelled out blindly “GOOD MORNING” to several cabins’ soon to hear a few muffled “good morning, Don! I really enjoy the mornings at camp. I almost feel like camp should start even earlier, but I am certain the boys up the hill would not agree. I stormed into Hillside on my way to the dining hall. It wasn’t even fair given I had already had coffee and been up for a couple of hours. I’m not sure they were quite ready for me. After a boisterous “GOOD MORNING” the boys gave me that half-asleep stare that may have said, “what are you doing?” I might give them another day or so to ease into the routine. Anyhow, that was the start of just the first few minutes of our day.
We moved right into breakfast that included assorted cereals, including Cinnamon Toast Crunch (sorry, mom), and our own house-made granola. The hot bar had waffles, scrambled eggs made right on the flattop, cream of wheat, and sausage. Moving on to our amazing fresh fruit bar that included grapes along with sliced oranges, grapefruit, and cantaloupe. There was even fresh strawberries and blueberries that went nicely with the greek yogurt! What a way to start the day!
The first assemblies of the session are always some of the loudest. This is mostly true because no one has left on any early trips yet. Today was no exception as the boys sang out some of their favorites from the songbook. I can’t think of any better way for a new camper to feel comfortable than to watch all the returners sing out the songs in assembly, from memory…mostly! But more importantly, proud and excited to sing out to the morning and for everyone to hear. There are no “cool cards” at camp, particularly at Camp High Rocks. We all feel comfortable and spirited to be who we want to be, even if we aren’t quite sure what that means yet.
I am excited to see this new community come together. We are still “tiptoeing” around these first few days. Today was a perfect start to this fantastic journey. I saw just the right amount of nervous, goofy, anxious behavior that you would expect out of a group of 165 boys suddenly squashed together in a world they know as camp. Our oldest group of campers carried themselves well as they made a point to make everyone feel included, accepted, and one of them.
Speaking of our oldest boys. they took off to the woods tonight to begin the first of many cabin overnights over the next few days. It is always a great time! It’s going to be a wonderful journey. I am so excited to share it with you every night! Tomorrow we will change it up a bit with some Independence Day celebrations! It should make for some great pictures.