A Great First Day!
July 31, 2018 by Don Gentle
I love the morning at High Rocks! This morning was no different. After I get dressed I usually see Barley, my dog, as I head out to the living room. We enjoy a moment on the deck. I think he just uses me for a hearty rub down each morning, but we both enjoy this daily ritual. As I sit on the deck it is pure nature quiet. You know, not really quiet but only wildlife noises. It puts my mind right. time to get moving.
I get up pretty early to get a grasp on the day so I can be ready for a morning leadership meeting most days. I try to function through a few items and then look at email even before coffee. I grab a camera, my notes, and head off to the dining hall. My second favorite moment of the day is my walk to the dining hall in the quiet. The first morning of camp always has a few young guys already up and checking out the scenery. I usually say hey to our awesome kitchen staff. After a few “good mornings” and an inventory of the breakfast offerings I grab the half and half and make my way to the coffee pot. Warm coffee on a cool mountain morning is the ticket! I have another brief moment of silence as the others trickle in for the meeting. I haven’t seen Zoob since I left the room this morning. We all gather up and get at it.
Our morning meeting is a key event here at High Rocks. We talk about campers, staff, events, upcoming events, and even parents. Team Noland (Woody and Dan) fill us in on a lot of camper life. As head counselors, they keep a pulse on how everyone is doing. Will Johnson is the man with the plan. He oversees all vehicles, activity coverage, and cabin coverage. Zoob assists a little with this as well, some of the kitchen staffing, special events, and keeping me in line. Townsend and Darby are the key folks with office detail. We brief a little about some kitchen details, and even the health center. I mostly take notes and go through the list of upcoming special events, camp life, tours, and other special items on the horizon. In 40 minutes we are all caught up on the community and ready to lead the day! Just as the boys are ready to come in for breakfast we wrap it up. High Rocks is alive and ready for another day! Off we go!
Breakfast is always assorted cereals, hot bar items, and an amazing fruit bar. The hot bar today included scrambled eggs, hash browns off the flattop just like Waffle House, and sausage links. The fruit bars had sliced oranges, grapes cut to the right sized clump, sliced grapefruit, blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries. The smaller berries are usually near the greek yogurt. I like to take a little house-made granola, greek yogurt, and a pile of berries all together in a bowl. Delightful!
Today we had our first assembly after breakfast. I love assembly; especially with this group! We sang mostly all motion songs. The “motion song” is a key item to set you straight for the day. First, it’s important to warm-up for the day. Two, you can’t be cool doing a motion song. Everyone looks silly. There goes the cool card out the window. Nothing beats seeing a bunch of boys getting all goofy, bouncing around, and singing some of the best camp songs. We wrapped up with a few announcements and got the boys all sorted for their second day of activity introductions and fun!
One highlight of my day was a tour I lead for a prospective family. Dad was a second generation alum who came to camp in the 90s. We knew each other fairly well and enjoyed bringing up old camp staff and campers from his era. His father came the very first year of camp back in 1958 and a few after that. Mom is a Camp Merrie-Woode alum, a wonderful camp for girls over near Cashiers. I love it when camp folks get together. They had just dropped off their oldest at Merrie-Woode for her first session this morning. I enjoyed showing them around High Rocks with their two young boys. What a wonderful time as we all talked about camp together. Mom enjoyed hearing about all the High Rocks things and then we would talk about Merrie-Woode. We hope to see those boys again in a year or two. Summer is the best time to see Camp High Rocks in action. If you have friends thinking about summer camp it is the best way to make your decision. A tour of any camp will give you more detail, feel for camp life, the staff, facilities, and general running than any other way. Visit camp in the summer. We are not all created equal.
After a solid morning of activities, we enjoyed a little rain shower during lunch and a bit into rest hour. Taco day was a big hit for our second lunch of the session! The rain cooled the air nicely as we headed back to cabins for our first rest hour. This afternoon it was more fun rotations and introductions all the way to dinner. We had a little late ran around five. I enjoyed watching the staff show the boys how to enjoy the rain. Boys were still swinging off the rope swing, canoeing, and even hiking. We had many lessons in just one short day.
Tonight the boys enjoyed some evening activity time with just their age-group. Part of that time they took the opportunity to select their schedule for the rest of the session. They will pick five activities for instruction. Our hope is that they can move through a progression and build some skills through the rest of the session. Tomorrow I will send off a letter letting you know your son’s schedule. It’s going to be a big day tomorrow! I can’t wait!