Goodbye Mini Men!

Today dawned cloudy with a cool breeze, the perfect way to begin a busy day as the temperature put a little extra energy in everyone. It was in many ways a typical day at camp, with trips heading out early after a breakfast of eggs, cinnamon toast, grits, fruit, and the ever-present/ever-popular ranks of cereal.

Canoers had a big morning on the French Broad with some of our youngest boaters. There were lots of stories at lunch about lessons learned in the first glimpse of moving water, banks bumped into, rocks leaping in front of boats, and “massive waves at Killer Fang Falls”. Mountain bikers cruised some lesser used trails in Dupont in the morning, hitting some heavily forested sections away from the typical hordes on the waterfall tour. In camp, sailors embraced the calm day with a relaxed vibe across the lake, punctuated by the occasional shout as a boat was “capsized” by a crewmate. Riders were taking advantage of the cooler day and reduced numbers to make fast laps in the open rings, and fishermen were intently stalking a massive bass lurking under there dock.

All in all, a very normal day with a few notable exceptions. There were some conclusions to some rather special events happening at the same time. For the majority of campers here this was the close of our second week, which had some campers realizing the speed at which life is moving here at High Rocks. Several cabin groups are prepared to focus their meeting tonight on the big goals each camper has, and what steps they have already taken in meeting those marks. Our two day climbing trip came back from Hidden Valley in Virginia where they had been enjoying the beautiful, dry weather so conducive to lots of time on the rock. The trip played hard and climbed harder, with everyone pushing themselves to personal bests and one young man climbing his first 5.12a climb. Lots of pride in those tired faces, and since they got back later this evening, lots of stories to be told to the camp community tomorrow!

Another exception was the surprise of Medieval Night beginning at dinner. The dining hall had been transformed into seating for four kingdoms who engaged in various contests after a rowdy meal replete with a queen, king, and skits vaguely reminiscent of Monty Python. Activities with names like Mountain Siege, Battle of Giants, and Cave of Mysteries kept camp hopping until snack. Our eldest campers, the Aides, had been drafted into a Royal Guard position and were central to the fun and energy of the games played, with the result of sixteen very tired fellas heading back up Senior Hill this evening.

Another big conclusion happened for our group of Mini campers today as they finished their final full day at camp and prepared for departure tomorrow. There is always excitement at the prospect of seeing families soon, showing off their camp, their activities, and their friends. This was amplified by the Medieval Night festivities which wrapped up their last evening activity for this year, and in style as well. There was also some sadness as these young guys contemplate leaving this place that has become a home over the two weeks. Horses received final goodbye pats, projects were collected, and trunks were packed. There were also goodbyes said to Four Week friends, camper and counselors, and there will be a noticeable hole tomorrow when these campers leave us as they have certainly made an impact! They finished their evening with a quiet campfire as a group to allow some time for reflection on the experience before knocking out the nightly routine with the polished skill of the camp veterans that they now are. We are excited for the reunion fun tomorrow, the stories that will be told, and hopefully to see these campers back after another year.

Please enjoy the pictures from today. We will see some of you here with us in the morning, and for the rest, same time tomorrow evening!

Woody Noland

Today’s Pictures

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