It Sure is Fun, And Way More…
August 8, 2018 by Don Gentle
The warm summer morning was awesome. A group of guys from the hill were heading out for a “river snorkeling” trip this morning, so they were up early and coming down the hill just as I was heading to my morning meeting. All I heard was “Don, can we ring the bell?” After I figured out why they were out of their cabin so early, I was more than happy to help them out. They had to wait outside for just a bit until it was time. Finally, the guys were all jumping at the chance. We headed over to the bell, discussed our plan and then let it rip! It was an echoing “Good Morning High Rocks!” What a great start to the day.
So does camp have to be fun all the time? It would be easy to say yes, but the magic is in the truth that it isn’t always fun or easy. It sure is worth it, though. What I am trying to say is while camp life at High Rocks is awesome, it is also educational. Sometimes that education can be frustrating and even difficult. For some of the youngest boys this session, the hardest part was getting out of the car on opening day. The learning continues everyday as they not only learn skills in their activities, but they also learn how to interact with one another. The challenges of living with six other people that are not your family members should not be overlooked. While the cabin experience can be fun, it can also be challenging. I’m pretty sure your son did not say that the first thing on his list for coming to camp was to learn how to live with six other boys. The cabin experience also holds some of their greatest memories. You can’t have one without the other.
In their activities, the boys work hard everyday to learn new skills and attempt to get better. The new challenges make it more exciting, which encourages them to work hard to get to that next level. While it is a lot of “Wee Ha” we like to think it is a lot more than that. Even going off the rope swing for the first time can be a big deal. It’s a new challenge that takes us outside of our comfort zones. These boys are living that everyday and loving it! Not one phone, computer, or tablet anywhere! It sure is a good break for these guys.
The biggest contributing factor to success at camp, outside of the parents’ willingness to send their child, is the staff that mentor them. We spend a lot of time hiring and training our staff. They are a hard working group of young adults that enjoy educating young children and adolescents. The biggest edge they have over parents is that the boys think they are the coolest. Add some fun and a cool location void of the distractions of electronics and you have an opportunity to overcome all sorts of what life will throw at you. I have heard it phrased in many different ways, but I think it goes something like this… “It’s not what we do for our children, it is what we teach them to do for themselves that is important.”
The boys were all over the place again today on trips. There are some fun pictures of a climbing trip, river trip, and the river snorkeling. We missed getting pictures on the two-day hike, but those guys did a fantastic job of marching around our 1100-acre wood for two days. Speaking of just two days, that’s all we have left! Wow, I can’t believe it!
Stay tuned for the final push, it’s going to be a thrill!