The Only Saturday
August 4, 2018 by Don Gentle
It’s hard to believe we are hitting our only real Saturday of the session. We were blessed with a full day of sunshine, mild weather, and the delight of Camp High Rocks’ 1100-acre wood. If you couldn’t tell from the pictures, the boys all got their cool High Rocks tie-dyes back last night. Just about everyone decided to wear them TODAY! It sure made for some wonderful pictures. A HUGE thanks to Samantha and all the folks that helped make this tie-dye event a reality.
Sassy Sock Saturday also started our day. We had a lot of mismatched socks for the sassiness, but there were also some pretty cool socks that I witnessed. Life in activities was very busy as these boys continued to work on their skills and enjoy some learning in their activities.
Rock Climbing at High Rocks is one of our most popular activities. Like all of our activities, climbing follows a very purposeful progression. The boys all learn how to put on their harness and helmet. They learn the knots, safety calls, and rules. Finally, they get right to the climbing on our 50-foot tower. Our tower has six different sides, each with different features and difficulty. The focus of the program is to get them out on real rock. We have numerous locations locally right in Pisgah National Forest. We also make use of several other climbing locations within the state and local areas. During their lessons at the tower, they learn all sort of techniques and maneuvers to help them get up the tower or rock. They will also learn how to rappel down a rope from the top and learn how to ascend the rope. The oldest age group of boys in the longer sessions even learn how to belay. We also have an 800 square foot bouldering cave where boys learn very difficult moves at lower levels. It is a good way to build strength and learn new techniques. Lead by qualified staff, the program offers all sorts of challenges and adventures for multiple years.
Our hiking campers participated in the annual “car camping” Saturday. The staff set up a cool campground complete with a Hillbilly hot tub. What is a hillbilly hot tub? Well, you take a pickup truck, line the bed of the truck with a tarp and add water. BOOM, you have a freezing, err hot tub. The 60 degree well water makes for a chilly cool off in the truck. Complete the scene with some lawn games, food around the fire pit, and some music and there you have it!
The boys are starting to enter the next phase of their camp life, particularly in the cabin. Boys are making friends, having disagreements, and feeling very comfortable. This is a time when cabin meetings have a little more “meat” to them. We find the cabin meeting is one of the most important parts of cabin life. Each night the boys talk about their day. They may speak about their favorite part or something they are looking forward to tomorrow. They may even bring up what they thought was the “downer” of the day. These early meetings set the stage for later, more important, meetings where boys may want to bring up a concern or issue they have. We are teaching these boys to share their feelings, concerns, and joys with each other. We are also helping them learn about empathy and understanding. It is definitely not what they signed up to do at camp, but it is most certainly helping them with their camp experience. If boys learn to talk about things and use their words, they feel like they are understood, and they learn to understand. It builds community. A pillar in the the High Rocks experience.
Camp life has so many cool moments. Here’s to Saturday and an awesome week ahead! Have a great night!