June 13, 2019 by Don Gentle
Just another beautiful day here at The Rocks. We woke up to a blustery 55 degrees this morning accompanied by a beautiful breeze and pleasant sun. It was a great way to start the day. A warm breakfast with scrambled eggs on the flattop, scratch-made biscuits, piping hot grits, and smoked sausage certainly warmed things up. Even in the Southeast grits are not the staple they used to be. Nate does a fantastic job of cooking them for an hour or more with plenty of added cream and butter. If that doesn’t get you excited, I’m not sure you were meant to eat grits. They tasted fantastic in my bowl. I even talked a few guys into trying them.
The paddlers were the early risers today. A group of campers were heading over to the Tuckaseegee River to revisit some skills and warm up that muscle memory for further advancement later in the session. They were out the door by 8:30 am for a full day of adventure. Reports were that everyone fell asleep on the ride home after a big time! A job well done!
The big hit was the PARI Planetarium visit. For the entire day boys had the opportunity to spend an hour inside the PARI AdventureDome Portable Planetarium. PARI or Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute is an education and research area in the dark corners of our county. They sent out a team of experts to share all sorts of science facts with the kids. Nearly everyone took some time out of their normal schedule to step inside the dome for a bit. We sure enjoyed having them.
My “kids need camp” moment today was down at sailing. I’m not sure if you noticed, but the boys have had some wonderful wind these last couple of days. It’s been a wonderful sight to see these guys pick up the sailing skills so quickly. Today’s wind was even better. It makes for great sailing, but it also adds to the adventure. It’s an important skills to learn how to slow your boat down and avoid an accidental jibe. Anyhow, the blood pressure was up a bit this afternoon as the boys had their first “unexpected” capsize. The boys have practiced it, but when it happens for real, it can throw you right our of your comfort zones. I watched these boys check on each other, figure out what to do next, and then start to get the boat upright again. The staff were right there on a paddleboard to mentor and coach, but they were not going to do it for them. The boys did a great job getting over to the daggerboard for the righting process. As luck would have it, the boat “turtled.” This happens when the mast continues to tip downward leaving the boat completely upsidedown looking much like a turtle. The boys climbed right up there and hung on that daggerboard until finally, the mast slowly broke the surface. Boom! That boat was upright again. Pretty impressive.
Were they nervous? Probably… Will their boat tip over again? I am certain…and they will know exactly what to do. Adventure gives us the opportunity to prove ourselves even though we are uncertain. The grit these boys learned today will travel with them to their next adventure. There will definitely be some “capsizes” in other life experiences along the way. Believe it or not this capsize today will help with those as well. Kids need summer camp like High Rocks.
Speaking of awesome camp experiences, the paddlers were not the only trips out today. Rock climbing enjoyed a couple of hikes up the “High Rocks” for some feel of real rock. While hiking had an all-day hike up to John Rock in Pisgah National Forest.
Another wonderful day at The Rocks! Stay Tuned…