Morning in the Mountains
July 30, 2019 by Don Gentle
What a joy it is to wake up in the mountains of North Carolina! I always query the boys on the first day to see how well they slept. I typically get the “I woke up and forgot where I was” phrase. I still find that sometimes myself. When you wake up in a new place for the first time. There is always that half-second moment and then you remember. I’ at High Rocks, of course!
I wandered up to the dining hall early this morning to get some of that locally roasted coffee we serve every day. After a few good mornings to our awesome kitchen crew, I made my way to my first cup. I came back for some small talk with Nate, our head chef as I watched the guys roll out the fresh-made biscuit dough on the table. Just then, the buzzer from the oven sounded. The first batch of biscuits just came out! I was so excited! As Rebekah slowly brushed them with butter, I watched in awe. She smiled and let me take one. Scratch-made biscuits and coffee! A nice way to start the day.
Nate and I decided we would ring the bell this morning and wake-up the boys from their slumber. After a few “lusty tugs” on the bell, we belted out a solid “GOOD MORNING HIGH ROCKS!” Just as we finished, Sumner strayed from his usual revelry with a jazzy tune that sounded pleasant in the cool mountain air.
The boys of flattop were already half-finished with their cabin clean-up and were already bringing out the daily wet items for the line outside. Nte and I jested at several cabins as we walked back to the dining hall. You could hear a few “good mornings.” What a way to wake up at High Rocks for the first time!
Breakfast started with a wonderful selection of cereals, including our house-made granola. The granola starts with oats, honey, and real maple syrup, then we mix in a few other lovely items and bake it in the oven. Of course, there were plenty of scratch-made biscuits. Other hot items included scrambled eggs, grits, and sausage patties. We rounded out the offerings with a selection of fresh-cut fruit including watermelon, oranges, pink grapefruit, grapes, and blueberries paired nicely on the end with some Greek yogurt. As you can see, we put some time in our breakfast and give the boys plenty of options.
Morning assembly was up next. The ever-important motion song is a key part of our day. Assembly serves a number of purposes, but mostly it’s about getting our bodies and minds ready for the day. Our first assembly today included a number of motion songs as well as some other sing-alongs. We then talked a little bit about cabin clean-up as our age group inspectors give the boys some feedback about their morning duties.
The rest of the morning and the afternoon served a very important purpose of acclimating ourselves with all of our cabin mates, learning some important skills that will serve us later, and having a ton of fun! By this evening most of the boys had some time at the waterfront with canoeing and swimming, made a tie-dye, climb on the tower, hit the slip and slide, learned the rules of several free time High Rocks games, and even went on a hike.
Tonight the boys enjoyed some evening activity time with just their age-group. Part of that time they took the opportunity to select their activity 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 while they are here. We will talk more about how important that is later. 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!