Upper Senior Challenge Sunday
July 18, 2021 by Don Gentle
Sunday’s are special here at High Rocks. We want to be sure the boys have some time for reflection and to change it up a little bit. Rest is important. We give the boys an extra thirty minutes to sleep in on Sundays and we also share some important lessons down by the lake. Today was a perfect Sunday morning!
Our first agenda item of the day, however, was laundry. The boys all work together to get their items sorted into three bags, then they are asked to all work together to get those items off to the backside of the dining hall where the laundry is picked up. It’s certainly not something you add to your brochure, but these little steps at camp really help build some independence, accountability, and even empathy. I love watching the guys work together to get these sizable bags off to the pick-up point. In a flash, it’s all back to camp clean, dry, and folded before dinner.
Our morning service centered around community. One of the pillars in our mission statement. Along with some details about what community is and why it is important, I also focused on the need for each other and the importance of contributing to your community. Not only does it help the others around you, but it also makes your life better. We talked about how important it is to learn about and appreciate each other and their differences. The rest of our morning was filled with some free time and relaxation on the lake, the tennis courts, some field games. The boys had a great time.
After rest hour, the guys had a few more choice period options. Several campers and counselors were playing their tennis matches, while others took on some lawn games. The big event was the Upper Senior Challenge. Again, this event is similar to an adventure race that is put together very much like ‘The Amazing Race.” Teams have to move from place to place performing tasks. Each clue takes them to another part of High Rocks where they have to read and communicate the challenge appropriately to the other team members. Most all of the challenges are activities some of the guys have been doing for years at camp. Teams are divided up by cabin groups and only the oldest “upper-senior” group competes. Activities included a lot of running, shooting sports, mountain biking, climbing, canoeing, the rope swing, pottery (yes, pottery), and fire building. It was truly a challenge for these boys.
The most important part of this event is that they have to do it as a team. The cabin group cannot start another activity until all the members are there and they do not finish until their whole team has passed the finish line. It is amazing to see these boys motivate and cheer each other on throughout the whole event. Of course, some are more athletic than others, but not all of the skills are athletic and everyone pulls their weight. It is one of my favorite Sunday events in camp. I really enjoy seeing these boys, some of who have been here since they were seven, show the mastery and skills they have learned through the years of camp. There are a number of pictures that really show how much these guys put into it. What a fantastic group of young men.
Breakfast: Scratch-made cinnamon rolls. Rolled on the table and proofed right before your eyes! Of course, it was combined with assorted cereals, scrambled eggs, sausage, oatmeal, and a fruit bar with yogurt. A great way to kick-off a Sunday.
Lunch: The kitchen called it everything day. An assortment of some leftovers along with a tasty chicken alfredo dish, meatball lasagna sided with watermelon, and three different salads to choose from.
Dinner: Cookout with hamburgers and hotdogs, and all the fixings.
These last few days are going to be amazing. I always enjoy seeing how these boys push themselves to the very end. I can’t wait to share it with you.
Have a great night,