We Can Sleep After Camp is Over
July 15, 2021 by Don Gentle
It was another busy day out of the blocks this morning. Our climbers helped us out with the wake-up bell since they were looking for an early start. There was a group of boys headed out for a two-day climbing trip. We will not see them until after dinner tomorrow night. Our paddlers also headed out today for a trip on the Tuckaseegee. There are some fun pictures from that event. Finally, our mountain bikers have another group over to Dupont State Forest.
I really enjoy our mountain biking program. The guys do such a great job at making sure these boys are ready for the next adventure on the trail. With over 20 miles of trails to ride and a new pump track, there is certainly plenty to do here on our 1110 acres, but the trails at Dupont are also amazing! And it is so close, it makes for an easy event.
What really makes it special is our mountain biking staff. They are not just instructors and mentors, they are rail builders, bike mechanics, and trip leaders. A lot goes into a mountain bike program. Just keeping the bikes tuned up is a daily job for someone. Repairs also take time. Keeping a fleet of over 50 bikes up and running is no small task. Our head of mountain biking, Doug Miller, is a true leader. He is passionate about the sport, but also about the success of his staff and campers. He works hard to train and mentor these staff to keep the program up and running. Some of my favorite parts of the program are when I see one of the staff teaching a boy to ride a bike for the first time. Doug has a ton of experience and training including instructor certification from the Professional Mountain Bike Instructors Association and a longtime Wilderness First Responder certification. He also sits on the local Pisgah Area SORBA (Southern Off-Road Mountain Bike Association) board of Directors. That group does a lot for area mountain bikers. What a great part of the High Rocks program. A big thanks to all of them.
Many of the four-week guys are in what I call “The Grit” of the camp session. It’s that time during the session where they have a pretty good sense of everything and know exactly what they want. They are also working hard at several goals and activities at the same time. They have this sort of winded, rough, grizzled look about them. Their hair has taken on a new shape of its own. Mostly, because it is about time for a haircut. Their clothes are clean, but they keep trying to wear that same favorite shirt like it’s an important piece of armor. They are certainly all that, they are also having a blast hoping it will never end! The general thought is that we can rest AFTER camp.
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs, link sausage, scratch-made blueberry muffins, oatmeal, cut fruit, assorted cereals.
Lunch: Grilled chicken sandwiches with all the sides any way you like with provolone or pepper jack, lettuce, tomato, onion, and real Claussen pickles. Tetris (tater) Tots, Grilled broccoli and cauliflower, pineapple, romaine tossed salad or spring greens tossed salad
Dinner: Salisbury steak with mushroom gravy, mashed baby reds with more love than you want to know in them, grilled asparagus, tossed salad, and caramel bars
I have a quick note for our Mini II parents. Our Four Week parents may want to chime in on your son’s first year here at High Rocks. I’m sure many of you have not thought about that in a long time. Anyhow, I know many of you Mini I parents are wondering how everyone is doing, and I hope the nightly blog and pictures give you a good sense of the daily routine of camp. In the next day or so the first letters from camp will be arriving in your mailbox. There is the possibility of the letter coming home that may worry you. So, let’s talk about homesickness. It’s not a scary word. It’s all about growing up one step at a time. After 25 years here at High Rocks, I have some pretty good experience with kids and camp. A little homesickness is normal. Often, what you are reading in those letters today has passed and they are on to bigger heights. Remember, we are professionals. If you feel worried at all just drop us a line. Don’t forget to do the same for your son. Give him some encouraging words; tell him how proud you are and how he will be just fine. Try not to go on about how the dog misses him, or all the cool things you are doing at home. When you are learning to take some steps on your own, sometimes you stumble. It’s not a reason to stop walking. Camp High Rocks is a super place to step out on your own. If you do feel like you need to give us a call, we are here to help.
Speaking of writing. After tomorrow we only have a week to go! It’s hard to believe. Do your best to get a letter in the mail by Monday. Otherwise, I would go with an email from that point on.
We sure are enjoying having your son with us here at High Rocks. Thanks for sharing!
All the best,