Day One of Many
June 28, 2022 by Don Gentle
Our first morning at camp! I think it is such a special moment to wake up to the cool mountains of North Carolina in the morning. I am always impressed by how quiet it is before the wake-up bell. I really do love just listening to what is going on out there so early. It’s really just a ton of birds carrying on with a little ripple here or a thud there. You can hear the kitchen in the distance as some pans move around. If you try hard, you can focus on the footsteps of a staff member cruising through camp on a morning run. Just the breaths and the grind of gravel under their feet. It wasn’t until recently I realized how much I like just sipping my coffee in the early morning and taking this all in before I do anything else.
The day moved from peace to chaos quickly as the morning bell rang and Nate (our kitchen manager/chef) belted out “GOOD MORNING HIGH ROCKS.” Quickly, the boys were up and trying their best at this morning chore ritual. It will become a habit soon enough, but right now they are still figuring out how to get dressed and do some group chores before breakfast!
Breakfast was the next big event. Eggs off the flattop, linked sausage, cinnamon toast, fresh fruit, yogurt, and assorted cereals. The cinnamon toast is always a delight! Cooked just right, the beautiful buttery sugar topping boils to create a crusty praline-like topping.
After assembly, I enjoyed helping some of the new guys get off to their new activities as they set off for their own journey this morning. What also excited me was how much the other guys were willing to show the way as well. I have watched this first day of activities for almost thirty years! I still try to get the boys moving to their activities on time, but they find their own adventures along the way; friends, snacks, a camp dog, a tennis ball, or just a daydream. What I have come to learn is that it was never meant to be a straight line. It’s not how fast you get there. It’s what you do along the way…
That doesn’t stop the camp radios squawking as the activity heads are trying to find the last few stragglers on their roll. The line does not have to be straight, but it does have to straighten out a little 😊.
All of that was before 9:30 this morning! What a joy!
As the boys worked on some muscle memory in their activities, you can see the flurry of excitement today in all of the images! It really was an eventful day.
Meal break: I already covered breakfast, so…
Lunch: Taco Tuesday! ground beef, black beans, queso, lettuce, tomato, onion, guacamole, sour cream, and salsa. With flour tortillas and/or corn chips
Dinner: Pork Tenderloin, tomato cream sauce, asparagus, yeast rolls, roasted sweet potatoes, and a cookie for dessert.
I am excited to see this new community come together. We are still “tiptoeing” around these first few days. Today was a perfect start to this fantastic journey. I saw just the right amount of nervous, goofy, anxious behavior that you would expect out of a group of 165 boys suddenly squashed together in a world they know as Camp High Rocks. Our oldest group of campers carried themselves well as they made a point to make everyone feel included, and accepted.
Speaking of our oldest boys. they took off to the woods tonight to begin the first of many cabin overnights over the next few days. It is always a great time. I enjoy hearing some of the younger groups storied events and perspectives. That will be later this week.
There are all sorts of pictures tonight. Please email me if you have any problems with the gallery. I also sent out your son’s activity schedule this afternoon. While this is a moment in time, he is likely to keep most of this schedule through the session. Incidentally, you can also look on my.highrocks.com to see his current schedule as well as any special trips your son has been on this session.
It’s going to be a wonderful journey. I am so excited to share it with you every night!