June 17, 2022 by Don Gentle
I ask the campers all the time “What was your favorite part about today.” It gives us something to talk about and helps me remember what is important to them. Well, my favorite part of camp today was that I was able to get out of camp and paddle with a group of canoers today on the Green River! I spent most of the day trying to capture some videos and pictures. What I got in return was a better connection with these boys and the staff on the trip. We had such a great day! Our canoeing program has a very specific progression that leads to a lot of success for the boys. Along with all the important safety steps, these boys learn how to navigate the river, enjoying the features that make it fun while practicing the necessary skills for the next river. In my early years at High Rocks, I started down in the paddling program. I was the head of the program for several years and I still paddle some today. I enjoyed seeing the staff demonstrate their skills and instruct these boys in nearly the same way I did decades ago. You will see a few pictures of just a hand sticking out of the water. This “superman rock” move is something we have been doing for decades. You dive down and hold onto the rock underwater at this specific rapid. It feels like being superman. The staff did a great job of getting the boys to give it a try. It was like going back to my roots today. Believe it or not, I almost convinced myself I was too busy to go today, but Sumner (our current head of paddling) made a point of making sure I was on that trip. It was certainly time well spent.
The three-day hike returned from the wilderness in Pisgah National Forest just before dinner. They had all sorts of stories from their adventure. Some of the boys felt like the three days felt like a week of being away from camp. We have a few more multi-day opportunities for these boys this session. I sure hope they take advantage of it.
I do have some housekeeping notes from Darby. If you are planning on shipping a trunk/duffle home there are two steps. First, please fill out THIS FORM provided by our local UPS Store in Brevard. Second, please email our office to let us know that you wish to have your trunk/duffle shipped and we will deliver your item(s) to the UPS store on Closing Day. UPS only needs the form filled out. Please contact Darby if you have questions.
Tonight, was the Mud Pit Moment! I do enjoy the march to the mud pit. I think boys and mud are right up there with boys and projectiles. The two go hand in hand. It is truly fantastic to see the transition that happens when these boys approach the march through the pit. Some boys are fine with one pass. Several take a little bit to warm up to the idea. Still, others are not content until they have made several passes. The program staff came up with a cool game by finding some colored balls in the mud just to change up the experience. It always makes for incredible pictures. I’m pretty sure this would be a tough one to pull off at home.
Looking forward to a fun-filled Saturday! Mud pit pictures were still finishing at 9:35 with a lot to go still.