Pure Screamin’ Fun

I can’t believe it has almost been a week of camp already! The boys are just starting to get into “camp shape” again. I know we have done our job when the boys in Hillside cabin (the youngest guys) are still asleep on my way up in the morning. Today they were awake, but only because they were just outside and unpacking their gear from their overnight. The community is coming together nicely as the boys learn to live and play together in a tightly coupled system.  What a great experience.  I look forward to more details as we fade out of the honeymoon period and get into the grit of camp over the next two weeks.

I had the opportunity to spend some time down at the climbing tower today.  It is such a cool activity for the boys. Of course, they walk through all the important safety calls and learn how to put on the equipment. What comes after that is impressive.  Watching these boys go from nervous guys on the beginner wall to clipping in on the auto-belay and crushing the overhanging advanced wall is such a joy for me to see. I enjoyed just hanging out with some of the upper senior group (our oldest campers). Many of these boys have been coming to camp for more than FIVE years. They love everything about camp, but climbing is their favorite.  From the tower these boys will head out to some of the “real rock” we have here in the mountains. Climbing out on a real rock face has a whole different feel.  We are lucky enough to have some really skilled staff that continue to take these boys on any challenge they are ready to do.  Rock climbing at High Rocks is something special.

My “kids need camp” moment today was down at the docks this evening with the upper senior group.  I enjoyed watching these boys “let go” of all the cares in the world and just play in the lake.  Who would have thought that throwing four boys in a boat with a couple of buckets could be so much fun! It’s a great time for them to just be kids. I can still see their 8-year-old faces from years ago as they laugh and scream the entire time. If you look closely, you’ll see it too. These boys grow up way too fast. The last couple of years have been particularly tough. A little “pure screamin’ fun” is just what they need. Kids need camp to learn to be a kid again.  It sure is fun to watch.

The last of the trips rolled in just before dinner. It was great to have everyone back “in the house” for the weekend.  The weekend will bring some special fun and more adventures. Even laundry is its own adventure here at High Rocks.  I’m looking forward to sharing it all with you!

Have a great night!

Don Gentle

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