July 15, 2022 by Don Gentle
The cool morning brought a smokey-looking mist off the lake. I love these sorts of mornings in the mountains. It has been nice to see a slow drying of the air and some lower temperatures. It was only 57 degrees at 7 am this morning! The high did make it to 79, but the cool breeze most of the day made it for a near-perfect day!
We had some early rock climbers head out again this morning. It was perfect rock climbing weather today! Our paddlers were still out on The Chattooga River. Imagine waking up to a morning on the river! Sound pretty cool to me! Finally, our hiker took off for an all-day hike to John Rock and then a refreshing dip on the Upper Davidson River in a wonderful pool on the river.
The session is really in the groove. I enjoyed watching the Mini Men making their rounds, enjoying their activities, and taking part in the morning assembly. The four-week boys are looking a little winded at the end of the day, but they wouldn’t change a thing. They can be saying how tired they are in one sentence and then talking about how excited they are to go on an all-day mountain bike trip next week. I hear it all the time. We can sleep when camp is over…
Speaking of great activities, I really enjoy our shooting sports this time of the session. The boys are working hard to finish the highest rank possible in both rifle shooting and archery. For example, in archery, all the boys have started out at 10 yards where they have to earn at least 100 points in five consecutive rounds of shooting five arrows. The progression continues with an increase in score for a few rounds at that distance. When they finally get to move the target the first time, it is a big deal. As they progress the target moves farther away and the scores continue about the same until they are at 40 yards! The final ranking requires a score of 190 in five consecutive rounds. Shooting five arrows, they must get at least 38 points a round. It takes several years, of refined skills, and training followed by a lot of practice. We call it the Golden Arrow! It is the only award we recognize at High Rocks because of its time and commitment. The coolest part is that this is another one of those “homegrown” programs where the campers become the staff and the next generation of leaders. We certainly hope it continues.
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 II 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 almost 30 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.
We are super excited to have everyone back in camp for the weekend. The dining hall was full up, making for a fun time! The Woody Wonka event was such a great hit, that we were only able to finish about half of the presentations ( I blame the “shark tank” crew elaborating on their reasoning). So, we worked through the rest of those again this evening for our program tonight!
Saturdays are always special at High Rocks. I cannot wait to share it with you!
Have a great night!