Years in the Making
July 2, 2022 by Don Gentle
For as long as I have been here, we have had pancakes on Saturday. Throughout High Rocks history, there was a time that the director himself would cook pancakes on Saturday since our head cook was off that morning. I tried that for a while, but the program has become much larger and more complex than in those days. Nonetheless, we still have pancakes on Saturday. The best part is that these are scratch-made with fresh buttermilk (none of that fat-free buttermilk), the real stuff!
Now that we have that sorted, we might as well go into the menu.
Breakfast: Scratch-made buttermilk pancakes, sausage, hard-boiled eggs, home fries, fresh berries, oranges, and assorted cereals.
Lunch: Cold cuts of turkey, ham, and/or salami, with toppings of onion, lettuce, tomato, and provolone. Add some, watermelon slices, tossed salad with homemade ranch or balsamic dressing and you have a pretty good lunch. Of course, there is always sun butter and jelly. Some of the older guys just take one to have for the additional calories, or for dessert.
Dinner: Pack out pan pizza, chips, scratch-made chocolate chip cookies, and a soda of choice. Each cabin could have dinner anywhere they wished tonight. Most sat on the lawn and just enjoyed hanging out while eating a ton of pizza.
My first glimpse of the day was watching the cabin overnight boys roll in this morning. The fog set the mood as the boys slowly emerged. They were all pretty tired and certainly had a blast.
I enjoyed watching the paddlers have some fun on the lake today. While there was a bit of just frolicking around, there is still instruction going on as well.
Our paddling program always starts out in canoes and is always on flat water in the beginning. The canoe gives the boys a good vantage point for when they first hit the river and it gives them a bigger craft that is not as edgy as a solo canoe or kayak. It is a tried and tested tradition in these parts of the country that go back for over a hundred years. The boys will learn both the bow and stern positions on the lake and on the river. All of their strokes and maneuvers are designed to take them down the whitewater river progression. Once the boys have moved up to the second or third rivers in the canoeing progression, they can move into a solo boat like a kayak, C-1, or OC-1 (solo canoe). They will continue their progression in the canoe and the solo craft. Year after year these boys are challenged on new rivers with new skills. It is still one of our most popular activities. You will see a couple of sets of pictures today from paddling trips. One is the very first river in the progression, and the second was a treat for some older boys this morning. The “dawn patrol” was rousted out of their beds as a surprise to go huck off this waterfall that is in our backyard. They all had a blast and were all back before breakfast! You won’t find that kind of personal attention in many programs. Of course, the difference is in the staff that mentors these boys. What makes our paddling program special is that most of the staff in this activity are “homegrown.” We train them here as campers and they grow into the staff that will lead the next generation. Our hope is that it continues on forever that way.
Tomorrow, we sleep in a little longer, bring up our much-needed laundry, and have a blast all day long!
Have a great night!