Watch The Magic Happen

Another great day here at The Rocks! We had the usual early climbers up this morning to head out to Pilot Rock. They even helped out with the bell ringing this morning. We also had two young Mini camper groups of paddlers hit some moving water for the first time. Finally, the mountain bikers took a quick trip with some guys to Dupont State Forest.

On my journey through camp today, I found myself truly amazed by our tennis program.  Of course, the venue is still on the newer side!  If we had not already started it before the pandemic, it might have been another decade before we hit this project again. Nonetheless, our tennis courts are incredible!  But my point of amazement is our tennis pro, Brad Jones. I just love to watch him instruct the boys.  If you ever watch a good coach, they are always moving, constantly giving feedback, and feeding balls like a madman.  Brad is all of that and more.  Brad comes to us from just down the road at Brevard College. He’s been a Division III coach for some time now.  We finally got him up here a few years ago and we love every moment.   I really enjoy just watching the magic happen over there at tennis.  Best of all, Brad has embraced the community focus of High Rocks. I see him all over camp spending time with the boys and the staff. It’s more than just tennis for him too. He even re-strings racquets for the guys. Just a small bit of what makes High Rocks great!

Tonight, we had a couple more cabins head out for their overnights. The boys of Foxhollw, Lakeside, Connestee, and Chalet hit the trail tonight. We always make a point of getting a group picture before they leave, which makes for some fun pictures of the boys.  My favorite, however, is to just watch and listen to the guys as they hike away into our 1100-acre wilderness.  The older boys that have done it for years act just like the young guys doing it for the first time.  They are all joking and laughing, excited about their evening in the woods around the fire, but they walk off like it’s just a trip down to the pool. comfortable and confident. I think the young guys know the staff has got their back, while the older guys just feel like they have it all sorted. The magic of the outdoors at High Rocks is everywhere.

I know many of the 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 High Rocks will be arriving in your mailbox.  There is the possibility of a 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. That being said, a little homesickness is normal.  More often than not, what you are reading in those letters today has passed. 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 fall down and get back up.  It’s definitely not a reason to stop walking. Camp 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. Don’t forget, the boys love mail.  If you have not sent anything, emails are certainly a quick turnaround. Send often. 

Woody Noland writes on Friday and Tuesday nights, so look for his point of view tomorrow night. It will be a great report. Until then…

-Don Gentle

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