July 29, 2023 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! We pared it with some bacon, home fries, fresh fruit, yogurt, and assorted cereals. It was a great way to start the day.
I enjoyed checking out the guys down at paddling this morning! They were enjoying what we call “try-yak” Saturday. Also known as Try a Kayak Saturday. We let any of the boys bob around in kayaks for the whole period. It was an awesome time and the boys had a blast.
Our paddling program always starts out in canoes and always on flat water. 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 that go back 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. These boys in the two-week session are just starting along that progression that can eventually take them to Class III and IV white water a few years down the road.
Speaking of the lake. The boys at fishing were enjoying our special guest/staff member Jason Karol. Jason is our local “bass master.” He continues to monitor the fishing program by mentoring the staff and even teaching the boys a few times during the summer. Today they were focused on a weedless worm rig. Very important for our grassy bottom lake. the boys always enjoy the special lessons and the opportunity to land some big ones.
I really enjoyed one of High Rocks’ modern classics down at rock climbing. Crate stacking is an acrobatic feat that requires the climber to ascend and stack milk crates as he slowly adds one at a time without letting them tip over. Of course, they are on belay and roped in with plenty of guys cheering them on. It requires a lot of balance and poise. Some boys were able to get as many as 17 crates. An impressive feat. The pictures tell a lot of the story here.
Hikers took a break from the heat with “underwater hiking.” It’s a bit of a water aerobics event with lifejackets as the “hike” in the lake. A great way to stay cool and just have some fun.
Have a great night. We certainly are here!