July 4, 2023 by Don Gentle
Today started with a bang, or should I say a guitar. Jimmy Hendrix belted out the Star Spangled Banner for wake-up. It has been a tradition for a number of years here at High Rocks. It was a fun treat for the boys coming back fresh from their cabin overnights. When I say fresh, it is sort of a marshmallow and pizza sauce mixed with campfire ash sort of fresh :). Anyhow, all of these guys assisted me with the usual “GOOD MORNING HIGH ROCKS” shout after ringing the bell. They were very proud of their moment to shine.
It was great to see so many of the guys who brought festive items for the Independence Day celebration. The dining hall was covered in red, white, and blue. We brought up our own basket of “flair” for the guys to use as well. We belted out “Freedom Music” all morning. Before breakfast guys could come up and get face paint, temporary tattoos, and other flair! Freedom breakfast was homemade doughnuts, scrambled eggs, grits, a fruit bar, and assorted cereals.
After breakfast, we assembled for a reading of the preamble to the Declaration of Independence, accompanied by some epic music and finally colored smoke, as the atrocities were slowly announced. What could easily be equated with a Boston Tea Party, the group broke out into excitement and cheer as we all headed down to Assembly in the Fog of Freedom.
Assembly was a spirited event with timely tunes like the Star Spangled Banner, America, and some motion songs. We moved through the morning with a standard schedule, but lots of themes for the day. The boys from Conesstee even got to spend most of the morning on the high ropes course.
Lunch was full of energy! We had a crowd favorite of mini corn dogs and “wing day!” Add some corn chips and gooey nacho cheese, and it couldn’t get better! But wait there were red, white, and blue bomb pops for dessert!
We added some fun games, slip and slide, and other special events for our choice period at 5 pm. A quick storm came through at dinner to cool things down before tonight’s our all-camp event called Freedom Games. After some snacks up on the hill, the boys headed back to the cabin for a shower as they anticipate the upcoming big event of the night.
We finished the day with our big fireworks show! As a studied fireworks professional, I love my job! It is always a pleasure to create an awesome show for these guys. Back in 2009, I received my pyrotechnic license to put on shows commercially. While it wasn’t a huge task of wits, it did take a little bit of time and there is the pesky continuing education every three years. I crack myself up when I tell people I am a licensed pyrotechnic operator. Anyhow, it is just one more of those cool tasks you learn as a camp director. BOOM! BOOM!
It sure was a great day! It’s a pretty cool group of guys to spend a holiday with for the day.
Have a great night,
Director…and Licensed Pyrotechnic Operator