Mini I Close and Illahee Dance

It was a perfect morning to say goodbye to our Mini I campers and parents. We wrapped up assembly with a big send-off as they all made their way back to their cabins. Zoob and I were able to greet every family as they arrived. The boys were excited to see their parents but didn’t want to leave. I was excited to hear how much they enjoyed their time here at High Rocks. We will welcome our Mini II boys on Monday.

The big event of the day was the dance with the ladies of Illahee. Several parents have asked me why we do dances.  While I don’t think it is a highlight for all the boys, they definitely enjoy it; at least a little.  As a mentor to young men, I find it important to create appropriate social events where these ladies and gentlemen can learn to interact and at least “practice” acting appropriately.  We purposely do a country dance or square dance, where all of the campers participate at once doing something that is either an event they only do at camp or at least something they do not do at home.  Some of our peers put on a “pop song” social dance that you may be familiar with in middle school or high school.  This event could not be farther from that sort of experience.  The best part is that everyone is moving together and participating at once.  I typically find these events a little like Cotillion class.  A way for our boys to demonstrate some manners and etiquette to our neighbors across town.  I am actually quite surprised at how well the boys perform!  In all of its lovely awkwardness, the event played out very well.  The boys mostly acted like gentlemen and the girls were mostly like ladies.   It was a great time!

Our youngest half of camp went over to Camp Illahee, while the older boys stayed here. The younger half focuses more on some line dances and other goofy things. Of course, they are not super into the event, but I still find it is an important point of learning.  Zoob and I split forces (and a sneaky visit).  She went over to Illahee with the younger guys and was able to see our daughter, Izzie.  I stayed here and was lucky enough to see my friend Gordon Strayhorn, part of the Illahee Director Team. Our youngest, Izzie, has been at Camp Illahee for 8 years. Grace will head back for her 10th year as a JC in August. It is the highlight of their year! I enjoy hearing the stories, fun, and adventure. Even as camp directors, we truly get to see the parent side of the story. I wouldn’t have it any other way and they truly love Camp Illahee. Laurie and Gordon Strayhorn run a great program for great girls!  It was a fine mountain evening and a lot of fun! We will put up some pictures from both locations on Sunday. Be sure to check them out.

Just another great day at High Rocks! Thanks for letting us raise your boys for a few weeks. The best is yet to come!

-Don Gentle

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