Upper Senior Challenge and Zombie Apocolypse
July 16, 2023 by Don Gentle
Sundays are special here at High Rocks. We want to be sure the boys have some time for reflection and to change it up a little bit. Rest is important. We give the boys an extra thirty minutes to sleep in on Sundays and we also share some important lessons down by the lake. Today was a perfect Sunday morning!
Our first agenda item of the day, however, was laundry. The boys all work together to get their items sorted into three bags, then they are asked to all work together to get those items off to the backside of the dining hall where the laundry is picked up. It’s certainly not something you add to your brochure, but these little steps at camp really help build some independence, accountability, and even empathy. I love watching the guys work together to get these sizable bags off to the pick-up point. In a flash, it’s all back to camp clean, dry, and folded before dinner.
Our morning service centered around another pillar of The High Rocks Way, Honesty. Longtime camper now staff, John Fletcher shared a great lesson about the differences between honesty and integrity. There was a lot of Socratic Method throughout the lesson. I think the guys picked up a few points. The rest of our morning was filled with some free time and relaxation on the lake, the tennis courts, and some field games. The boys had a great time.
This afternoon most of camp was presented with our all-camp event. The stage was set for Zombie Apocalypse! The theme involved a number of “Zombie” staff who were against the remaining “human” campers. The boys rotated through a series of challenges to try to beat the Zombies all afternoon. The staff were all dressed up in the best dead-ish Zombie attire and make-up. It was a fun time had by all!
The main event, however, was the annual “Upper Senior Challenge!” It is always a highly anticipated event for our oldest age group of campers. The event is like an adventure race, and it is put together very much like ‘The Amazing Race.” Teams must move from place to place performing tasks and challenges. Each clue takes them to another part of camp where they must read and communicate the challenge appropriately to the other team members. Most all the challenges are activities some of the guys have been doing for years at camp. Teams are divided up by cabin groups and only the oldest “upper-senior” group competes. Activities included a lot of running, shooting sports, mountain biking, climbing, canoeing, the rope swing, swimming, and fire building, along with some slightly different events that include sculpture, and dining hall clean-up with motion songs attached. It was truly a challenge for these boys. They all had a great time and cheered on each other throughout the event. It is one of my favorite Sunday events in camp. I really enjoy seeing these boys, some of whom have been here since they were seven, show their mastery and skills they have learned through their years of camp at High Rocks.
Tonight, we enjoyed our weekly cookout on the lawn with hamburgers, hotdogs, and all the necessary toppings. It was a wonderful time on the lawn watching all of the guys hang out and enjoy the company.
It sure was great to have everyone up at campfire. The band led some slower songs that set the mood as Mark Birdsong told us an epic tale. Near the end of campfire, we handed out five-year backpacks for this session. There were 19 campers that received them tonight. All of these boys are about to complete their fifth summer here at High Rocks. High Rocks is a place where you can grow up. I have known many of these boys since they were seven and eight years old!
Just five days to go until closing day! It is going to be a great week!
Have a Great Night!
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