Fun and Games with a Kick
August 2, 2023 by Don Gentle
It sure was another great morning here at High Rocks! The cool 64 degrees this morning was a delight! I made it up to our morning meeting only to find scratch-made biscuits being made! A little biscuit, a little jam, add some coffee. Suddenly a 7:30 am meeting doesn’t seem too bad. I got a couple of biscuits fresh out of the oven. Flour, buttermilk, butter, and just a little baking soda and salt. It doesn’t take much (unless you count the butter, but don’t), but it sure makes a difference. During the meeting, a small group of boys was assembling for an early rock climbing trip. They were super excited to ring the bell! I enjoyed listening to all of them scream “GOOD MORNING HIGH ROCKS” just as the bell ended. We were off and running.
After breakfast, we planned a little skit for assembly time. In the spirit of Jimmy Fallen, we hosted our own “egg roulette.” It was Me and Woody head to head. If you are unfamiliar with the game. Players are presented with a dozen eggs. Some are hard-boiled, and some are raw. You must choose an egg to slam on your head. the first one to get three raw eggs on their head loses. Woody and I faced off last year, so this was a bit of a re-match. the pictures will tell the story. I short, Woody came out the victor, but really it was just plain fun all around.
So does summer camp have to be fun all the time? It would be easy to say yes, but the magic is in the truth that it isn’t always fun or easy. It sure is worth it, though. What I am trying to say is while camp life at High Rocks is awesome, it is also educational. Sometimes that education can be frustrating and even difficult. For some of the youngest boys in this session, the hardest part was getting out of the car on opening day. The learning continues every day as they not only learn skills in their activities, but also learn how to interact with one another. The challenges of living with six other people that are not your family members should not be overlooked. While the cabin experience can be fun, it can also be challenging. I’m pretty sure your son did not say that the first thing on his list for coming to camp was to learn how to live with six other boys. The cabin experience also holds some of their greatest memories. You can’t have one without the other. It is way more than an amusement park.
In their activities, the boys work hard every day to learn new skills and attempt to get better. The new challenges make it more exciting, which encourages them to work hard to get to that next level. While it is a lot of “Wee Ha” we like to think it is a lot more than that. Even going off the rope swing for the first time can be a big deal. It’s a new challenge that takes us outside of our comfort zones. These boys are living that every day and loving it! Not one phone, computer, or tablet anywhere! It sure is a good break for these guys. It’s fun with a bonus kicker!
The biggest contributing factor to success at camp, outside of the parents’ willingness to send their child, is the staff that mentor them. We spend a lot of time hiring and training our staff. They are a hard-working group of young adults that enjoy educating young children and adolescents. The biggest edge they have over parents is that the boys think they are the coolest. Add some fun and a cool location void of the distractions of electronics and you have an opportunity to overcome all sorts of what life will throw at you. I have heard it phrased in many different ways, but I think it goes something like this… “It’s not what we do for our children, it is what we teach them to do for themselves that is important.”
We had a bunch of trips out again today. rock climbing, hiking, paddling, and High ‘Ropes course opportunities. It was another great day! Tonight the boys get to have their own opportunity to host some skits. We will show you some of that pageantry tomorrow.
Stay tuned for the final push, it’s going to be a thrill!