Rockbrook Camp Memories


Jon and I enjoyed a wonderful road trip to Brevard, North Carolina, to see our long-time friends Gayle and Gordon. Every day we stepped outside or drove a short distance and found beautiful places to walk and appreciate new trees and flowers.

Marco Trattoria, Brevard, NC

A long, long time ago I was a camp counselor at Rockbrook Camp for Girls, near Brevard. In fact, it is just 4 miles from Gordon and Gayle. When I browsed through Rockbrook’s website, I discovered that the 1921 founder Nancy Carrier was the great-granddaughter of the famous P.T. Barnum.

What a walk back in time!

I remember looking through job opportunities in a publication of some sort at Stephens College. It was near the end of my Freshman year. Since I had been a Girl Scout, a camper, and a counselor, it looked like a great way to spend a summer. Besides, I wouldn’t have to spend it at home! My parents drove me there

I was hired as a hiking counselor, so I took groups of girls on hikes every day and on 3-day or longer trips as well. One of the best destinations was Lake Toxaway, where we swam at the base of Toxaway Falls. So much fun!

Although there have been changes over the years, I could still remember various places–the dining hall, of course (we were there 3x/day) and the layout of the cabins.  It’s hard to believe that I still have the red sweater that was part of the uniform on Sundays and Spirit Nights (last night of camp). It was fun to rediscover lots of memories.

Rockbrook still offers crafts, horseback riding, archery, swimming, hiking, riflery, etc., on 200 acres. When I was there I got a sharpshooter certification during days off (in prone, kneeling, and standing positions). Girls under my supervision came for either 4 or 6 week sessions and a few of my campers stayed for multiple sessions. The girls are 6-16 years old, divided into Junior, Middler, and Senior Camps. They get to choose their activities and change them up every few days. A very rich experience.

I remember the time my boyfriend came for a visit on his motorcycle. I didn’t leave the camp, but I did persuade my hikers that they really wanted to do something else. (They were happy to cover for me.) Burton and I went hiking on our own and found a field of raspberries that were quite delicious. It was a wonderful afternoon–except that we were spotted on Castle Rock by the Camp Director. Oops! Not a huge amount of trouble, as I recall.

One girl named Denise gave me the honor of naming her donkey Trichel, my last name at the time. (“Trichel” rhymes with “Michelle”). She thought it was a pretty name and it was a way to remember each other. How many of YOU have had a donkey named for you?

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