Five o’clock in the afternoon is a sacred time at Camp Rockmont.
In my opinion, it’s the start to the best hour of the day. An hour to run, play, scream, and laugh in whatever fashion a camper desires — a time known at Rockmont as free swim.
As soon as the bugle blows an excited energy sweeps across the property. After a full day of five periods campers spent honing their skills, you might think the energy of camp would be in a more restful place.
Instead what you see from the porch of the dining hall is waves of campers sprinting to change into their swimsuits for the waterfront, to grab their discs for our beautiful disc golf course, or to the tennis area where we now have eight new Pickleball courts.
This enthusiasm, energy, and fun is the epitome of summer camp.
And it’s why this year we’ve decided to ensure campers get at least one hour of free swim a day. Given all of the other options for campers, though, the waterfront is by and large the place to be during free swim.
It all starts with the lifeguards who, while lovable and gentle when off duty, are serious and authoritarian on duty (and for good reason). They ensure the safety of all those in the water, campers and staff alike.
Their presence and attentiveness during free swim allows the campers to play as free and as hard as their wild hearts desire. They grant the ability to send a climb on the waterwall a little harder and to jump on the Turtle (our water trampoline) a little higher.
They can blob, play on the ropes course, zoom down the Gullywasher, and use the zipline with absolute freedom knowing they are safe.
It’s a blissful balance of safety and chaos.
For these reasons, I believe there’s no one more free in the world between the hours of 5 and 6 p.m. than a camper at Camp Rockmont.
Assistant Program Director