Adventure at Camp: How trips enhanced my camp experience.

Elias Longenecker March 21, 2023

I grew up going to summer camp every year and I remember enjoying it so much that I would try not to think about it during the school year. 

The wait to return to my “second home” always seemed too long. As I started getting older I realized that I had experienced most of what the in-camp programming had to offer. I wanted a chance to challenge myself and see what I was capable of. I realized that if I chose to commit to one of the outdoor adventure skills it would open the door to beautiful new places and exciting skills. There were plenty of activities to choose from but I decided to focus on the paddling program that camp offered. 

Here are 3 lessons I learned through my camp experience as a camper in the paddling program:


Increased Confidence 

I was able to learn the basics of boating in camp, on the lake and increase my confidence in the water. Eventually, I progressed to take trips off-camp to area rivers and streams that offered an introduction to whitewater paddling. The counselors and staff I had learned from at camp were on these trips, showing me and my fellow paddling campers every step of the way. As I returned to camp year-after-year, my experience grew! I moved from trips to streams to rivers, and kept progressing with many of the same counselors and staff to lead the way. My confidence and enjoyment of paddling was strengthened with each progressing trip!

When I returned to school each fall I realized that I had developed a skill set that most of my friends had never heard of. I could navigate rapids and learn to calculate risk while trusting my friends and counselors. 

Deepening Friendships 

The friendships that I developed through whitewater paddling have been life-long and deeply meaningful. I’m grateful for the chances that I have had to share something with friends that brings unique challenges and so much joy. The skills that we teach at camp are tools that allow the members of our community to grow and connect on a deeper level. 

In-Camp Programing Came Alive

When I returned from these adventurous trips I realized that my appreciation for in-camp programming had been reinvigorated. 

I was ready to jump back into the group games and I looked forward to catching up with friends who had experienced their own epic adventures. It also gave the daily skill periods a new sense of importance and excitement. Camp Rockmont is located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the skills we teach at camp open the door to incredible opportunities. 

The development of these skills and our community takes time. This is why we are offering a three week session during June (June Camp) and a four week in July (Main Camp). This added time gives campers the opportunity to grow even more!

I look forward to seeing you on Opening Day this summer!


Elias Longenecker 

Staffing Director

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