Cabin Cleanup

James Dixon August 10, 2021

“Head to the cabins for Cabin Cleanup!”


Nearly every morning at Rockmont, campers hear this call and rush up the stairs to their cabins.

Counselors quickly follow after them, and a boisterous, occasionally productive period of discovery begins. Campers begin making their beds, sweeping the floors, folding their clothes, organizing their cubbies, straightening the clotheslines, and aligning their shoes in the hopes of winning the honor of having the cleanest cabin.

Many campers have experience operating the business end of a broomstick, while others are just now trying their hand at the art of folding clothes. Regardless, our counselors are there to teach, aid, and inspire whenever needed.


After a flurry of activity, the bugle calls everyone to go out and experience what the day holds. 


Later that morning, the tribal director (TD) walks through each cabin, taking note of beds, floors, cubbies, and general cleanliness. Some TDs develop elaborate grading mechanisms, while others simply go with their gut to determine the daily winners

What is unique about cabin cleanup at Rockmont is that every cabinmate must contribute to the effort. One poorly made bed can derail an entire cabin’s good attempt to win the competition.


The prize: a cold Cheerwine, ice cream sandwich, or bag of skittles from the Cola Stop the following afternoon. 


As the Birch TD for Starter 2, and the Hickory TD for most of the summer, I’ve seen my fair share of cabins in various states of cleanliness. Many cabins do a great job of cleaning, folding, sweeping, and organizing. But a few take extra steps to grab the attention of their TD. 


This week, several Starter Camp cabins in the Birch Tribe crafted elaborate themes to surprise me during cabin cleanup.


Cabin 11, led by Henry Pitts and Skye Shaffer, started the week off with a “Murder Mystery Extravaganza,” complete with outlines of their campers on the floor. Today, Cabin 10, counseled by Beau Hargrove and Josh Trover, answered with a “Haunted House.” Campers crafted spooky lighting with headlamps and water bottles, suspended books in midair, and floated a ghost in the bathroom.



Not to worry, these cabins were also quite clean in addition to their theme!

The rivalry is hot, and the contest for the cleanest cabin is close, as Cabin 11 hosted a “Birthday Party” for their cabin mascot, Gerg the giraffe. I was greeted by colorful streamers, balloons, and a note reading, “Happy Birthday Gerg.” 



The Birch Tribe will hear today’s winners of cabin cleanup during Morning Watch tomorrow, and the rush will begin anew with another call to clean.


What new ways will counselors find to lead their cabins in cleaning, decorating, and having fun tomorrow?


James Dixon

Starter 2 Birch Tribal Director

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