The Path Ahead
In our initial meetings about designing a new logo we laid out a few important priorities. We wanted this image to include elements of the original 1956 logo. We also wanted to keep the eagle from the previous two logos. We talked as a staff about what other images and themes come to mind when we think about Camp.
As we continued conversations in early 2023, we invited current and former campers & staff, as well alumni to contribute. A few key elements began to stick out:
Not just any mountains, our mountains. As we pressed deeper into the theme of our mountains, a former staff member brought up a conversation he had with Stan Wilson about the hike to Eden Rock.
The initial part of the hike may seem easy. There’s a fresh water source after a short portion of this hike, but it is the only place to refill, so it is important to drink plenty of water before reaching that point. The next section of this hike is steep and may seem unrelenting, but the payoff is quite a view of the Swannanoa River Valley. Your travel from Choctaw Rock takes you even higher before reaching an essential right turn. Then, interestingly, you start a downward journey into what we call the saddle. You can see the saddle and the rise to Eden Rock really well from the stretch of land past the dam. Once you’ve reached the lowest point of the saddle, you begin to ascend again, and that’s when you reach Eden Rock.
Similar to the theme of mountains, it was important to the Rockmonters we spoke with that the trees be trees from camp. We have a wealth of tree species throughout the middle of camp, and many of them have been honored by the Swannanoa Valley Tree Alliance as Treasured Trees of the Valley. The tree that people kept coming back to was the Eastern Hemlock.
The Eastern Hemlock is a keystone species of trees, without which the forest could not function as it currently does. They provide crucial shade for streams, maintaining the cold water required for trout and other life that use these small waterways. They provide shade, too, for many native plants such as trilliums, lady slippers, jack-in-the-pulpits, and various sedges. Hemlocks provide food and habitat for over 120 species of vertebrates, as well as more than 90 types of birds. They contribute greatly to air and water quality, removing CO2 from the air, and filtering out pollutants in their root system before reaching water sources. On steeper slopes, Hemlocks prevent erosion and protect against flooding and landslides. Finally, though Hemlocks present as green up close, they contribute the legendary blue hue to the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Hemlocks, however, are declining due to the invasive insect Woolly Adelgid. In fact, a Virginia Tech College of Agriculture study recently found that over 50% of the Blue Ridge’s Eastern Hemlocks may be currently affected.