Growing Strong

Shawn Marler July 1, 2014

“Never let formal education get in the way of learning” Mark Twain’s famous quote is true on day two at camp. As much as we appreciate book learning at Rockmont, it’s wonderful to watch as your boys grow naturally. The recipe is time tested. Rockmont provides the right blend of mentors, time, breathing space, fun, story, and adventure—the campers add heart, mind, soul, and their own unique story. The result is growth by working on simple things like cleaning your table, making a bed, and being on time. They also grow while enjoying more complex endeavors like friendship, trust, community building and time away from home. Thank you for allowing us to participate with your sons during this wonderful time in their lives.

I wish each of you could experience the morning after the first night of camp. The guys walk out of their cabins and into the world with a sense of wonder and full-of-themselves (in a good way). They are beginning to get to know and trust each other. They are actively and enthusiastically building a new community in their cabin where everyone is needed and important (not a bad way to start the day).

Today started in typical fashion-younger guys up very early, older guys dragging but everyone was eager for a breakfast of French toast, sausage, and cereal. Your boys tend to have great appetites when they’re at camp. Morning Watch and cabin clean up followed breakfast. I had the opportunity to visit the Birch cabins and everything looked very average. We’ll hope to get them close to outstanding by the end of the week.

Skills! Day one of skills is always exciting as the campers meet their instructors and begin to learn a new skill or master an old one. The majority of the instructors (skillheads) are local teachers who have become master teachers of a Rockmont skill area. Camp offers a marvelous learning environment for the campers. Clean air, cool temperatures, fun learning, and plenty of room are always a plus. Each skill should have at least three ways to connect to a young man: 1. enough complexity to engage the mind 2. enough fun to engage the spirit and 3. enough life lessons to keep him learning for years to come. I watched as some of your son’s started their first lessons in Blacksmithing and Fly Tying. Both of these art forms take a young man’s full attention and all the guys were up to the task.

Lunch: Chicken fingers, mac and cheese, carrots and peas, fruit and salad bar

Dinner: Hamburgers and all the fixins, slaw, chips, fruit and salad bar

Tonight the younger four tribes go up the mountain for council, which is a time for them to be promoted and honored. That is a story will have to wait until your sons return home. We anticipate that, like your sons, you will experience times of growth during these next one or three weeks. Your sons will enjoy trading stories with you when they return home. I hope each of you is doing fine and I appreciate your trust and partnership.


Dan Davis

Today’s Bible Story…
Story: Zacchaeus the Tax Collector
Scripture: Luke 19: 1-10
+Where do you see yourself in the story?
+What is the good news?

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