With just a few days left, everyone at Rockmont can feel the end of the session quickly approaching.
While the campers, in most cases, have many more years of camp to look forward to, the CITs (counselors in training) know in many ways this is the end of a long journey at Rockmont, and possibly, the start of a brand new one.
To kick off the final days of the session, the CIT directors took the boys out for one last hoorah.
Last night, the CITs were taken on a night out.
I joined them in their evening away from camp, and our first stop together was at a local swimming hole.
Over the course over the last few weeks, the boys have done almost everything together. Eleven young men, most of them complete strangers at the start of the session, have been working and growing alongside one another.
They’ve cleaned the dining hall, heard devotions, helped lead skills, watched over cabins, and more. The CITs get a taste for the workload of a counselor, and see the joy and the play that brings our staff back to Black Mountain year after year.
The fun was on full display.
They romped about in a lively mountain stream and took turns on a natural waterslide. The more daring members of the group leaped off a 10-foot ledge into a small pool (only after we checked that it was safe to do).
This is a lighthearted, hard-working and ruckus group of CITs, but their standout feature is their immediate chemistry.
When I asked one of the CITs why this group meshed so well together, his answer was simple:
After years of coming to camp and growing as distinct individuals, this group has learned what it means to be a part of a team — even when they’re among a host of huge personalities.
From Day 1, they’ve accepted one another. They’ve found ways to laugh, to work, and to call one another higher.
As sunset drew near, we loaded back into the van, and headed to our next activity for the night: dessert. We took the boys to the best ice cream spot in Black Mountain, Dairy King.
You’d expect the CITs to be exhausted after a full day. At every occasion to play and embrace a moment of fun, these young men always seem to rise to the occasion — no matter the circumstances.
One CIT even brought along his saxophone for the night out, and he serenaded the entire Dairy King crowd with his musical show behind the backdrop of a beautiful Appalachian sunset.
Their enthusiasm and passion for fun has been a gift to the entire Rockmont community, and that has only been matched by their leadership and willingness to serve others. They exemplify the Rockmont Way and raise the standard for everyone around them.
One day soon, they’ll be some of the best counselors to grace this camp.
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