Long-time second-termers will know the joy of Christmas not just once a year, but twice a year, given that every July 25th Camp Alleghany holds its own Christmas in July.
In the first term, July 4th is the big blowout, with a celebratory carnival and fireworks for Independence Day. It’s pretty special, and hard to rival. But if anything can rival it, it’s our Christmas in July.
Santa definitely knows his way around our camp. After all, it’s been there for nearly 100 years! So in the morning, campers will awaken to find a little stocking filled with small little goodies thanks to Santa’s willingness to play along with the Christmas schedule.
And everyone knows all about those cool, crisp West Virginia mornings. As if nature herself was in tune with our festivities, it always “snows” on tent row that night (shhhh….thanks to an obliging supply of baby powder!)
On such a cold, snowy morning no one is in any hurry to get dressed. Instead we all wear our PJs to breakfast.
But the glorious day has only just begun. At Assembly we sing Christmas songs and carols. Then the spirit of joy really spreads across camp.
It’s really quite a fun way to spend a July day!
But what would Christmas be like without a tree?
This past summer the counselors asked if we could have a Christmas tree in the middle of Junior Camp. Well, why not?
I was going to look online for some fake ones. But then Garrett said he’d go up the mountain and cut one down for us. It was really fun for everyone because the campers made ornaments and decorated it as only Ghany girls can do.
Every year brings something different like that from whatever ideas are cooked up among the campers and staff.
Like the visit from the North Pole we got.
Two summers ago during first term, the counselors decided to resurrect the tradition of a 4th of July parade just before the Carnival. Well, they had so much fun with it that they asked if they could do a Christmas in July parade as well. Two counselors in particular headed it up and lead the procession dressed as Santa and Mrs. Claus.
I can assure you that it’s very fun to have a Christmasy time right in the middle of the summer. And camp is the perfect place to do it!
––Elizabeth Dawson Shreckhise, Assistant Director, Camp Alleghany for Girls