I’ve just completed my second (and the Second Annual) Alumni L.O.L. (Labor of Love) Weekend at Camp Alleghany for Girls. Camp is a familiar spot to me because of my wife Sally, a ‘Ghany alum, and my daughter Courtney, who’s also an alum. We all went together to this most recent L.O.L. Weekend.
The 2016 L.O.L Weekend delivered a great experience for me, even if I was outnumbered by women. (Hey husbands, come next year!)
When I think about my longtime attachment to Camp Alleghany, I find explaining it difficult to put into words. The first thing I want to do is to urge others to come to ‘Ghany to experience it for yourself!
How a guy like me got to a camp like this
I’m a Kentucky native, and when Sally and I were first married she’d talk about Camp Alleghany all the time! I really didn’t get it — it’s a camp, okay, what’s so special?
But my first visit to ‘Ghany, which was on a trip we took to Virginia, began a process that would change my mind and heart.
Sally suggested that we stop by ‘Ghany on our way to the Old Dominion. Initially I wasn’t overwhelmed by ‘Ghany, but we kept coming back for short visits and then for a longer one to attend Family Camp. Slowly, I started to “get it.” Being outside, in the beautiful mountains, seeing the camaraderie among old campers, young campers, and seeing what ‘Ghany did for our second-generation camper Courtney (on top of Sally’s ongoing love), well I finally felt just how great Camp Alleghany is.
When the first L.O.L. Weekend was initiated last year, I wanted to be part of it, too.
L.O.L. Weekends are when alums are invited to Camp Alleghany before it opens for the summer to offer themselves up for various jobs around camp — hence the “labor of love” part.
The fantastic Camp Alleghany maintenance crew, headed by Facilities Director Garrett O’Dell, and the summer crew Green Team, does the majority of the large tasks, but alum and alum family volunteers paint, plant flowers, make flower baskets, sort out old stuff that isn’t used anymore, tidy up Junior and Senior camps, and much more.*
And we get our own camp experience; we sleep in the tents, eat in the Dining Hall, observe daily rest period, swim in the river, have nightly campfires, and sing Camp Songs (which is when I check out ’cause singing is not my favorite thing).
I suggest attending a L.O.L. Weekend or Family Camp. I love Camp Alleghany and all of its rich traditions and love that I get to experience a small taste of what my wife and daughter have loved so much.
Go Blues! and Go Grays!
— Joe Duane, Alum Hubby & Dad, Camp Alleghany for Girls
*Hi, Elizabeth Shreckhise here, just piggy-backing on Joe’s blog because he’s been way too modest. Joe actually did some serious power washing in the blazing hot sun, which was a tremendous service to the camp. Thank you Joe!