Camp Alleghany for Girls has an AMAZING group of committed counselors who return summer after summer to help carry on our traditions, shape new ones, and create unforgettable experiences for our campers.
Each January we invite staff who have committed to returning for the upcoming summer to meet with the directors to brainstorm new ideas, discuss improvements, come up with ways to make ‘Ghany better, and best of all, hang out and catch up with each other.
This year eight counselors joined me and our new Leadership Program Director, Teresa Padgett, on a Saturday for lunch, snacks, and lots of talk about camp. Six of the counselors came in person while two Skyped in from thousands of miles away. That’s dedication to camp!
You might recognize the counselors who were there, whether “IRL” or via the Internet, by their recent staff announcements (except Ellie’s, we don’t have that one out yet):
To top it off, instead of being at the winter camp office in Staunton, Virginia, the event was generously hosted in Sandston Virginia outside of Richmond by a Summer 2020 Unit Head, Emily, who is one of our returning counselors and a growing leader at camp!
After lunch and hearing how everyone’s winter breaks had been, we got to business.
Our staff are one of the best resources we have on improving camp life. They’re on the ground, doing the great and hard work as counselors. They interact the most with our campers, see all the little details of daily camp life, and often have amazing ideas on how to improve camp even more.
We spent a lot of time discussing Alleghany counselors becoming Fully Connected this summer, focusing on our community, our campers, and camp’s mission and ideals and culture without the presence of phones, screens, and social media. Social media going forward will be old school camp standbys like puzzles, games, and most of all face to face conversations and the irreplaceable memories they create.
Prior to Term Camp, we have nearly two weeks of staff training where we focus on building our staff community for the season and ensuring that our staff are prepared and supported to create the best possible summer. We revamp our training every year to keep things fresh and stay up to date with changing trends and new knowledge. Since these counselors have been through training they had great feedback on the things they loved and what will make the learning stick.
We spent some time reflecting on the inaugural Mother Daughter Weekend and how it was a huge success. But, this group of bright counselors had their brainstorming hats on and so offered some great ways to make it even better. Top secret for now, hush hush (want to have surprises for our Mother Daughter Weekend campers this year, too!)
Other topics included daily counselor duties, camper activities, emergency procedures, and much more.
We have loads of new ideas in store on how to keep our staff happy, energetic, engaged, and coming back year after year, some of which we’ll be unveiling as we head into the camp season, some during staff training, some during the summer, and some in the summers ahead.
Year after year, our Winter Counselor Brainstorming Retreat is a great way to keep building leadership in our counselor team, staying connected with camp friends and coworkers in the off season, and network with one another as we move and explore new aspects in various stages of our careers. And for those reasons, every winter it is a huge success. We hope it continues to grow!
Many thanks to our dedicated staff helping shape camp’s future!
— Casey Tucker, Program Director, Camp Alleghany for Girls
*If you want to learn more about the merits of sleepaway summer camp, download my FREE e-book, 3 Reasons to Begin Your Child’s Sleepaway Summer Camp Experience Early. It’s a great resource to share with friends, or if you are a first-time camp family and you wonder what sleepaway camp would be like for your child.