Now that I’m back at home and I’m reflecting on my four-year experience at Camp Alleghany, I just keep thinking about how this was my last summer as a camper. I’ll never again return to Ghany as a camper proper, even if I am camping when I come.
I won’t take classes, live under a loving and guiding counselor, or spend free time with my friends lollygagging in the gentle bliss of camp life. In fact, this is my first blog post as a Ghany alum because I can no longer call myself a camper! Ah, the memories…
Of course, I do want to return to Camp Alleghany. Who wouldn’t? 🙂 But if I do return, hopefully I will BE the Junior Counselor, then the Counselor, and who knows, maybe one day Head of Singing or Rifle or if I become a surgeon maybe the doctor in residence. Anything is possible.
The many gifts
It’s bewildering to think of myself and my age group as counselors at camp, since so many of our summers have been spent as campers, looking up to others, learning from them, and trying to do our best while also just enjoying the good times.
I can’t express how happy I am that I started attending camp. But if I hadn’t, I would’ve missed out on a myriad of things which, when I think about it, have truly shaped me and taught me and brought me to a new place in myself. If I had never come to Ghany I might never have:
- Jumped off of rocks into the river.
- Performed dances in front of hundreds of people.
- Become comfortable living in tents for 3-6 weeks (!)
- Acquired the ability to deal cooly and calmly with insects.
- Gotten early training in how to wait tables (A skill that will really pay off in college!)
- Started playing tennis.
- Been inspired to learn the guitar.
- Felt utterly free and comfortable without makeup.
- Eaten the delectable Streusel Cake.
- Mastered the fine art (and sometimes appearance-saving skill) of French braiding hair.
- Made certain irreplaceable friendships that I know will last a lifetime.
My life would be so much less eventful had I never gone to Camp Alleghany. I’m so glad that my grandmother went, which in turn inspired my mom to send me. Hey, it’s now a family tradition!
I don’t even want to think about how I would have spent my summers without Ghany, but I can assure you that it would have been a sad use of my time, probably involving a lot more sleeping than is necessary, even for a growing teen. I am so, SO incredibly grateful to all the wonderful people at Alleghany who have helped to shape me into the person I am today. So whether this past year was my last at camp or I have ten more in my future in different capacities, I hope you all know how indescribably joyful I am that Ghany is, and forever will be, a part of my life.*
–– Chloë Cook, Alum, Camp Alleghany for Girls