There’s a saying that goes, “Wherever you go, there you are.” But I have a twist on that — “Wherever you go, there’s a Ghany Girl there!”
I’m exaggerating, of course. But there’s at least of nugget of truth in there. It seems that Ghany Girls will turn up in all kinds of places and often at the very same time.
Ghany Girls out and about
What gave me inspiration for this blog post was something that happened on a recent trip to Baltimore.
I was there on a girls’ weekend and what do you know, while we were out I ran into a camp friend, Alison “Peanut” Cutlip (pictured here with me and long time BFF from camp and college, Emily Etherington Cox, who was on the girls’ weekend with me).
What are the odds?
Like me, Alison doesn’t live in Baltimore either — it was sheer coincidence that gave rise to our spontaneous reunion on the town.
Back in the day, Alison was both my and Emily’s camper during her tenure at Alleghany and her mom (who’s also an alum) continues to be one of our most respected camp doctors .
Everywhere Ghany Girls
It was such fun and a real treat to run into Alison, which got me thinking about the number of times I’ve bumped into camp people outside of camp:
- On vacation in Disney World with my family.
- On vacation in Aruba with my family — Aruba!
- At a restaurant in Alexandria.
- While riding the DC metro.
- And more!
All of this is not to mention the countless times I’ve been driving in many different places and seen a camp bumper sticker.
The thing is, this doesn’t just happen to me. Our recent Head Hopper, Jane Anne McJunkin Randolph, ran into camp buddy (and current Mini Camp Counselor and camp mom) Margaret Roop Dabney in Disney World in 2012.
I also got a great story from Emily Etherington Cox (mentioned above):
My husband and I have struck up a nice friendship with another family in my town after meeting them while out for a walk in the park. My daughter Cece and their son Cassian are the same age and have become good friends and we see them regularly.
I knew that, like me, Dave grew up in Virginia, and we had figured out that our mothers actually knew each other growing up in Fredericksburg. But I didn’t realize until very recently that Dave was a camp connection as well.
Phil and I went over to their house for a BBQ over the summer and I struck up a conversation with his sister Susan, only to realize two hours later when I offhandedly mentioned a story related to camp, that I was talking to Susan Lee. I suddenly felt like a shy 10-year-old in awe of the coolest counselor. I told her that I’d always thought of her as kind of a legend! Camp certainly does make the world a smaller and more wonderful place.
All ages have surprise reunions in all kinds of places
Mini Camp Director Beth Anne Clark-Thomas has a lovely surprise meet-up story, too.
Going out to eat in a New England oceanside restaurant sounded like such a great idea. And it proved to be yet another treasured, but unexpected Ghany reunion as I heard my name called out from across the venue!
Kathryn Anschutz, who attended camp with sister Marietta, was dining with her family a few tables away. You never know when or where you will run into Ghany girls but you can count on it being a joyful experience!
And Program Director Taylor Fellows had an experience a few years back.
In college, I was in a building and wearing camp sweatshirt when a girl I didn’t know said, “Oh hey, Camp Alleghany, I went there.” Then she asked if I was a blue or a gray!
I’m confident there are countless stories like these floating around out there and we’d love to hear them. Please, post yours in the blog comments area below, on Facebook, or drop me an e-mail with your story.
Camp Alleghany really does make the world smaller. The memories are treasured and the alumni connection is so strong.
Camp might only be one summer…or many. But the memories, friendships, and connections last a lifetime.
— Elizabeth Dawson Shreckhise, Assistant Director, Camp Alleghany for Girls