Five years ago, my ten-year-old daughter, Minnie, scampered down the stairs, plopped herself down at the kitchen table and announced:
“Mom, I’ve decided what I want to do this summer.”
“What?” I answered.
“ I want to go to a camp with tents.”
She further explained that she didn’t want a hiking camp, where they moved the tents each day. She wanted the tents to stay still.
We live in South Texas. I knew of no camp with tents in Texas, so I googled “camp with tents.” A long list of possibilities came up but they were mostly Colorado hiking camps and none of them had stationary tents.
I pondered for days. Minnie was determined that she was going to go to a “camp with tents.” Then I remembered that years before, the son of one of my husband’s family friends from Germany, had come to the US and gone to a camp where the campers lived in tents.
Thankfully, my husband remembered the name—Camp Greenbrier.
I googled its name and sure enough it had tents….for boys. Disappointed, I wistfully read their website while thinking that, yes, Minnie was right. She would love a camp like the one it described. The last sentence of their site said that once a term they had a dance with a nearby girl’s camp, Camp Alleghany. I googled “Camp Alleghany.” The website opened slowly from the bottom of my screen to the top with a beautiful dusk photo of a “camp with tents” nestled in the mountains of West Virginia and run by the Dawson family, which my husband remembered fondly from Episcopal High School.
West Virginia feels far away today. I miss my girl. I wish I could be at the camp watching Minnie and her dear friends of all ages in the play tonight and the dance tomorrow…She has been nestled, loved and taught these past five summers in a way that only could be done in her treasured “camp with tents.”
–Lellen Lane, Parent