On Sunday, June 17th, 2007, it was a sunny day in the Alleghany Mountains. It was the opening day of Mini Camp, and many new memories were going to be made in the next six days. We found out on the other side of the river that we’d be living in Tent 27, Junior Camp, for the next week and our counselor would be a woman nicknamed “Tiemeyer.” We’d be tentmates with girls named Annie and Piper, and would have the best week ever.
As soon as we met, we knew that there was some sort of connection, almost like “friends at first sight.” We spent every minute of free time together, making memories. Even our stuffed animals from the store were just as close as we were. It was apparent, we were the best of friends.
However, on the last day of Mini Camp, we discussed our coming summers at Alleghany, both 200% sure we’d come back for years and years. Whitley was pretty sure she was going to go first term, and Katherine, second term. We didn’t know when the next time we’d see each other would be.
Finally, the Saturday morning came, we said our goodbyes, but we figured we’d see each other someday soon.
Summer 2008 came, and Whitley attended first term. On Katherine’s first day of second term, as she was settling into her tent, looked for Whitley to see if maybe she had decided to come second. Unfortunately, she hadn’t. All the counselors informed her that she had been at camp last term.
At camp apart
Over the years, many things changed. Whitley moved two different times, Katherine went off to boarding school, but we still both loved camp and wanted to continue coming back for as many years as we could.
Whitley was still a first termer, and Katherine was still a second termer. We had little correspondences here and there during the year, just small talk and catching up. We always wrote one another while the other was at camp, which made it seem as though we were still close friends.
As our sixteens summer approached, we began discussing the possibility of going full term for our last year as campers. Luckily, Katherine was going to stay for six weeks. Whitley, because of school conflicts, ended up signing up for second term, a change for a usual first termer.
As summer 2014 was approaching, we began to grow more and more anxious to finally see each other after seven summers away. First term came and went, and then the time had come to be reunited. At the end of first term, Katherine found out that she and Whitley would be tentmates during second term and she was overjoyed. We’d be living in Tent 7, Senior Camp, with girls named Liza and Emma, and our counselor would be a girl named Lizzie.
From the very moment we saw each other, our friendship was rekindled almost instantly. We spent our limited free time together, we sat next to each other in Assembly, and brushed our teeth at night at the troughs.
Together, we led the Christmas in July parade as Santa and Mrs. Claus, one of our favorite camp memories. We watched and supported each other all throughout the term.
Even though we had not seen each other since we were nine years old, we still had such a strong bond. Alleghany can keep people together like that. We’re so thankful that we were able to become such close friends after so many years away from one another. We appreciate everyone that made our coming to back each year possible.
Now as we count down the days together until the Junior Counselor application comes out, we hope we can spend the coming summers together on the Greenbrier River.
We’re so thankful for camp and the friendship that it has allowed us to create; a friendship that will last until our great-granddaughters are coming to camp.
— Whitley Taylor and Katherine Kromer, 16s of 2014, Alum, Camp Alleghany for Girls