I admit it, it’s hard to leave Camp Alleghany at the end of the summer. It seems I’ll use any excuse to go back! And I’m not the only one.
That’s why this past weekend the administrative team met for a fall retreat to do our annual review of how the summer went. It was also a time to plan for the summer ahead. And there’s no better place to do it than by visiting the camp we love so much, taking one last chance to leave the “real world” behind and go to our happy place. 😉
We actually stayed at BA’s river cabin on the Greenbrier, and it was perfect early fall weather. We spent some great time bonding together, sitting on the porch looking out over the river. It was a lovely setting to get in the mood to discuss camp.
But the truth is, what we do in this retreat is serious business. A central part of our camp model is to continually be in a process of staff development at all levels, checking in at regular intervals to process what we’re doing, new lessons and challenges, new opportunities and ideas, and the general functioning of everything from marketing to accreditation, programming to food, facilities to supplies — you name it.
We started by reviewing last summer’s events, activities, and of course, the storm. We talked about what went well in 2012 and from that, what we’d like to continue for next summer. We formally welcomed our new program director Taylor Fellows to the team (more about Taylor in an upcoming blog) and we got a facilities update from the always amazing Garrett.
In terms of staff development, there’s a unique aspect to that at the highest levels — the administrative team. So we asked ourselves again, What does it really mean to be on the Administrative Team at Camp Alleghany?
B.A. led this session for us, having researched and summarized traits of effective administration. We learned a lot from that session, which we hope to share with you in the future as B.A. continues her work in this area.
What we did was discuss what administration means for our team and did a few exercises to bring home the points we find important to our own work here. This all led to even more lively and vibrant discussion about how to work together effectively, happily, and in a mutually supportive way.
Celebrate good times, come on!
It wasn’t all work and no play, though.
On Saturday night we had dinner out at Stella’s in downtown Lewisburg to celebrate all we had learned and all we’re developing. It’s my dad’s new favorite restaurant after our awesome 10-year dinner was held there this past July. The food is amazing, the service great, and the atmosphere lovely. When you drop off or pick up next summer you should check it out — and tell them Camp Alleghany sent you!
Overall it was a very successful, productive, and fun weekend! Of course, it was hard to say good-bye again, but it just made Summer 2013 seem that much closer.
–Elizabeth Dawson Shreckhise, Assistant Director, Camp Alleghany for Girls