There’s probably only one thing that beats Camp Alleghany’s “Christmas in July,” and that is everyone’s actual Christmas in December. But there is a connection to our summer Christmas nods, as I will explain in a moment.
I sit here writing to you with a very bad sinus infection just days before Christmas and with a house full of little boys awaiting Christmas magic. (Well, they’ve already had a taste when my parents hosted their annual family slumber party this past weekend, but Santa Claus is still slated to come here in a few days!)
So I’m trying to will myself to wellness so that all that joyous Christmas spirit will not be lost under a pile of tissues and washed down with another bowl yet of chicken soup! And one way to feel better is for me to look back with fondness on Summer 2016, on Christmas in July, and to Candlelight Campfire, both with their intimations of connection to our own holidays in the off-season.
Wasn’t camp fun this summer?
In spite of the historic West Virginia Flood of 2016 we still had the grandest time. And by the way, when the going gets tough ‘Ghany Girls just get tougher! The spirit of helpfulness, generosity, and a can-do attitude was on display in all our ‘Ghany Girls, with a few extra-especially wonderful stories coming out of that wet and watery time. We had girls who organized charity drives and helped others through the flood’s aftermath that really showed both compassion and great organizational skills!
Our amazing Camp Alleghany Alumni Association stepped into action and organized ways for members and friends to donate to a flood relief fund that helps/helped us stave off the worst impact from the flood and recover quickly. We thank them — and you — so much for the well wishes, prayers, donations, and love!
We thank our lovely summer staff, our amazing year-round staff, and all of our contractors and associates for another year of good work together — camp could never do it without all of you and your wonderful spirits!
By the time our annual Second Term Christmas in July celebration came around, we were in high spirits and ready for the annual march of Mr. and Mrs. Claus and all the fun of a festival day!
And then by the time of the melancholy Candlelight Campfire, when we knew we’d be saying goodbye to each other for a while, the full depth and breadth of camp’s joys were there for all to see and feel in every way, just as we have for nearly a hundred summers!
Those candles that now sit with recent campers, candles to be lit on Christmas Eve in remembrance of Camp, also sit with us as we at camp remember you, remember us all, a community of campers old and new, near and far, spread out across the world but always together in our hearts and in the spirit of Camp Alleghany that goes well beyond its tents and grounds to an idea, a place of mind that we all hold in common.
As you celebrate, and light your candle, know that this is our wish for you: to have the Merriest Christmas, the most joyous and prosperous and Happy New Year, and to join us again on the banks of the Greenbrier River so that we will ring in our friendships under West Virginia skies, happy forever that we’re ‘Ghany Girls (and some ‘Ghany Boys, too!)