Family Camp- Looking Back and Moving Forward

2022 was a big year for Camp Alleghany…as you know! It was our 100th summer and we celebrated throughout the entire camping season.  Family Camp was no different and you can read about our big Celebration wrap here! Although that was the ending to a super unique and year-long celebration, there were other parts of Family Camp this past summer that we should highlight! 


Over the years, I have learned as Family Camp Head, that I can’t say THANK YOU enough to the Family Camp Staff!  They really work hard and are an instrumental piece to this special week.  Our staff this summer was no different and in addition to working at Family Camp, they helped me throw a huge party! HA! This summer, over 30 amazing people who were alumni and Term counselors made up our team.  As a group, our common goal is to create an enjoyable week for Alleghany’s family campers. Not only are all the staff members uniquely talented, but they’re also enthusiastic and the best cheerleaders for Alleghany. They come ready to work hard and enjoy a week along the Greenbrier River with their family, and old and new friends.

Special to 2022

Family Camp each summer…some things are new and some things always stay the same! This summer was no different.  We planned an eventful 10 days of Family Camp this summer. Yes, Family Camp was extended this summer for two extra days.  Many families were able to extend their weekend stay into Monday and it was special being in camp that Sunday evening with a small group of campers.  Other special events this summer were a smaller Birthday party and fireworks for our Family Campers at the beginning of the week.  Lots of river floats and Pickleball were done as well as things that have been around for a couple of years.  We played Alleghany’s version of “trivia” as well as “I Spy”.  Josh Daniel performed for us on Thursday evening on the Jr. Camp Dorch and, once again, was a big hit!   

Family Camp was packed this summer with every tent being filled!  Alumni who hadn’t been in camp in years made their way to Alleghany for this special summer.  We, of course, also welcomed many new families which is always fun for me.  Seventeen new families joined us this summer as brand-new Family Campers.  And we had over 100 families total coming and going during the course of the 10 days.  It was lots of fun and I hope to see all of them back in years to come.  

My Time at Family Camp

As many of you know, my term as Head of Family Camp came to an end this summer.  I officially started as Alleghany’s Program Director in October.  However, reminiscing over my time as the Family Camp leader is one that I look back fondly on.  I was the assistant Head of FC for 4 years before taking over as Head in 2019.  My first year at the helm was exciting, stressful at times, and a little overwhelming, but overall super fun! If it wasn’t, I wouldn’t have kept coming back!  I wanted to make sure that EVERYONE had a great vacation and enjoyed their time in camp with friends and family.  I had big ideas and was lucky enough over the years to have amazing staff to help accomplish those big ideas. That first year was a success and I was excited!  Then Covid-19 rocked our world as we know it and that included the camp world.  2020 was the year of Family Retreats.  Family Retreats taught me different kinds of lessons and we were able to have a form of camp that summer as well.  Thank goodness!  The past two summers, still living in a Covid world, have been every bit as magical and special still during Family Camp. I love greeting every single family on the other side of the river and helping them plan a great week in West Virginia. This last summer was no different! I’m so thankful that I’ve been a part of the Family Camp community since 2008.  I have been a camper, a staff member, and the “one in charge”. My children and I look forward to this week out of our camping season every year. So don’t worry, we aren’t going anywhere…I just might not be in JCamp tent #6. We shall see! 

New Leadership   

I know that you are wondering who are lucky people that get to take Family Camp into the next 100 years at Alleghany!  I’m excited to announce to you all that the new Co-Heads of Family Camp are Courtney Clawson and Landon Russell.  These two individuals are super excited about taking over and making Family Camp their own.  Landon was a long-time camper, and counselor at Alleghany.  She and her daughter have attended our Mother Daughter weekend together and Page was a Mini Camper in 2022! Landon and her family have been family campers for several years and she joined our staff this past summer. Courtney is a mother of three and has been our Head of Waterfront for the last two summers during Family Camp.  Although not an Alleghany alumnus, she grew up going to Camp Illahee for Girls! So clearly a camp girl at heart!  I’m excited to help them with this transition so that it’s a smooth one between me and them.  I know that you will join me in saying Congratulations! 

Looking ahead

Family Camp of 2022 might be in the books but we are brainstorming and looking ahead to next summer already! Family Camp is scheduled for Sunday, August 6th to Sunday, August 13th.  Information about next summer can be found on our website soon. 

‘Ghany Love,

Stephanie McPherson Astley, Program Director