Thanksgiving Dinner at camp may be one of our favorite summer meals, but no matter how good it is it can never compare to the real thing — or the real time — that is Thanksgiving with our loved ones.
Fireplaces glowing, children playing, warms smells wafting through the house — everyone loves a good old fashioned American Thanksgiving and we are no exception!
So before the mayhem of early morning cooking sets in, and the chaos of getting three little boys into their spiffy best takes over, I thought I’d take some peaceful time earlier in the week to share our gratitude with you — our camp families, campers, staff, alum, and friends!
As the seasons turn, one to the next, for us so much is focused on what happens in the summer when we return to camp — often with our whole families, children and all, in tow. That makes camp as much a place for family as home, which makes all of those who join us part of our extended family, our camp family! So thank you all for being a part of that.
It’s All About the Campers
We love our campers with our whole hearts — you’re the reason we do what we do. You’re what drives our plans, you’re what makes us creative, you’re the people we want to teach, and please, and be creative for, and always strive to do better for. And you’re our teachers, too. You help us see with fresh eyes, imagine new ways of doing things, and envision the possibilities to come.
Getting to see campers grow and change from summer-to-summer — losing teeth, growing taller, accomplishing some new thing, sharing a struggle or a triumph, squealing with delight over seeing a camp friend again or sending us an off-season postcard about your life — THAT is what makes this the best job in the world.
Thank you campers, for being YOU!
Thank you, too, to our camp families — parents, grandparents, and other family members connected with a camper.
You are our partners in this. We’re honored to be the stewards of your daughters/granddaughters/nieces/cousins in the summer and to share with you their time here in notes home, or conversations over the years.
Thank you for trusting in us, working with us, sharing your thoughts, and staying connected to us. We are so grateful to be doing this together with YOU!
The Hardest Working Team EVER!
Our staff may change from summer-to-summer but every staff member, whether here for one season or ten or more, whether coming back in consecutive summers or returning after a decade to become a Mini Camp Counselor — all of you are immensely valuable to us.
Like our current campers (and some of you were campers), we take delight in seeing you grow and change, or in revisiting what it is in you that stays exactly the same because that’s a thing in you that we love so much.
We couldn’t do our work for the campers without an amazing set of staffers each year who pour their heart and soul into this work, with some of you coming from foreign lands just to be with us!
Long hours, sticky days, cold mornings, runny noses, itchy blankets — none of it deters you from the bigger picture which is the bright eyes and eager minds of our campers who look to you for guidance, comfort, security, inspiration, and knowledge!
Thank you staffers — you are our rock!
Make New Friends But Keep The Old
When I think that we have 97 years of alum under our belt (watch out 100th Anniversary, here we come!) I am awed at the scope of this stream of girls and women connected to our little old Camp Alleghany for Girls all nestled in the West Virginia hills.
There are a lot of places out there that would envy our devoted and connected and supportive and truly passionate group of alum. And the fact is, you don’t actually have to have attended or worked at Alleghany to be in the Camp Alleghany Alumni Association (CAAA)! You can be associated in any way at all — a parent of a camper, grandparent, even just a friend of someone who went/worked here and wants to support the cause. If you are interested in joining, you can join, here.
But the bottom line is, whether they’re officially in the Camp Alleghany Alumni Association or not, all of our alum connects with us and each other in awe-inspiring ways both formal and informal, both of which are listed below along with many other ways too numerous to list (like spontaneous reunions in airports with texted pictures sent to us for proof — what are the odds?!)
The CAAA is the driving force behind the Lantern Scholarship, LOL Weekend, many fun and engaging events at Family Camp that also raise money for the CAAA, annual Enhancement Projects for camp programming, six newsletters a year emailed to members — including featuring alums who have had babies, gotten married, and other special life events, fundraisers throughout the year that support the CAAA, a winter alumni reunion, and more!
But whether a CAAA member or not, Camp Alleghany alumni provide a happy chorus of supportive girls and women who make it clear that they are forever #TeamGhany (even if they are also either Gray or Blue!) 😉
Thank you forever and ever to our Alum, including some wonderful official CAAA Board members pictured below!
One of those bits of magic that makes a place work so well is all the work that goes unseen most of the time. And it’s there that you’ll find our amazing Administration Team made up of my dad and mom — Director Sam Dawson and Director of Special Events Bonnie Dawson, the ever-faithful Director of Mini Camp, Beth Anne Clark-Thomas, Office Manager (and sister-in-law) Louise Dawson, dynamo of a Facilities Director, Garrett O’Dell, and our indispensable newest team member, Program Director Casey Tucker.
These are the folks whose brainstorming, off-season meetings, creative thinking, innovation, research and study, paperwork, vendor negotiations, schedulings and work with staff and campers makes this place tick and hum with heart and head and hands! Thank you to this team being so reliable, dedicated, smart and good-hearted that the work becomes easy, fun, and meaningful!
A Special Special
As a thank you to our camp families, we’re also offering two specials this week.
Our retail partner Everything Summer Camp is offering 10% off all Camp Alleghany for Girls branded clothing from Tuesday night, November 21st through Tuesday, November 28th.
And just from us to you, on Cyber Monday we’re offering a discount on the required deposit for securing your spot. For one day only if you register for Term Camp your deposit is $250 (instead of $500) and for Mini Camp the deposit drops by half from $300 to $150. Add this to the Early Bird discount rate that end son December 1, 2017 and you’ll have a great discount and incentive to get registered on Cyber Monday.
In the end you’ll still pay your full Early Bird tuition rate by the due date of April 1, 2018, but you’ll save some crucial cash in the meantime, when it’s most needed during the busy holiday season. We hope this helps you. It’s just our way of saying “Thanks for being a part of Camp Alleghany!” Register here on Cyber Monday.
Enjoy these specials with our compliments!
But most of all, have a thankful, loving, and joyful Thanksgiving with your families and friends.
— Elizabeth Dawson Shreckhise, Assistant Director, Camp Alleghany for Girls