I know everyone is busy with travel, holiday visits, New Year’s Eve plans, and kids still at home for winter vacation so I just want to pop in for a quick minute with a New Year’s blog.
This past year, 2019, was a big one for Camp Alleghany for Girls. It was the second full summer that I was Director, meaning that I had one summer under my belt to really see how things looked from the Director’s chair (though I had many if not most of the directing duties even as Assistant Director under my dad, Sam Dawson, now President Emeritus of ‘Ghany).
With that first summer of perspective in 2018, and plans from 2017 onward to launch our Leaders-In-Training Program (LIT) in 2019, this past summer gave us just that opportunity — to put into motion LIT, including bringing on our wonderful LIT Head, Teresa Padgett.
One summer with LIT lead us to conclude that leadership across the board at ‘Ghany is clearly a focus for all our age cohorts and would benefit from one staff member shepherding all the leadership aims and tools for each age program. So after this summer Teresa joined our Admin Team as the Leadership Program Director to guide each of the counselor deads of our program areas each summer — StartUps, Midways, Upstarts, LITs, and Junior Counselors — as they implement the program goals and opportunities that girls in each cohort needs.
Yo, Mama! Hey, Baby!
And as if launching LIT wasn’t huge enough (but easily doable with our amazing team!), during summer 20919 we also launched our Mother-Daughter Weekend Program, headed up by alumna Ace Dandridge and assisted this past summer by her daughter, Mae Dandridge, who’s also an alumna and was one of the two Summer 2019 Camp Photographers (with Bridgett Criswell). This program was a huge success! Smashing success! Awesome success! Why did we wait this long?
After our first Mother-Daughter Weekend was under our belts, and summer itself over, our wrap up and reflection meetings allowed us to evaluate how things worked, dive in to what attendees shared on their feedback surveys, gather new ideas, and get ready to host the Second Annual Mother Daughter Weekend this spring, with Early Bird Registration (and its discount pricing) opening at midnight on January 15th.
All In The Family Camp
We continue to be thrilled with innovations and improvements that new Family Camp Director Stephanie Astley has brought to Family Camp while always holding fast to the traditions and familiar activities that make it its own special week at camp. Family Campers can look forward to registering on February 1, 2020.
Moving on Up
Finally, my recent announcement of the new multi-purpose building in the heart of camp that’s slated to host a much better equipped Camp Office, along with an inside Camp Store, a walk-up Post Office, and a covered Rainy Day Space was met with joy by so many — from staff, to parents, to campers. As always, our facilities Direct Garrett O’Dell and his team bring their “A” Game to making ‘Ghany the beautiful, well-tended, functional, and responsive place that it is.
We can’t wait to christen this building (what will it be called?) and roll in our supplies for the summer — how nice it will be to spread out and see these much-needed improvements at work at last!
Goodbye 2019, You Were a Good One!
As you can see, 2019 was just a wonderful year at camp. We enjoyed meeting new campers and seeing returning campers come back with missing teeth or new teeth, longer hair or shorter hair, a new skill or interest to share, and shot up like weeds from the last time we saw you!
We loved seeing parents and grandparents again and meeting new families to make them part of the “Ghany Family.”
And our staff filled us with joy and pride as they took on their roles with passion and dedication.
Now it’s time to look ahead to a new year, and a new summer. Summer 2020! Will your family or your camper or YOU be there with us to spend another season along the banks of the Greenbrier River, cozied up to the best friends ever, tickled by the breezes, challenged by fresh opportunities, reflective at a Vespers, warmed beside a campfire, and so much more?
If you haven’t yet registered, do so today and don’t get waitlisted! We want to see you, we can’t wait to see. And in the meantime, we can see each other at the upcoming Winter Reunions in Washington DC and Richmond, Virginia.
No matter what you decide about camp*, we want all our campers and camp families to have a Happy New Year, and truly amazing 2020!
— Elizabeth Shreckhise, Director, Camp Alleghany for Girls
*If you want to learn more about the merits of sleepaway summer camp, download my FREE e-book, 3 Reasons to Begin Your Child’s Sleepaway Summer Camp Experience Early. It’s a great resource to share with friends, or if you are a first-time camp family and you wonder what sleepaway camp would be like for your child.