If you’re thinking about sending your camper to Camp Alleghany Girls for a Leaders-In-Training summer (for rising 11th grade girls) well then congratulations — you’re making a wise choice!
It’s a summer of fun, exploration, learning, skill building, and self-discovery that acts as a crucial bridge between childhood and the demands of young adulthood on the horizon just up ahead.
Your LIT has reached the age of driving, part-time jobs, college applications/essays/interviews, and the heavier burden of increased peer pressure around sex, alcohol, drugs, and “fitting in.”
Helping her navigate all this is something no family should have to do alone. And it something schools aren’t able to solely focus on given the heavy demands of academics today, especially as college and SATs loom ahead.
What your LIT needs is a safe place that offers a healthy balance of introspection and external challenges, of good old fashioned fun and new skills and tasks she never imagined she’d be doing. She also needs a place where she can go beyond herself, beyond social pressures, and beyond the normal to new levels of personal achievement — basically leadership at a pace she can absorb.
Our LIT Program offers all this and more. If she’s already been a camper at ‘Ghany, she’ll be in a familiar place that allows her to continue many traditions she’s known and loved — campfires, life on Tent Row, treasured summer friendships, favorite songs and chants, and activities that she’s been exploring and mastering like canoeing, riflery, tennis, and more.
If she’s a first-timer at ‘Ghany during her LIT summer then she can expect to be met with the characteristic warmth of the Camp Alleghany culture — no mean girls, no gossip, everyone included, and a place that campers for generations — since 1922 — have proudly called a second home.
We’ve written several blogs about the LIT Program (or mentioned the program in other blogs), all of which can be found here.
We know you’re busy so we want to keep this FAQ short by telling you that the LIT Program has three essential components:
- Camp Life
- Skill Building
In camp life, your LIT will have six weeks to bask in the joy of the beloved ‘Ghany camp world. That is to say she can take two activity classes of her own choosing (excluding performance ones due to LITs missing rehearsal time for other LIT tasks), enjoy campfires and Evening Activities (and even help craft some), enjoy some free time on Tent Row, hang with the whole camp during meal times in the Dining Hall, feel the love of the Greenbrier River during Free Swim, and interact with younger campers and older Junior Counselors and Counselors in a variety of situations.
She’ll be here for six weeks so she’ll also get that critical digital detox so highly recommended by doctors and educators today, including a much needed break from the too often vicious and relentless world of social media.
She’ll instead benefit in body, mind, and spirit from fresh mountain air, natural rhythms of sun up and sun down, a healthy dose of sunshine and playing in the Greenbrier River. She’ll see a ceiling of stars, feel the gentle breeze, hear the crickets chirp, and warm up by a vigorous campfire.
Moving her body about every day she’ll get exercise and exercise her lungs by singing happy songs and maybe doing a bit of yoga. She’ll get away from it all while focusing on herself on one hand, and focusing on others on the other hand, bringing about a good balance in the maturing process.
She’s inching ever closer to adulthood, and this will help her be grounded enough to soar!
Teenagers can be…well let’s just admit that it’s a trying age. It’s only because they want to be and do and try so much. But the pressures on them by commercial culture to be self-absorbed and self-centered are unmistakeable.
During an LIT summer your budding leader will have opportunities to explore service at a deeper level, and not just to get class credit, even though that’s a nice — and efficient — perk.
She’ll learn more deeply that not everyone in our society has the same privilege or opportunities and so to give of oneself is a pillar of a meaningful life.
Both in camp and in the larger Lewisburg/Greenbrier County, area she’ll have opportunities to “give back.” In part, she’ll help craft how that will happen through learning about various needs, drawing own her own passions and interests, and tackling the very real art and skill of project management.
She might help make bat houses for camp, run a food drive for a local agency, or do cleanup along the Greenbrier River Trail.
The specifics will change from summer-to-summer but one thing will remain constant: learning to serve others as an act of selfless and joy will be central to her experience.
When you’re on the threshold of leaving childhood to embrace young adulthood the plethora of demands can seem daunting. There’s driving, car management, time management, college applications and essays, personal and self care, diet and nutrition, working part time, volunteering, trying career choices out and much, much more.
Who can keep up?
Well if anyone can a ‘Ghany Girl can. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a learning curve, or that it all comes naturally.
Between her daily LIT class for self reflection, communication development (essay writing/job applications/leading a group, public speaking), and group projects, and very specific skill building in some kind of certification (maybe NRA rifle instructor, lifeguarding, lifesaving, wildlife survival, or something else), or learning how to work with tools to make those benches or bat houses, or learning basic car care, she will come away from her LIT summer as a young woman equipped to take on the world.
And all of this leads to something invaluable — confidence. An LIT will feel this summer as a rite of passage, something too often neglected in a large and often anonymous society.
We hate to say she won’t be your little girl anymore because all parents and guardians know that their kid will “always be their baby.” But at the same time she has to be ready to grow up, face the challenges of college, driving alone, jobs, and adulthood.
This bridge summer will be so fun for her but at the same time it will provide that seamless support that’s felt when someone specifically holds your hand as you try a new and much more complex balancing act.
She will love it. You will love it. And we’ll love having her here!