We sing all the time at Camp Alleghany for Girls, and as I reflect on last week’s Mini Camp experience, I can’t stop hearing bits of our camp songs in my head.
Everything old is new again
“Each summer we come here, some things are always new …” and indeed, the unprecedented water and mud of 2016 will always loom large in our memories.
But “… some things don’t change come what may.”
Our Mini Campers shot real rifles, splashed with their buddies and took “river showers” during Free Swim, discovered the joys of creeking in Crystal Creek before it rose, ate S’mores, learned to deal with Daddy-Longlegs, tie-dyed shirts, made the Term Counselors show us dance moves in the Dining Hall, and worked together to pass tent inspections.
Take me to the River
“Lord said to Noah, there’s gonna be a floody, floody ….”
The rain boots definitely earned their share of precious space in the trunk, and we had multiple opportunities to confirm that no Mini Campers are Wicked Witches who melt when they get wet!
“… Get those children out of the muddy, muddy, children of the Lord ….”
Our classes and evening activities switched up to indoor versions, including a down-to-the-wire “Encore” song contest, and our Cookout Dinner and Campfire in the Play Hall. Our last night together, we ate a lovely Alice’s Tea Party-themed Mini Banquet dinner and enjoyed performances by The Alleghany Singers, and the Drama and Dance classes.
This year’s “mud flood” (as the counselors nicknamed it) heightened my respect for our beautiful Greenbrier River‘s power, and my appreciation for the privilege of living so close to it.
“The river is time and it flows to the sea ….” So much of who I am, and who I aim to be, still flows in that river and echoes off those mountains.
“From the hills I gather courage… strength to lead and faith to follow, all are given unto me; peace, I ask of thee o river, peace, peace, peace.”
This year the river’s physical power nearly matched its emotional power for me, as its challenge brought out ‘Ghany Girls’ resilience, humor, teamwork and unflagging good cheer. And what amazing ‘Ghany Girls our Mini Campers proved to be! Every day these newest campers shifted plans without complaining, lent their hands to help, offered hugs and smiles, and found things to enjoy.
“I thank you God for most this amazing day: today …;”
We sing nondenominational grace at every meal and this one (an e.e. cummings poem) is my favorite. I’m always deeply grateful to be a ‘Ghany Girl, and for the sublime opportunity as a Mini Camp Counselor to bring the ‘Ghany magic to a new generation.
And now, as I examine the evidence that “Black socks, they never get dirty …,” I think, “Well God, thanks a lot for ‘the leaping greenly spirit of trees’,” and for my clean feet!
This Mini Camp session sure proved that camp builds resilience in kids! If you’re curious to learn more about the benefits of Mini Camp, please, download Assistant Director Elizabeth Dawson Shreckhise’s FREE e-book, 3 Reasons to Begin Your Child’s Sleepaway Summer Camp Journey Early.
— Carson Gleberman, Alum and Mini Camp Counselor, Camp Alleghany for Girls