I love that some of our traditions are as old as camp itself — 97 summers this year! Other traditions have sometimes faded away only to be revived in later generations. And sometimes wholly new traditions are formed, like our “Tree of Life” symbol, the Songbook Challenge, and our coming Leaders-In-Training Program (summer 2019).
Well, one tradition that’s as old as camp is our Blues and Whites dinner uniform. Blues and Whites help make dinner just a tad bit more formal — as formal as you get at camp — and help give everyone a fresh, cleaned-up approach to meal time. We also have all Whites on Sundays, and wear the Blues & Whites from time-to-time for special camp events.
Blues and Whites Plus
One twist on the Blues and Whites tradition that we started a few years ago began as a thing just for counselors. It was to arrive at camp already dressed in Blues and Whites, or what’s known as the all-camp dinner uniform, for Staff Training Week.
That uniform is either plain white shirts (or white shirts with minimal logos on the front at the pocket area/any image on the back) with blue shorts (no denim). It’s slightly different from the uniform the counselors wear for Opening and Closing Day(s) when they wear their formal Camp Alleghany navy logo polo shirts with white shorts, skirts, or skorts. And during regular camp activity hours, since counselors are right in the thick of it — in the water, doing art, cooking, coaching sports, hiking the woods, etc. — they simply wear casual tees and shorts of a wide variety to give them the most freedom to do their jobs.
So in addition to arriving at camp in Blues and Whites, they also wear Blues and Whites at dinner (and all-Whites on Sundays).
Phew — did you get all that?
Anyway…this new tradition turned out to be a really great thing for camp and staff since our Staff Training Week is PACKED with tightly-scheduled events. It meant that staff arrived ready to go — no need to change — and able to hit the ground running.
At a 2017 Counselors’ Winter Brainstorming Retreat we discussed how much they liked the new tradition since it set a tone of inclusion and shared identity right from the start of camp. And several counselors shared that they LOVED not having to think about what to wear to camp that very first day. Putting on Blues and Whites just made it that much easier for having one less decision to make.
In talking, we realized that this was a new tradition that was so full of good cheer and camp spirit, that it was only natural to bring the campers in on it, too! That’s why last summer was the inaugural year of…da da da dum…Blues & Whites Opening Days!
And it went great! So now it’s a full blown new, old, tradition!
It’s pretty easy. All campers need to do is to arrive on Opening Day to camp in our traditional dinner uniform of Blues and Whites (any kind of navy blue shorts except denim and either a plain white shirt or one with only a minimal design on the front in the pocket area/designs on the back are okay ), along with camp-ready close-toed shoes.
So, besides the fun of a new camp tradition, why are we doing this?
- For Opening Day camp spirit, as I mentioned.
- You’ll be ready for dinner without having to change! (especially if there are any luggage delays)
- We’re taking our camp Yearbook pictures on Opening Day, so you will be ready for that as well. (please, no makeup)
- Like the counselors, you won’t have to struggle with any, “what to wear on Opening Day?” issues.
- Get your ‘Ghany on before you even arrive!
Show us your Pearly Whites…in your Blues & Whites!
And, as campers headed to camp experience those last few amazing hours of smartphones, SnapChat and Instagram, they can take lots of photos of that transition to camp while in their Blues and Whites.
You’ve got your:
- I’m half asleep and getting into the car picture…in my Blues & Whites.
- The “look at how I’m packed into this car like a sardine” picture…in my Blues & Whites.
- The various highway-adjacent lovely state rest stop pictures…in my Blues & Whites.
- The desperate “please mom, we’re starving, can we stop for a snack?” picture…in my Blues & Whites.
- The “thank heavens for this snack,” picture…in my Blues & Whites.
- And the most glorious one of all — we’ve arrived at camp photo!…in my Blues & Whites.
And then give those phones back to mom. Seriously. We mean it! 🙂
Be sure to tag your photos with #CampGhanyOpeningDay when you post on social media! There just might be a prize or two for the most unique, funny, or creative shots you share! One might even say the most…”campy!” (But only safe stuff, of course.)
Camp Countdown is ON
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email me. We will see you soon!
As a reminder, here are our Opening Days for Summer 2018:
Can’t wait to see you looking all spiffy and camped out! We will be, too!
— ElizabethDawson Shreckhise, Assistant Director, Camp Alleghany for Girls