Read below for our most frequently asked questions (FAQ’s!) We also encourage you to check out our blog as many more questions and concerns are addressed there in more detail!
Why all girls? What is the benefit of an all-girls setting?
How do I prepare my child for leaving home?
- First, read this blog! Additionally, it is important to tell your camper that she or a tentmate might get homesick and that is O.K. That is a part of camp and if anyone does, there are folks there to help if help is needed. Be assured that we work as a team to make sure your child is happy, and our nurturing counselors and staff are trained in working with homesick campers. You can also read our blogs on homesickness, as well as other preparation topics on our Parent Resources page and in our Parent Handbook, so be sure to read those thoroughly for more tips.
What if I have a concern about my camper but I’m afraid to tell camp?
- Open and honest communication with us about your camper is extremely important. If we don’t know about a concern or a problem, we won’t be as prepared to handle it if something should happen. If your camper wets the bed, takes certain medications, has specific fears, etc, these are all things that we strongly encourage you to communicate with us so that we can best care for your camper and make camp the most pleasant experience possible for her. There is plenty of space in the Camper Information Form to put as much information about your camper as necessary. Only those specific staff members who need to know this information will be privy to it; otherwise, it remains confidential to the general camp population and staff.
What happens if my camper’s birthday occurs while she is at camp?
- If your camper’s birthday occurs while she is at camp, she will receive a birthday cake at dinner. The other campers and counselors will sing to her (several times!) during the day, and her counselor will be sure to make it a special celebration for her throughout the day. You are free to send her mail at the address listed above. You are free to send her birthday mail, and campers MAY receive packages on their birthday at camp (NO FOOD please!). If you choose to send a birthday package, please notify the Office ahead of time (crucial step!), and the package must say “Attn. Office” on it, in addition to the camper’s name.
How do I prepare MYSELF for my camper leaving home?
- Click here to read our blog on this topic.
Can my camper come for just two weeks? Can she come late or leave early due to a family or schedule conflict?
- Click here to read our answers to each of these questions in depth. In short, we do not allow campers to come for just two weeks, as is outlined in the linked page. If you have a conflict and need to leave early or arrive late, though not ideal, please contact us as we consider these requests on a case-by-case basis.
What happens if my camper has lice?
When do the campers sign up for their activities?
- Mini Campers will test out all the activities throughout their week at camp, so they don’t need to worry about signing up for choosing specific activities.
- Term Campers will sign up for their four chosen activities on the first day of camp.
What do you do if it rains?
- Our activities will continue, rain or shine! Many activities aren’t affected at all by the weather, such as Arts & Crafts, Cooking, Drama, etc. Other activities can continue as long as there is no lightning, such as Rifle, and even our water activities. We have backup rainy-day plans and locations for those activities that cannot continue in the rain, and the staff stay creative and energetic with rainy-day plans to keep spirits high.
- Additionally, we keep our belongings dry by tacking our tents, which means we pull down the tent flaps and tack them down by putting grommets over nails on the exterior of the tent floors to secure the flaps down. This is a very effective way to keep the wind and rain out of the tents and off of our belongings, and something the campers learn to do right from the start of the term.
Food and Meals
What is the food like?
- The food at Alleghany receives the highest praise from campers and parent evaluation surveys alike! The kitchen staff prepares three balanced meals a day. There is always an option for fresh fruit and/or vegetables, as there is a fully stocked salad bar, and campers are encouraged to take a ‘taste’ or a ‘serving’ of all the healthy food that is prepared. We offer a snack twice a day between activities at our Snack Shack, and campers can grab fresh fruit from the Snack Shack all day. Additionally, we have Milk and Cookies on most nights, which is a fun camp tradition and a time to be together as a community before winding down for bed. To read more about our food and mealtimes at Alleghany, please click here.
My camper has a dietary restriction, are you able to accommodate that?
- Yes, we are able to accommodate most dietary restrictions. We have a chef dedicated to just special diets, as well as a Special Diets Manager who will ensure that the correct people get the correct specialized meal. Click here to read more about this.
Friendship and Tenting
How are the campers grouped together?
- Campers are grouped by grade level, four campers to a tent with one counselor. If the camper is a rising 9th or 10th grader, she will be in a tent of five campers with her counselor next door. Each row of tents is called a Unit, and the Unit is all the same grade level. The counselor in charge of the Unit, called the Unit Head, promotes unit bonding and unity with activities throughout the term to encourage the whole group to get to know each other and form friendships.
Will my child be the only new camper in her age group? Will she be excluded from already-established friend groups?
- First, Alleghany’s camp culture emphasizes inclusivity and friendship. “Make new friends but keep the old!” Yes, deep and long-lasting friendships are formed at camp, and every summer the campers are thrilled to reunite with their summer camp friends. And at the same time, campers are always eager and encouraged to make new friends.
- We cultivate an environment of inclusivity, bolstered by our No Gossip Policy, so that every camper is known, included, and loved. Our staff and counselors keep a close eye on new campers, ensuring they are thriving and bonding with their peers.
- If your camper is a Mini Camper, ALL Mini Campers are new!
- In Term Camp, we have new campers every summer in every age group. It’s not typical for a camper to be the only new camper in a particular age group. And again, it’s part of our mission to foster new friendships, include all campers, and promote positive personal growth through the learning process of meeting new people.
- Click here to read more on this topic.
Can I request for my camper to be in a tent with a friend?
- Camp Alleghany does not honor requests for your child to be placed in a certain tent with friends. If we were to honor all 200 campers’ requests to be in the same tent as a friend from home, we would not be true to the very ideals and principles on which Camp Alleghany was founded.
- As stated previously, our goal each summer is to inspire growth through honor, loyalty, and friendship. In order for the campers to develop a stronger sense of self-esteem and confidence, new experiences that may seem different or scary at first — such as being in a tent with all new campers — are essential for growth.
- For example, say your child already knows “Mary,” and if they are in the tent together, they’ll get to know fewer new children. If they don’t stay together, your child will not only meet her new friends in her own tent, but will also meet the campers in Mary’s tent. But if your child tents with Mary, the other two children in that tent may feel left out from the start.
- Again, this is a situation where we ask you to work with us and trust in us and our mission for your child. We’ve been in operation for 100 very successful summers and have seen the downside to honoring tent requests.
- As you know, Alleghany is a small community, and your camper and her friends from home will see A LOT of each other. They may very well take all four activity classes together, spend free time with each other, and play together at Evening Activities. They could essentially spend all day together if they so choose. But when it comes to tenting, Alleghany’s directors remain in control of those choices, in an aim to cultivate new friendships, as well as nurture old ones, but also to strengthen ties throughout the Alleghany community. We have consistently found that one of our strengths is that we are not a cliquish camp, and that we don’t tolerate a “Mean Girls” culture. This is best supported when the Directors diversify the community through tent placement.
- This policy is part of our mission and philosophy, and we thank you for trusting us to make good choices in the best interest of all our campers!
Communication During Camp
How may I communicate with my camper while she is at camp?
- The Camp Office phone is for camp business only. Campers are not allowed to make or receive phone calls except in the case of an emergency as determined by the Camp Directors. We do encourage family members and friends to send mail either using one-way e-mail through CampStamps in your CampMinder account or Campanion app (delivered to a camper within 24 hours) or using the old-fashioned United States Post Office.
- Please be mindful that postal service in rural areas is a bit slower than in the city. Please consider this when sending or awaiting camper mail. But everyone loves to receive mail!
What mailing address do I use to send my camper letters?
- Please note: we do not accept packages, only letters.
- Camp Alleghany’s mailing address for campers is:
Camper’s First Name and Last Name (don’t forget this!)
428 Camp Alleghany Road
Caldwell, WV 24925
May I send a package to my camper?
- We do not allow packages at camp, as is explained in detail here.
- If your camper forgets an essential item (e.g. a retainer, pillow, rain boots, etc), please contact the Office to notify us that you are sending this forgotten essential item (contacting us in advance is a crucial step!), and the package must say “Attn. Office” on it, in addition to the camper’s name.
May I send food to my camper?
- There is NO FOOD allowed in the tent area. Girls may not bring food in from home, nor will food mailed to them be permitted on tent row. Food in tents attracts mice, bugs, raccoons and other critters, so it stays in the Dining Hall.
May I visit my camper while she is at Alleghany?
- Alleghany does not have a visitation day during the term, but we welcome you to visit and see our facilities and meet our staff on Opening Day!
Can I come get my camper if she doesn’t like it?
- First, we feel confident she will enjoy her experience! We spend the whole year thoughtfully and intentionally planning for the summer with our main goal being to provide a positive experience for the campers. Our staff undergo a thorough and robust Staff Training to prepare to help campers assimilate into camp culture, make friends, feel welcomed and a part of our community, and have fun.
- While rare, if a camper is struggling with anything from homesickness to making friends, fitting in, or enjoying camp’s culture and community in general, our staff are prepared to work through those challenges with the campers.
- We emphasize personal growth through stepping outside your comfort zone, spreading your wings, trying new things, setting goals, and making new friends. We greatly discourage campers from leaving early simply because they “don’t like it.” First, this denies your camper the experience of pushing through challenges and growing from them. Second, this is highly disruptive to our small camp community and can negatively affect the other campers, as well as counselors and staff. That said, if your camper is truly struggling to work through some challenges, we will call you to talk through it with you and discuss options for success for her.
Packing and Gear
What size trunk should I get?
- Check out our online store with Everything Summer Camp! Purchase everything from trunks, to clothing, to gear. Our recommended trunk size: no larger than 32;L x 18;W x 16.5H (recommended sizes from Everything Summer Camp are the Happy Camper and the Undergrad). You don’t need to purchase from ESC, trunks are available from other places, but this is the size we recommend (please no oversized trunks!).
Does my camper really need a trunk?
- Yes! Our tents are open-air without any cubbies or other type of clothing storage. A hard trunk is essential for keeping clothes dry and organized. A trunk is required for all campers.
Why does she need so many shirts/pairs of socks/etc.?
- We have crafted our Packing List after decades of experience in the camp world. The majority of our administrative team were campers and counselors at Alleghany, so we have personal experience with what is needed for the session. Campers change clothing a lot – whether due to weather and temperature changes, activity changes during the day (e.g. changing into a swim suit for canoeing, and then back into shorts and a tee shirt for Archery), showering, free swim, getting too sweaty, and more! We have it down to a science how many items are needed in each category to ensure that she has enough clothing for those changes, but not too much so that she has overpacked. Trust us on this one
When does laundry get done?
- Term Campers’ laundry is done weekly. We send their laundry bags to a local laundromat on Monday mornings, and it is usually returned by Wednesday, or Thursday at the latest.
Do I have to buy clothes and gear from Everything Summer Camp?
- Confused about whether to purchase online or wait until you get to camp? Both are fine! Many of the items are the same, but there will be a few different or unique items in each. You can’t go wrong either way.
What kinds of things do you sell in the Store?
- We recently expanded the size of our Store and we carry many useful items, necessities, clothing, and gear. In the clothing category, we sell white shirts and navy shorts and skorts for our dinner uniform Blues and Whites. We also sell white shorts and skorts for Sundays, and tee shirts in various other colors and designs. We carry long sleeve tee shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, sweatpants and joggers, socks, and hats as well. Each year our Store Managers lovingly create new designs for our shirts and sweatshirts, as well as survey the campers for other items they might like to see sold in the Store. We also sell toiletries such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo and soap, feminine products, sunscreen and more. And we carry necessities such as water bottles, flashlights, batteries, stamps, sunglasses, rain ponchos, etc. And in the “fun” category, we have new things each year! From stuffed animals and stickers to Rest Hour activities like coloring books and friendship bracelet string, notepads and pens, Jibbitz for your Crocs, battery-operated fans, and some new surprises every year!
What counts as Blues and Whites?
- Here is an excerpt from our Parent Handbook on the camp uniform:
- Navy shorts can be athletic, running, chinos-style, a tennis skirt/skort, or even capris. Blue or denim/cut-offs are not acceptable.
- A white shirt that is acceptable for dinner/Sunday may have a design or slogan on the back, and something small on the front pocket, but nothing large on the front.
- White shorts for Sundays (Term Camp only) may also be athletic, running, chinos-style, a tennis skirt/skort, or even capris.
- Navy blue and white Camp Alleghany logo shorts and tennis skorts, and white Alleghany logo shirts are available for purchase during camp at the on-site Camp Store or anytime via our online store.
When will my camper find out her team color (Blue or Gray?) How will I know what color to pack?
- Mini Campers will find out their team color when they come to Term Camp!
- If your Term Camper had a family member who attended Alleghany, by virtue of your legacy she will be the same color as her family member(s).
- If your camper does not have a family member who attended camp previously, she will be assigned a color (requests for a particular color are not typically honored or guaranteed).
- New Term Campers will find out their color on the 2nd or 3rd night of their session (Monday or Tuesday), during an evening activity called Blue/Gray Surprise The next day, parents of new term campers will receive an email letting them know their camper’s color.
- Our Camp Store sells Blue and Gray apparel and gear! So make sure to add some store money to your campers account to purchase some team gear if she wants it. If your new camper would like to bring some clothing in her team color but doesn’t know which team yet, simply pack a blue tee shirt and a gray tee shirt, and she’ll be set until she knows her color and can purchase gear at the Camp Store.
What type of shoes are appropriate?
- Children are not permitted to walk around in open-toe shoes. If they want to walk around camp in sandals, they need closed-toe options (such as Keens) and not open-toed ones, like Tevas. Crocs are a popular alternative at camp. Flip-flops may be worn to the showers and Lunch Under the Apple Tree on Thursdays. River shoes are recommended for swimming, and required for canoeing.
Medical and Health FAQs
Why do we need to submit health forms?
- While our mission is to guide your girls through various aspects of personal growth and achieving goals while having fun, our responsibility is to keep them safe, cared for, and healthy. The information you provide on the forms helps us meet that responsibility so that we can move forward with meeting our mission.
Why do you require the ACA Health Form? Why can’t I use the standard school/sports physical form?
- We are an American Camp Association (ACA) – accredited camp, as as such we follow the ACA’s standards and recommendations for health and safety. The Health Form is carefully and intentionally crafted for the camp experience, including authorization from your physician that your camper is cleared to attend summer camp. We take this seriously for the health and safety of all of our campers. Thank you for working with us on this.
Why now? Camp is months away!
- Believe it or not, we’re already deep in planning mode, and everyone from our medical staff to our kitchen staff to our Head Counselors are starting to look at each camper’s individual needs, so that we can be as prepared for your camper as possible.
What if my camper has Dietary Restrictions?
- Did you know that we’ve already planned our menus, and we’re working with our food service company to ensure that we can get the food we need? It is especially important that we know your campers’ dietary needs at this time. The Food Service Manager that we have hired through our food service company, Wolfoods, will be managing the cooking and serving of all Special Diets, and we have an additional support staff person hired as the Special Diets Manager. That is TWO people looking after campers with dietary restrictions. Knowing the number of campers NOW who have specific allergies will help us plan well in advance to ensure we order enough food for each of those individuals. Remember… meeting our responsibility to keep your child safe helps us devote time to achieving our mission of helping her grow. Please fill out Form A – Health History to provide this important health and dietary information.
But my camper doesn’t have a dietary restriction, can’t I submit these later?
- We still need this information as soon as possible, because WE don’t know that your camper doesn’t have a special dietary need. If we’re still waiting on 100 campers to fill out their forms, we have no idea on our end if 1 of them has a special diet, or 50 of them. So having Form A- Health History filled out as soon as possible gives us that very important number earlier than later, which again helps us to plan our menus and food ordering in a timely fashion. On top of that, we also need this information to know if she has any other individual needs that we can be planning for at this time. Diet/food is important, and all of her other individual needs matter to us as well!
I can’t get my doctor’s appointment until June, can I just submit ALL the forms then?
- We understand that many of you aren’t able to get a doctor’s appointment until after our paperwork deadline of May 1. This is understandable, and we still request that all other paperwork is turned in by May 1. If you know your appointment will be after May 1, CLICK HERE to fill out this brief form and let us know when the appointment will be.
How can I make filling out the Immunization form easier?
- Once you type in this information electronically within the Health History form, it will save year-to-year, saving you time in future years!
Activities? Yes or no?
- Yes! You’ll get to continue taking activities. You’ll take two activity classes every day (unless you’re out of camp for a trip or service work).
Do we get any of the activity choices?
- Well, actually, there are no performance ones during the LIT summer — Dance, Drama, or Singing — because, to be fair to everyone, you won’t always be there to rehearse and rehearsals are important for performances. But all other activities are a great big YES! (And p.s., we’re always singing, dancing, and making up skits around camp so you’ll likely get at least some ways to perform at camp like at a campfire, in the Dining Hall, around Tent Row, in the Counselor Show or in ways that the LITs figure out all on their own!)
Why six weeks?
- Some of the AMAZING things we’re going to do take longer than can be accomplished in three weeks so get ready ’cause you’ll finally be a full termer if you’ve never been one before!/li>
What if I can’t afford to come full term?
Is this going to be like summer school?
- WHAT? No way. School’s out for the summer, friend! This is camp, and while an LIT is not technically a camper, nor are you on to being a Junior Counselor yet, you certainly aren’t a summer school student! Okay, okay, so you’re going to learn some things. But not all learning happens in school. You’ve already learned tons of things at camp over the years so why would this summer be any different? And the things you’ll learn will absolutely have creative, fun, and imaginative elements to them.
So then this really isn’t that serious?
- Now, we didn’t say that. Imagine that you’re 16 as an LIT, you know how you’re driving now? Or looking for a part-time job? Or wondering about college? Those are some serious things, sometimes demanding real focus and attention. Think of it like Rifle or Archery or being on the river. Sometimes you really have to buckle down and exactly follow the rules for safety’s sake. But when you pull that trigger or let loose that arrow or go splashing around, it’s still a blast! There will be times when LITs are more reflective, or need to follow protocol (like in the kitchen, or dealing with a car engine), but that’s simply to be safe and wise. Or if you’re learning how to do a job interview — you want to make sure you learn it right so you can represent your best self. But it doesn’t mean you can’t find some humor in it, or laugh at a funny example. Think of being an LIT as a mix — good fun, good heart, good soul, good minds. It’s all coming together now.
I don’t want to miss out on campfires and stuff!
- And you won’t! In fact, you’ll likely get to help plan one led by LITs. There will also be Evening Activities and Free Time and other things you’ve come to know and love about camp that you’ll get to be a part of.
So exactly like camp as we’ve known it?
- Well, there are some exceptions. Sometimes you’ll be off on a field trip, or doing service work, or doing a special workshop time. But over your six weeks as an LIT you’ll get a good mix of all-camp events and “just LIT events.”
I’ve heard we’re going to learn a “skill” or get certified in something. What’s that all about?
- You gotta have the skills to pay the bills, as they say. In other words, you’re growing up! Out there in the world, you need to know a thing or two and it’s not all stuff you learn from family members. Sometimes it’s nice to have a skill all your own that you can take out there and work with. Learning how to be certified is something in itself — a process you’ll accomplish. And the next time you hear that you have to be “certified” (outside of camp) you’ll have a sense of what that takes. Certification acts as a confirmed skill to help you perform recognized work. For your certification we might do lifeguarding/cpr/first aid, or who knows what? It’s one piece of a big LIT experience that you can learn from, enjoy, and use when you go back home in many jobs. We’ll probably even have two options so you get a choice about your certification!
Do I get school credit?
- Well, many schools have a service requirement that has to be met over the summers. Or that can be done in the summer and applied to that fall. Since ‘Ghany Girls are encouraged to serve and share — remember ‘Ghany We Will Give each summer? — we will of course find a way for LITs to be of service to both the ‘Ghany camp community on-site, and also in some capacity in the greater region around Lewisburg/Greenbrier County. It just makes sense, it’s just nice, it’s just the right thing to do. And the bonus there? There’s no happiness quite like the happiness of helping others! Now THAT is fun! And yes, if your school seeks service confirmation from outside sources, you can be sure we’ll have that info to communicate to them.
You’ve mentioned trips — what do you mean?
- Sometimes we’ll take little trips — maybe a day hike, swimming at Blue Bend, or going into town. And we’ll take a bigger trip, too! Maybe it will be a several-day canoeing and camping adventure. Maybe it’ll be spelunking. Visiting another camp. The first summer of LIT we went on a hiking and wilderness trip where we were able to try out new skills, experience some shared independence, work and bonded as a group, and then kicked back at the end of each day and had a blast together!