The first year that I attended Camp Alleghany was my 13’s summer. I was quite nervous about going to camp — three weeks seemed like an unbearably long time, especially not knowing anybody. However, that all changed when I met my counselor, Stewart Summers.
I immediately took a liking to Stewart’s welcoming nature. She offered to give my family a tour of the camp, helped me set up my bed, and even traipsed all over the camp to find my duffel bag, which had mysteriously gone missing (it had been delivered to Junior camp instead of Senior).
By dinner time that evening, I had already gotten over my stubborn “I’m not going to like camp!” attitude, and was totally loving it.
I really do attribute my rapid conversion (from fear of camp to love of camp) to having had such an amazing counselor in Stewart (who was a Junior Counselor — JC— at the time).
Looking back on my being a first-time camper, I’m sure I was a little bit clingy and overly attached to Stewart, but what can I say? She was so cool! I looked up to her so much. That’s probably when I first started to really want to become a JC.
The mystical, magical Purple Palace
In the beginning I really had no idea what being a JC actually meant. I knew that it was Stewart’s first year as a counselor, but other than that I was kind of oblivious. Then, in the middle of term, the JCs got initiated, and WOW — that was a LOT of purple!
I still didn’t really understand what was going on, but seeing how happy all of the JC’s were, and how silent the crowd was, made me realize that something special was definitely happening. And then, for the rest of term, the JC’s were decked out in purple. Like, decked to the nines! And they were spending all of their free time in The Purple Palace.
Of course I, like every single other camper, was dying to know what this mystical Palace held, but the JC’s lips were sealed. Right then and there I made a promise to myself: One day I would be a JC.
10% Inspiration, 90% Perspiration
Working on my JC application was probably the most nerve wracking experience of my young life. Not only was it one of the most demanding job applications I had ever worked on, but it was one of the most important (to me). I spent hours going over and over it, making sure my grammar was perfect, my spelling correct, and, most importantly, that the content would make me be a good candidate for the job.
And let me tell you, the two months between November 1st (the application deadline) and January 4th (when I heard the results) may seem like a short period of time, but for me, it was an eternity!
Real live Junior Counselors
However, all of the waiting was worth it when I got the e-mail early on Saturday, congratulating me on being accepted as a Junior Counselor of 2014!
Honestly, getting the actual results wasn’t as instantly exciting as I’d thought it would be because I was just so shocked at first, and relieved — the waiting was over and I did it!
The real excitement didn’t really hit me until later that night when I sent a message to one of my best friends, Caroline Harvie (who was also accepted!), saying,
CAN YOU BELIEVE WE’RE ACTUALLY JC’S????? Like we’re going to HAVE CAMPERS, be running to the Now’s, be initiated — we’ll SEE THE PALACE!! It’s so surreal!
Okay, I know it’s not exactly Yeats, but this little note successfully conveyed my emotions in the moment. 🙂
I just know that this is going to my best summer yet at Camp Alleghany.
–Chloë Cook, Alum & Junior Counselor, Camp Alleghany for Girls