Camp Alleghany is one of the best things that has ever happened to me.
When my mom told me that I was going to be attending a three week all girls camp, I became very stubborn. I insisted that it was going to be horrible, hot, and boring. And that was before I learned that we would be sleeping in tents. All I could think about was another camp I had been to, and how I wanted to go back. But my grandmother had been to Camp Alleghany, and my mom insisted I had to try, pretty much against my will. Grumble…
However, the minute I arrived, all of those complaints instantly floated out of my head. I was greeted by my JC, or Junior Counselor, Stewart Summers. She was perky, sweet, and funny, and I immediately liked her.
Since my parents insisted on dropping me off at the earliest time possible, 11:00 a.m., I was the only girl in my tent until 4:00 p.m. that afternoon! You can imagine my relief when other girls finally arrived. But when my new tent mates did get there, we became the best of friends almost instantly. We chose activities together, and I was assigned to be canoe partners with one of my new buds. I was so happy!
Every camp activity made me fall in love with Camp Alleghany more and more and more! I couldn’t get over the fact that every one was just so welcoming. Even though I was a first year—and I get lost very easily—I found my way around perfectly after one day because of all the nice people who showed me the grounds and pointed out the buildings.
However, all good things must come to an end. In my head, I had started to refer to July 17th (the last day of camp) as “The Dark Day.” And dark it certainly was. It was our third stormy day, clouds swirling and rain coming down, but that was nothing compared to the tears streaming down our faces at the thought of leaving. We were all hugging and crying, so sad that camp was over.
And, of course, my parents had waited until the last possible time, 4:00, a good 5 hours after the rest of the campers had left, to pick us up. I will never forget the sadness I felt as we drifted across the beautiful Greenbrier River on the barge, feeling as if I was leaving behind a part of my heart.
One of my tent mates, Emily Thistle, and I became very close during camp. We had signed up for all of the same activities, and we had so much fun together. Camp Alleghany had quickly become my favorite place on earth. Now Emily and I exchange pen pal letters every few weeks. We also “see” each other on Facebook, but good old fashioned letters remind us of camp, and that glorious mail call.
Once is never enough
Camp Alleghany is the best place in the world, and I am so glad that I have gotten to be a part of it. I will always remember the home I have in Camp Alleghany for Girls. Lucky for me I get to come back again this year. That means that when someone else is new, I can extend that famous Camp Alleghany hospitality, welcoming her into the world of the Midways (that’s what 13 and 14 year old campers are called) and helping make her feel just as at home as I did!
–Chloë Cook, 14, Midway and a 2nd year camper