TBT: The Alleghany Rattler August 1972: Thoughts on the Anniversary

Editor’s Note:  As part of our year-long celebration of our 100th Year Anniversary (1922-2022), we’ll post a Throwback Thursday edition of our Alleghany Rattler Newspaper to give you a peek into life at camp across those 100 summers!

In this piece Molly Rardin reflects on the 50th Anniversary of Alleghany. The next few Rattler throwbacks will continue to focus on the 50th summer’s events and reflections.  

Thoughts on the Anniversary

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We were most honored to welcome those who came for the anniversary celebration last summer and hope that you enjoyed it as much as we did. Your friendliness and spirit were an even better testimonial to the Alleghany Spirit than were the Banquet toasts!

I have spent many hours during the past month delving into fifty years’ worth of old Rattlers, scrapbooks, and the letters which so many of you wrote in response to the anniversary last summer. At the outset of this project I knew a few of you personally, and a few more by reputation, but the vast majority were strangers to me. Now, however, I have a completely different perspective — on you, on Alleghany, and on the spirit that binds us all together in our common love of the memories, experiences, and meaningful friendships which began here.

Some of the physical aspects of Alleghany have changed through the years, but the traditions, goals, and spirit of the camp will last as long as ‘Ghany exists. The campers are as proud and aware of this as are any of us. This summer’s Rattler contest was to write an essay about “What ‘Ghany Will Be Like in The Year 2000.” They let their imaginations run wild, with everything from robot hoppers to video-recorded assembly! Yet in nearly every essay, the camper emphasized that the intangible and traditional ideals of the camp would be the same in 2000 as they have been all along. They will live on into the future — otherwise camp would not deserve to be called “Alleghany.”

Alleghany embodies both tradition and progress, taking the best of each and molding it into the unique summer experience we have all known at one time or another. It looks to the future while cherishing the past. In a time when everyone is clamoring for peace, loyalty, and brotherhood, Alleghany is a place where such ideals come closest to realization.

Alleghany fulfills a personal need within each individual — camper and counselor alike. Here, more than anywhere else, one is able to know others free of extraneous details. At the same time, one is called upon to get to know herself and to develop her own potential. Alleghany is a challenge as well as a promise, and both will continue to live on within each of us even when we have left the banks of the Greenbrier far behind.

“Remember the hills and woodlands
The sky and water blue,
For you, girls, belong to ‘Ghany,
And ‘Ghany belongs to you.”

Molly Rardin, Alumnae, written in 1972