Editor’s note: This is a letter we received from a camper’s mom. While it may seem out of sequence relative to the summer and the term camp, we decided to run it as a blog entry anyway since it is so touching, thoughtful, and sweet!
Seven years ago I met a bubbly blonde at preschool who seemed to have every magical trick in the book when it came to parenting her three lovely, little girls. I was instantly drawn to her boundless energy and positive attitude, something I was working on as a new parent myself.
As the years passed and our daughters grew older, this wonder-woman of sorts (‘Ghany’s own Diana Waller) spoke with me about a most special place: Camp Alleghany. She tried for several years to get us on board but my apron strings would not be cut.
This year – with Diana as a Mini Camp counselor – our family could not refuse. We signed up knowing that should Chapin have any problem, Diana would be right there for her.
We were in.
A happy camper
Little did we know just what magic Diana truly had up her sleeve. From the moment we stepped onto the barge, we knew this was a wonderful growth opportunity for our daughter, Chapin. The welcome group and Grace’s wonderful, comforting way with Chapin upon arrival proved she’d be in even more good hands than we expected.
A short walk to bunk 24 and Chapin found a safety net in “T” who was truly amazing. At every turn there were smiles, words of encouragement and true kindness. As parents, we couldn’t have been more comfortable leaving our daughter for her first sleep-away experience.
Today I was in the parking lot sharply at 8 a.m., counting the minutes until I could get over to see Chapin. I felt as proud of myself for letting her go, as of her for actually doing it! Wow did she do it!
She spoke of Mrs. Waller — of course — and all her wonderful card games and nighttime fun, but also of “T” and how she helped her through some tearful nights, her counselors — who she called out by name as we left the grounds — and all the new, fun friends that she made. She was truly blessed to have all these wonderful women in her life this week.
At camp, Chapin played sports, shot a rifle as well as a bow and arrow, and swam in the river — most of which she’d never done before. She truly enjoyed the experience.
Mini Camp is over and things are surely quiet on the grounds tonight. Tomorrow you’ll welcome a whole new crew of smiling faces for first term and it starts all over again. Until tomorrow, though, please accept our sincere thank you for sharing Camp Alleghany with our family and especially our daughter. She sang camp songs all the way home and her treasure box — her songbook, rifle targets, photo album, crafts, patches and all things ‘Ghany — is packaged under her bed for all her friends to see throughout the rest of the summer.
She’s so very proud of herself. She’s a stronger person from this experience. Many many thanks from the Rockwell Family to everyone in the ‘Ghany community — and Diana for planting the seed!
Enjoy the rest of the summer and we do hope to see you again.
–Caitlin Rockwell , Camper Mom, Camp Alleghany for Girls