On this bountiful day of family and friends, I want to reach out to our entire camp family — campers, staff, counselors, the Admin Team, camp parents, alumnae and alum, our contractor services, and camp supporters to let you know how thankful we are to have you in our lives.
More than anything we’re thankful for our campers, the ones that all this is about! And we’re grateful that parents, grandparents and other family members are supportive for camp in their kids’ lives.
We thank all of you who have ever come, and can’t wait to meet some new families who have signed up for next summer.
And this particular Thanksgiving I’d like to do something different. I’d like to highlight some camp team members who work kind of “behind the scenes” and so don’t always get recognized out front and publicly! I regularly sing the praises of our stellar Admin Team, (though maybe don’t thank them as often as I should) — but let me be clear, they are the most amazing group of colleagues and I couldn’t be more grateful for each of their talents and time.
And this year I also want to highlight some of our staff who work just as hard, just not always front and center.
First there’s Matthew O’Dell, brother and right-hand-man to our Facilities Director, Garrett O’Dell. Matthew works just as hard as Garrett to make camp look beautiful and run like clockwork! He also has a great sense of humor and is a wonderful, genuine person through and through.
Do you know Hope, our Head of Housekeeping? Hope works tirelessly in a thankless job to make sure things are clean, that we’re always stocked with toilet paper and paper towels, she does all the laundry that is done in-house, and so much more. We couldn’t function without her organization, grace, and commitment to camp!
Kitty is a special staff member who is our eyes and ears on what’s happening in the greater camp community! Whether notifying us that a new baby has been born to a ‘Ghany alum family, or someone connected to ‘Ghany has passed away, she’s always on top of these things. She sends baby gifts, funeral flowers, notes from ‘Ghany, and more. Kitty’s care and devotion are a model for us all.
God praise Whitney Kiper, my trusted assistant! She does more than anyone knows to help keep me organized and on top of my work. She’s so behind the scenes that you might not even realize she works for me year-round, as well as all summer. She’s reliable, organized, thrifty, and ALWAYS happy to take on any task that I give her!
It’s been such a blessing this year to have Stephanie Astley step into the role of Head of Family Camp. Most people don’t realize how much goes into making Family Camp so special and full of surprises, but Stephanie now works on this year round! We’ve already had many meetings, planning sessions, and phone calls while prepping for FC 2020. It might seem like an easy job, or one that is just for one week of the year, but it’s way more than meets the eye.
And a new role is that of Head of Mother-Daughter Weekend, a role taken up ably and confidently by Ace Dandridge! Like Stephanie’s job, this is not one that happens just during one time of the year. Again, we’ve already had meetings, communication, idea sessions and much planning and prepping for next summer for the second annual Mother Daughter Weekend.
These lower profile team members are no less essential to the running of our camp programs than are our lovely and talented Admin Team members. We value them for their individuality, generosity of spirit and creativity, their organization and enthusiasm, and for just being great people any way you cut it.
Thanks you to them, thank you to you our readers, our campers, our camp families, and our staff. We hope everyone has a wonderful, safe, and Happy Thanksgiving! You will all be in our prayers!
— Elizabeth Shreckhise, Director, Camp Alleghany for Girls