Editor’s Note: Throughout this blog post I chose to use the terms “moms” and “daughters” while understanding that at Camp Alleghany’s annual Mother-Daughter we have participants who are aunts, cousins, grandmothers, and more. “Mom” refers to any adult participant while “daughter” refers to any child participant.
The Joys of Mother-Daughter Weekend 2021
Way back in the summer of 2006, my mom dropped me off at Camp Alleghany for Girls for the very first time. I had watched my sisters go the year before and had spent the entire year begging my parents to sign me up.
As a 6-year-old attending Alleghany’s Mini Camp for the first time, I was excited for camp but when it was time for her to go, I didn’t want to leave my mom’s side*. Starting in 2019, some lucky campers didn’t have to choose!
Camp Alleghany Director Elizabeth Shreckhise reached out to my mom, Ace, in 2018, asking if she’d be interested in developing the inaugural Mother-Daughter Weekend (MDW). Of course, Ace, a 1980 alumnae and Junior Counselor of 1981, couldn’t imagine a better way to get involved with camp again!
Still being a kid at heart, I wanted to experience camp with my mom, too. We’d always talked about the similarities between our times at ‘Ghany, but the only experiences we truly got to share were Opening and Closing days. Mother-Daughter Weekend became a chance to work on a project together, and create new camp memories together, while fostering the same in our mother-daughter pairs.
We were all in and planned and ran our first MDW in 2019.
Pause, Reset, Wow!
After MDW 2020 was canceled due to the pandemic, my mom and I used the summer as a chance to double down on planning. We were intent on making MDW 2021 the best one yet!
After two years of planning for this weekend, we couldn’t have asked for a more attentive and excited group of girls. From the second all of our lovely camper-pairs stepped off The Barge, we knew it would be a weekend for the books.
We started the weekend off with a Thanksgiving dinner, followed by a scavenger hunt. The scavenger hunt was a hit, with each clue leading to a colored pom-pom. At the end of the game, our four groups had pom-poms of all shapes and sizes. They took time to carefully, yet creatively and haphazardly, glue the pom poms to their group poster. I watched in awe as 15 girls shared a glue stick, asking everyone if they had gotten to glue on a pom-pom yet, and passing it off to the girls who hadn’t.
Throughout the weekend our girls were introduced to many ‘Ghany traditions, including the colors that help identify different groups in camp. The Junior Counselors are purple, the Mini Campers are tie-dye, Midways are teal, Start-Ups are yellow, (and there are more color groups)… and the biggest rivalry in camp is between the Blue and Gray teams. Every Term Camper ends up being either a Blue or a Gray. The pom pom poster was the perfect way to describe our MDW color.
THE POLKA DOTS
When planning for the inaugural MDW, we had no question about what color/pattern was going to represent us. Polka dots of all different colors represent the little bit of everything that our Mother-Daughter pairs get to experience during the weekend.
During our short time together this summer we were able to go on river floats, attend a sampling of almost all of the activities camp has to offer, have a cozy campfire, and even finished off with tasty s’mores!
My mom and I were so grateful that we were able to bring such a phenomenal group of ladies together for the ultimate weekend-long camping experience. With around 34 pairs (and sometimes trios if an aunt or grandmother came along) in 2019, we were absolutely thrilled to be able to invite over 40 new groups into the safe haven we call camp this year. And some of those were alumnae moms/grandmothers who came to share their fond memories with the next generation!
2022 and You — Our 100th Summer!
And next summer?
Well, it’s the 100th anniversary of Camp Alleghany for Girls next year!
I’m sure you can bet that it’ll be an exciting summer in all of our programs. But imagine getting to be one of the mother-daughter pairs who get to be here for that historic weekend?
I encourage you to follow along on our blog and follow us on social media (Facebook | Instagram | Twitter) to be ready to sign up for one (or more) programs for next summer.
Mother-Daughter Weekend registration will open up with its Early Bird rate on January 15th so put an alert in your e-calendar and get ready for a special bonding time for you and the little girl in your life!
Meantime, we’re taking a little rest from our fun 2021 weekend and then it’s back to fun and exciting planning for next summer. Hope to see you there!
— Mae Dandridge, 2016 Alumna, Co-Head of Mother-Daughter Weekend, Camp Alleghany for Girls
* My mom did leave my side though, riding the Barge back to the “other side of the river.” I, of course, had a blast at Mini Camp!