It’s that time of year again when, sadly, camp is over but, happily, we can reflect fondly on the summer that was. That means it’s also time for my top five favorite things about Ghany 2013!
1. Ghany’s next generation
We were blessed to have lots of little ones at camp this summer. Laura Deitz Gorsuch returned for Mini Camp and 1st Term to run the Post Office as well as head up Alleghany Singers. She brought her one-year-old son John with her, and he was so much fun! He had just learned to walk, and he and my son Mason (despite an almost two year difference) were fast buddies. John’s dad was on the Green Team in the early 2000s so John is definitely a Green Team boy in the making.
Program Director Taylor Fellows gave birth to Holly in May, and they were able to join us at camp for 4 weeks this summer. It was so much fun to have an infant at camp! Holly got lots of attention, and Taylor got lots of help . 🙂 Mason was also very enthralled with this new little one.
We’re excited to continue growing our families, and are even building a new office building since we’re starting to outgrow the Cottage! The Cottage will now just be bedrooms to accommodate the growing next generation.
2. Jennifer Pharr Davis
We wrote a blog about Jennifer in the fall after I saw her speak, and we were able to get her to come for a weekend and do some inspirational presentations with the senior campers and the counselors. She brought her baby Charley (short for Charlotte), and we absolutely loved having them for the weekend. I bought her 2nd book, Called Again: A Story of Love and Triumph, and whipped through it, as I did with her first book Becoming Odyssa: Epic Adventures on the Appalachian Trail. She was recently interviewed on Fox and Friends about her book!
3. The river
After several summers of having a practically empty river, we finally had some decent water levels this summer! We actually were able to plan a canoe trip, the first in several years. The girls had a blast and we were excited to see our beloved Greenbrier River up again (a silver lining to all the rain we had!).
4. Alleghany Singers
This summer we decided to change the format of this department, and make it all about learning the correct tunes, words, and harmonies to CAMP songs. The past few years we’ve had some truly lovely and talented counselors head up this department and have always let it be an “anything goes” kind of thing. This year we said let’s make it camp songs, and it was awesome!
As mentioned above, Laura Gorsuch headed it up 1st term, followed by Emma Formoy 2nd term. They picked some favorite campfire tunes, some of which had gotten lost over the years from a lack of singing them, and revived them with beautiful harmonies. The first performance, at Babies Boats, left me with chills. You’re going to love watching the video.
The girls continued during 2nd term learning some difficult harmonies, and even got to sing on the loud speaker a few nights after Taps, as well as teach songs to the rest of camp during Campfire. We can’t wait to continue this next summer – I absolutely LOVE hearing our camp songs sung correctly and confidently!
5. The energy
Camp was PACKED this summer, and this was also the first summer we required ALL counselors to stay full term. The energy level was amazing — and stayed high right ’til the last moment!
I am so proud of all the hard work the counselors did. Having everyone stay full term meant that everyone was in it together, with the same common goal, and working together for the same amount of time. Morale was high, and the campers felt it. Even 2nd term campers — traditionally the more “laid back” group since they’ve been out of school for a while — had some crazy energy this summer. They may have even beat 1st term out in terms of Dining Hall chants and songs! Spirits were high til the last minute and that makes it all worth it.
Counselors, staff, campers, alum and parents, please share your favorite moments from Camp 2013 in the comments field below or on our Facebook page. We’d love to hear from you!
–Elizabeth Dawson Shreckhise, Assistant Director, Camp Alleghany for Girls