The Upstart Program at Camp Alleghany is a fantastic addition to a camper’s life. Let me tell you how.
From the time you’re in Unit 1 of Junior Camp to age 14 (second year as a Senior Camper) you live with a counselor in your tent. They’re there for whatever you need, from having a talk after a challenging day to getting a wayward skunk out of your tent while maintaining grace under pressure!
However, once you’re a camper aged 15 and 16, you become an Upstart, with special responsibilities and privileges.
Getting ready to fly
First of all, your counselor no longer lives in your tent with you. You are trusted enough to be quiet and responsible by yourself. Of course your counselor still spends tons of time with you, and you can always go to her if you need anything, but you’re otherwise much more independent.
Another thing Upstarts do is Hop. Hopping is essentially waiting tables three times a day. It includes helping in the kitchens, cleaning dishes and silverware, and helping with anything else that’s needed related to the Dining Hall. At the end of the term you can either get paid $50 for the Hopping, or request acknowledgement of Community Service to Camp Alleghany. Hopping is a great way to spend time with your fellow Upstarts, since Hopping replaces almost all of your free time as a camper.
The last major responsibility of the Upstarts is called Upstarting, which is essentially babysitting younger campers during rest time, when the Counselors are taking a well-earned break. This is actually a very welcome duty since an Upstart’s free time is virtually nonexistent. Upstarting offers a fantastic way to get to know younger campers that we might otherwise miss. And it’s a great way to build responsibility. Upstarting is a perfect transition between being a camper and being a counselor.
All together the increased independence and responsibilities, and experience in caring for other campers, are another rung on the exciting Alleghany ladder!
—–Chloë Cook, Camper, Camp Alleghany for Girls