In this new economy, Alford Lake Camp, like all traditional, residential camps in America, is faced with the challenge of staying true to our history, our values and our philosophy of camping while utilizing the vast array of new technologies to spread the word of our camp. In this effort, we have been advised that Google searches for “residential camp” simply is much too low on the list of inquiries for it to be effective. Rather, searches begin with words such as “sleep-away camps” or “overnight camps” are higher on the list. This information made us pause and reflect. Are we clinging to the description of Alford Lake Camp as a “traditional residential camp” only because we think it sounds nicer? Are we splitting hairs? Or do we really believe that the word “residential” truly does best describe our camp?
So, we Googled it! (Ironic? Yes, we know it is…)
Overnight: (adjective): done, made, occurring, or continuing during the night. Staying for one night: a group of overnight guests. Designed to be used on a trip or for a journey lasting one night or only a few nights.
Sleep-a·way: (adjective): of or pertaining to a place at which one sleeps away from home
Yes, it is true that Alford Lake Campers sleep-away from home when they come to Hope, Maine! Our summer sessions do last more than one day, so yes; it is true we are an overnight camp. But, Alford Lake Camp is first and foremost our campers’ summer home! It is their residence! Just like the comfort, support and sense of belonging that we all feel when we are at home, Alford Lake is a special place of community and friendship.
Here, at Alford Lake Camp, we believe in certain unchanging values such as respect for all people, embracing differences and providing opportunities for everyone. We create a summer home that allows each camper to feel nurtured, respected and appreciated! Together we share our days: living in our signature white tents, sharing meals, singing songs, going to amazing activities and always laughing, growing and enjoying our time together. This is what home feels like – this is what a residence is… this is what residential camping has always been!
So, for now, we will continue to proudly call Alford Lake Camp a “traditional, residential camp for girls in Maine” – and we hope you agree that it best describes this magical place we all call “home” during our summers!
Sue McMullan, Director
Betsy Brayley, Assistant Director