Parents know their children better than anyone else. Parents usually know when their daughters are ready for a residential camp experience. They know the values that matter to their families. Alford Lake Camp is a special place of trust, tradition, growth and fun! But what do thoughtful parents do when their daughter seems to be reluctant to embrace a summer of unknowns? Questions and concerns arise when families consider a new experience for their daughters and we know that they can become obstacles to the decision of enrolling their daughter in camp. So, we would like to explore the questions often asked by first time campers or returning campers. We share with you our answers (most directly from ALC campers):
I wonder if I will have friends at camp?
This may be the most often asked question of new and sometimes returning ALCers. Friends are important! Our campers all have strong and important social networks from their school, sports, neighborhoods, etc. But camp might be different. A camper might arrive at ALC not knowing anyone. Returning campers might be shy to return to camp. But, ALC is built on community – where everyone is welcome and appreciated. Long before her first summer, new ALCers are paired with a returning camper (a “big sister”) who will write to her before camp and be her friend from day one by showing her the ropes of camp life and visiting her to make sure she is settling in! Small tent groups foster a close knit environment and an immediate chance to be part of age specific group. Kind, caring and fun counselors are mentors and friends. A friend is around every corner in camp and we are all part of a group that is open, warm and welcoming.
It may be hard to leave friends behind for a few weeks during the summer. But the chance to make new friendships and learn that you still have friends at home when you return is a powerful lesson. Journeying through life we step away from family and friends sometimes but KNOWING they will always be there when we return allows us to grow and still trust in those bonds.
I wonder if I will like living in a tent?
ALCers past and present will tell you there is nothing like living in a tent. A cozy bed under a canopy of white canvas, nestled in pine trees is like nothing else!! Feel the cool breezes, enjoy the simple life of tent living at ALC. Our campers are warm, comfortable, safe and at home in their tents with friends just feet away from them! Together they care for their little summer homes and have some of the most fun in these tents – card games, stories read out loud, games and chances to talk and share. It isn’t like home and that is the idea: it is fun, it is different, it is great!!
I wonder if I will miss my family while I am at camp?
Campers and staff of all ages miss home….sometimes. But the great thing about camp life at ALC is that we are all having fun and enjoying our summers shared together. We are happy, busy and on the go – trying new activities and perhaps doing things we can’t do at home. We love camp – and we love our families. They will be happy that we are happy at camp while we are away. They will know we are growing and changing by trying something new and will be proud of our adventures and experiences at ALC. They will love us just as much as they did on the first day of camp!
I wonder if I will like the activities at ALC?
Here is the GREAT thing about ALC – all campers have a choice in the activities they do EVERY DAY!! There is always something fun and new at the activities. They are all led by awesome and talented counselors who want to share their love and expertise in these activities. You can try something new – we don’t care or judge campers on their skills. Camp is fun! Activities keep us busy and happy all day long!
Do you love the arts? You can choose to go to Drama or Art or maybe Dance or even singing with a group!! Do you love the water? Sailing, Swimming and Canoeing will be your favorites! Horseback riding is available for all levels of riders. Hiking trips and Outdoor Exploration are great for nature lovers! Archery is simply fun. Library is a quiet place to read a book, play a board game and maybe work on a letter home. Gymnastics, Tennis and Sports are great places to stretch, play and try some new moves! Challenge is an adventure packed ropes course and climbing wall! Our Out of Camp Trips allow campers to hike and canoe outside of camp – even more fun and adventure awaits us on these trips.
I wonder if I will like swimming in the lake?
Jump or dive on in! Alford Lake is beautiful. The water is clear, clean and always refreshing! It isn’t like a swimming pool – it is bigger and better. We have docks and a great raft with a diving board and slide for all out fun. Free swim is simply that – splash around and have fun with your friends! Swim lessons are great too because everyone at camp is learning and improving their swimming skills. Swimmers who are very skilled may take on the amazing challenge of swimming across the lake!
I wonder if I will like the food at ALC?
Sure you will like the food – we serve meals just like at home. Breakfast is great: cereal (hot and cold) followed by eggs or pancakes, muffins or toast -lots of fruit and of course juice and milk. Lunch: sandwiches, salads, soups and other treats. Lots of fruits and veggies along with chips or other yummy snacks! Dinner: favorites are pizza, lasagna, casseroles, chicken but we always have a big dinner followed by delicious desserts. Ice Cream every Wednesday and Sunday are our favorites!!
There is food aplenty. You don’t have to eat what you don’t like but we ask everyone to give it a try… you might just find out you do like it!! Meal time is always fun and a chance to be together as a family with the whole camp community!! Just like home we have a basket of fruit always available if you want a snack during the day.
Parents please note that we do adjust menus in our community for any person with allergies or medical concerns around food consumption or choices. We are also a Nut Educated Community.
I wonder if I will miss watching TV or playing on the computer?
No – you won’t miss texting, your TV or your computer because there is always something fun going on in camp to join and have fun doing. When you are ready for some “down time” you can read a book, talk with a friend; write a letter or a host of a million other things to do to stay busy. Camp is such a nice break!
I wonder why I have to wear “camp clothing”?
ALC calls our camp clothes our “Blueberry Blues” (or camp clothing) – shirts, shorts and camp sweatshirts. Really, that is the extent of our required clothing. We are a group of friends who don’t care what clothes you wear/have – we focus on being together, having fun and appreciating one another for we are first. Camp clothing is part of camp – and it is really is simple to get dressed in the morning! You will still get to have your own pajamas, crocs, sneakers, rain boots, raincoat, etc. You won’t always be in blue from head to toe!
Can I bring my teddy bear?
Why not? Campers – and counselors too – bring their favorite stuffed animals (and baby blankets too!) to camp. It is nice to have something special, comforting and familiar to sit on your bed with you. Why not? While you are out having fun all day long, Teddy can rest on your ALC bed!!
The ALC Directors are always available to speak with families and their children about camp and questions about coming to camp for the first time. This is a wonderful time in your child’s life and we look forward to being a part of your family’s decision to choose ALC.