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All a Mom (and Alumna!) Could Hope for Her Daughter

When I was contemplating sending my daughter to Alford Lake for the first time, to the place I had spent so many joyful summers, I initially struggled. I wanted her to have the experience I had. I knew she would love it. But I somehow couldn’t imagine parting with her for three weeks. I couldn’t imagine enjoying the rites of summer without this 9-year-old creature who had enmeshed herself in my life so snugly. 


But the next summer, we sent her for three weeks and now, six years later, as my husband and I dropped her off for her summer as a Junior CT, I can’t imagine her not being at Alford Lake. Nor can she.


When I was growing up, camp was a given. My parents believed deeply in the importance of organized camping, and packed all four of us for seven weeks each summer, my brothers to camps in New Hampshire and Maine, my sister and I to ALC . We had no choice. And -- luckily -- we didn’t want one. Our summers at camp were formative. Alford Lake was where my sister and I made lifelong friends, gained confidence in ourselves and learned songs that became the soundtracks of our lives. 


Still, we have never forced our daughter to go, and thought she might have stopped after her fourth summer as a camper. In fact, I think she went to camp that summer thinking it might be her last. But when we picked her up in August, she was glowing after an incredible three weeks that stretched her in all kinds of ways, bringing her new confidence in herself and a new sense of belonging in the ALC community. And not only did she tell us she wanted to come back the next summer, but she wanted to participate in a global challenge trip that would keep her away from home for more than seven weeks.  Now this summer, it will be eight weeks as a Junior Counselor Trainee, a program I myself participated in nearly 40 years ago, learning First Aid, Advanced Lifesaving, and leadership skills that helped transform a shy introverted 16-year-old into someone who now helps oversee a news organization of more than 200 people. 


My daughter will have to return many more summers if she wants to match my number of seasons at Alford Lake (I started younger) but the Blueberry Blue spirit is already as strong in her as it is in me. And if this summer of leadership and learning is even half as formative for her as it was for me, it will become the basis of her future success as a doctor (her current ambition) or whatever career she puts her mind to. And -- most importantly of all -- she will have fun with a group of awesome young women just embarking on their lives as adults.


Who knows how many more summers she will go. That’s a decision for another day. But for now, this is all I could have ever hoped for.














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