The development of close friendships is one of the most significant things that happens here at ALC. Campers and staff alike often speak of the dear friends they met here at camp, and how connected they remain with their ALC friends, long after their days on the shores of Alford Lake. We hear stories of ALC friends who are in one another’s weddings, who celebrate the births of children, who provide support through the passing of loved ones, who travel to spend birthdays together, who vacation together, who support each other through difficult times, who reunite after years and years apart.
We believe that friendships developed here at camp are unique because of the shared experience that takes place over the course of the summer. Here at camp, where we are fortunate to be together 24 hours a day, we experience the natural highs and lows of friendship, and we have the opportunity to work through all the emotions that come with a friendship. While in camp, friends join each other at activities, spend time together in their tents, eat lunch on the lawn, laugh all over camp - enjoying their common interests here at camp. They also support each other in more challenging moments - perhaps it is as a friend masters a skill in Tennis or Sailing, or helping each other learn lines for Saturday Night Theater, or while daring to try the high ropes course in Adventure. Those opportunities are endless. But the reality of a good, solid friendship is that it is not always sunshine and smiles. There are tough moments too. We are living in a close-knit community, sometimes within the same tent flaps. We learn that we have to navigate the tough moments with our friends - learning to apologize when we make a mistake, to accept a friend’s apology when she has been unkind, to find a way to resolve a disagreement and work together again. These tests of a friendship, combined with the time to work through challenges, strengthen and deepen the relationships formed in camp in a way we cannot always do at home. Coming through challenges in our relationships not only helps to make us stronger as individuals, it also strengthens the friendship.
We are so thankful for the gift of friendship here at camp, and we hope that all members of our community - past, present, and future - will cherish the friends made here at ALC. As our Session I campers prepare to head home, we hope that they will remain in touch with the friends made here this summer, and we are confident that our Full Sesaon and Session II campers will continue to develop strong ALC friendships in the weeks ahead. To our Alumni, we hope you might be inspired to be in touch with one of your ALC friends - often times these are the friends we can be in touch with and pick up right where we left off.