Taken by Force

Taken by Force

Blog, Uncategorized
When I first went to Camp Alkulana it was by force. My parents had decided that I would be going, and even though I asked them not to they sent me anyway. That summer I had been questioning my faith and my place in the world and I thought being away from home would make it worse. I turned out to be wrong. Through my week at camp of hiking and caving and Bible study, I talked to counselors about life and God and anything else I had questions about. They gave me answers to everything, or at least tried their best to. An experience that really changed my view of the world was hiking up a nearby hill and standing at a beautiful overlook that had been a place…
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The Privilege of Play

The Privilege of Play

Blog
One of the things that I’ve loved year in and year out at Camp Alkulana is lifeguarding. We have a great lifeguarding staff; they arrive at camp a little bit early to go through the Red Cross training together, and then work hard to keep the campers safe during aquatics activities during summer camp. We do a lot of water activities: swimming and lessons in the swim hole, canoeing, a partially underwater cave, snorkeling, and so forth. These are some of the highlights of the summer for many kids. One evening during each session we take the campers to local pools for a “pool party.” They always have a blast. This past summer I was lifeguarding for one of these groups, and I had an epiphany of sorts as I…
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Home

Home

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This year at college I had to take a writing seminar. The theme of the class was “home.” My professor asked questions like: Where is your home? What are the traditions of your home? What defines your home? I had a very hard time answering these questions because I didn’t grow up in a traditional home. I lived in eight different places before going to college. Some of those were with people who weren’t my family or even distant family. Growing up like this made me used to instability. When my professor would ask these questions about home, the only one place I could think to talk about was Camp Alkulana. Camp Alkulana is the only constant I’ve had since I was a child. It was the place that showed…
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Camp Silent Auction Fundraiser a Success!

Camp Silent Auction Fundraiser a Success!

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Camp Alkulana family, you did it again! What a wonderful evening together at the Silent Auction & Dinner on Saturday, April 27! Together we raised OVER $11,000 for your camp and Richmond's children!!! Thank you to the over 200 individuals who attended the event! We are so grateful to our donors who gave 133 items to be auctioned, to our cooks who provided amazing food (Susan Blake Kierson, Elizabeth Lee, Annie Willis, Melissa Knight, and others!), the Camp Alkulana Support Team who coordinated and planned every aspect of the event, (Julie Leslie Agee, Katye Parker Snipes, Tim Reddish, Liz Lee, Bill Rusher, Jordan Payne, Wayne Davis, & John Austin). The local band Scattered Smothered & Covered provided a wonderful atmosphere with their music and Huguenot Road Baptist Church and Matthew…
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Welcome Dayna!

Welcome Dayna!

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We're pleased to welcome Dayna Scarberry as our new Camper & Family Liaison! Dayna will be managing our camper registration process, directing the Alkulana Peer Program during the school year, and connecting in meaningful ways with camper families throughout the year. She is new to the Camp Alkulana family and we are thrilled to have her with us! Dayna spent most of her childhood summers immersed in the camp experience. As an adult she has worked as a counselor for both residential and day camp programs. Her favorite memory from her time as a camper is making grilled bananas in tinfoil over a bonfire. Before coming to Camp Alkulana, she fostered her love of youth development and education by working with middle and high school students in multiple leadership development…
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You Can’t Do it All Yourself

You Can’t Do it All Yourself

Blog
Alkulana has always been a major part of my life. As long as I can remember, I’ve been spending my summers in that little hollow between two mountains, and my brain is full of memories of hikes up Harper Hill, mornings spent on the bridge or swings while the world is still sleeping and it seems that only the creek is awake with me, and afternoon trips to the Dollar General for ice cream. It’s not just me, either. A love for Alkulana runs in the family, starting back with my grandmother when she was in college, tracing through the family tree all the way to the youngest member of our large crew, my younger brother. As I entered into my first summer as a counselor, my anxieties began to…
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A Place to Belong

A Place to Belong

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We all come into this world wanting the same thing: to belong. We have our families, our friends, our pets, and our favorite pastimes, but all too often we lose sight of actually belonging to something in favor of having things that belong to us. I know I lost sight of that for a while. I was so caught up with having a degree, having a relationship, having friends, having things; that I realized only too late that when one peg was removed from the perilous tower of my life, everything crashed down in a spectacular mess. It was in that darkness that a tiny light was brought to me. This light came in the shape of a dear friend, a casual conversation, a deepened connection, and the mention of…
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What Camp Means to Me

What Camp Means to Me

Blog
Camp, to me, has always been a safe place, from 11 year old camper to spending my 30th birthday at camp, it has always been a place that is safe for me to be me. It’s safe to have and show feelings sadness, joy, fear, trust, all very scary emotions I am comfortable sharing with my camp family. I can remember as a camper having complete trust in my counselors, knowing I was always safe as long as I had them with me. Nothing has changed in 19 years except I don’t have counselors, I have brothers and sisters. My first full summer as a counselor Big Boys was the last session, I was 18 and we were nearing the last day of camp. The day had been particularly trying…
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