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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2018 Westhampton Scholarship Recipients

2018 Westhampton Scholarship Recipients

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Introducing 2018 Westhampton Scholarship recipients, Deborah Afolayan, Stephen Hotlz, Danielle Afolayan, Dorcas Afolayan, and Amber Gutierrez The Westhampton Scholarship Fund aims to support former Camp Alkulana campers in attending college or vocational training. This year's awards totaled $7,000 spread among 5 recipients. Interested in contributing to the scholarship fund? Contact campalkulana@gmail.com.          
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CAPS: What’s In a Name?

CAPS: What’s In a Name?

Blog
For those of us old enough to remember that special blue wooden building up a hill and in the woods, the name CAPS means relief. A little dread might mix in, if it was dark and no one around, or if you were assigned to scrub. It also brings a smile and that warm feeling of nostalgia for a time and rustic simplicity that has been flushed away by modernization. In that warm frame of remembrance and humor, a small group of Camp Alkulana enthusiasts joined forces to establish the Camp Alkulana Preservation Society (CAPS). Our initial mission was to seek and find as many Camp Alkulana alumni, volunteers, supporters, past and present, as possible to be able to connect, reconnect and communicate information for the 100-year celebration in 2015.…
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Who I Am

Who I Am

Blog
Camp Alkulana came into my life at a time where I felt lost in my own skin. At school I was an “Oreo,” what some African Americans call someone who appears “black on the outside and white on the inside.” I didn’t fit in with the African American kids or the Caucasian ones. In addition, I was that girl whose dad had cancer and died. I started to see myself as only those things, until I met Bright Eyes. When I was told that I was going away to camp for a week and got to be with one of my very best friends the whole time, 11-year-old me was ecstatic! I packed and repacked and packed and repacked, until finally it was time to go. As I approached the…
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Where Difference Breeds Friendship

Where Difference Breeds Friendship

Blog, Uncategorized
When I first attended Camp Alkulana as a camper in 2008, I really didn’t know what to expect. As a rather shy and bookish child, I was delighted to have a chance to explore the outdoors with a close friend of mine. However, I had no idea about what to expect concerning my fellow campers. Through elementary school, I had always been drawn more towards people who looked like me and came from the same sort of backgrounds as I did, with a few exceptions. At camp, I was encouraged to do the opposite of what I was used to. Befriending several individuals, I found my confidence boosted, helping me enjoy this new situation. Camp Alkulana taught me that all individuals are different, but looking differently than someone does not…
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New Website Revamp

New Website Revamp

Blog
Take a look around at our newly revamped website, which launched earlier this week! The new website has: (1) A modern look, with large photos and quotes from Camp Alkulana campers featured prominently (2) Improved navigation, with a lot of ways to find the information you're looking for. (3) A photo gallery features prominently on the homepage, giving you immediate access to photos that capture the Camp Alkulana experience. (4) A beautiful new video on the home page captures the landscape of our camp grounds! (5) A calendar on the home page will keep you informed about upcoming Camp Alkulana events and deadlines you should know about. (6) A blog, with stories and current information about Camp Alkulana. (7) An inquiry form for new campers will help being the online…
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Called at Camp

Called at Camp

Blog
“Why did you decide to become a teacher?” I get this question all the time, and my response always begins with two words: Camp Alkulana. I first started working at Camp when I was 18 years old, and I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I had thought about acting, journalism, counseling, anthropology, and dance. But teaching? The thought never occurred to me. I had been home-schooled throughout my K-12 education, so I hadn’t been in a traditional school setting until college. It turns out I didn’t need a traditional school setting to find my true calling. I needed a camp. I needed a sanctuary of nature with green trees, a bubbling creek, and a cool mountain breeze. I needed camping, hiking, and tubing down…
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Hiding Place

Hiding Place

Blog
In March of 2008, I was told that I would be going to summer camp. Naturally, I was nervous. I had never been to the mountains and the thought of being surrounded by people I had never met gave me chills. But nevertheless, I was excited about the prospect of learning new things and having a summer full of outdoor activities. As the school year came to a close and I learned more about what I would be doing at camp, my excitement grew and I even invited a friend from school. What I need to point out before I tell you about my camp experience is that I was a very shy twelve year old girl; I mean, I was painfully shy. I could go weeks without speaking a…
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