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How did you find out about camp?
Our parents went to a camp fair and they met Toni and BB. I think they liked the idea of the traditional girls’ camp and the location was close enough to DC. I wonder if our parents knew they were making one of the most important choices that would affect us for the rest of our lives.
Describe Your First Summer
1986 I remember being so excited that we were going to stay at camp for the whole summer. My favorite activities were tennis, swimming, and riding. I really like that the only activities that were scheduled were swimming and riding lessons. I liked the freedom to go to different activities when I wanted to. I think this helped developed the strong sense of independence that so many of my camp friends still have today.
1994-2002 My home away from home was the Rifle Range. I worked there as a WIT and counselor, and I was head of the range for a few summers. I carry the experiences from camp with me everyday. This is where I learned that anything boys can do, girls can do! I also learned that with focus, practice, and commitment, I can achieve my goals and get to the next level. I learned that it’s ok to be silly and it’s ok to be silent sometimes and just think. Camp provided me the opportunity to make friends from around the world. I know wherever I go, I’m close by to someone I know from camp. Camp friends are for life. Five of the six girls that were bridesmaids in my wedding are camp friends.
Education and Professional Life
I graduated from Georgetown University with a degree in Foreign Service and I have a Masters in Instructional Technology. I have been teaching middle school for eleven years and I credit camp for so many of my teaching skills, ideas, and classroom management. Camp was a place where people cared about each other and helped each other learn and grow as much as possible. I try to create the same atmosphere in my class. Everyone is equal and everyone deserves the chance to try.
How did you find out about camp?
I come from a family that has Carysbrook in its blood! The tradition of Carysbrook goes back 3 generations for me.
Describe your first summer
My first summer at camp was 1987! I lived in Finch with some other girls from Norfolk. I loved looking for my mother’s name written in toothpaste in the cabins. Wendy Anderson was my cabin counselor. I remember washing my hair in super cold spickits. I remember how cool it was to try new things that I had never done before. I remember Kathy Baker was my riding instructor. She taught me in importance of not saying “I can’t!” She taught me always to try new things and not give up. I remember working together as a cabin for Air-Rock Concert. In fact, I have so many wonderful memories of my days at Carysbrook as a camper. I loved going on caving trips, I loved hanging out in the hammocks during free time, and I even loved skinny dipping in the lake after taps! The friendships that were created along the way were and are some of the best friendships that I’ve ever had!
I had quite a few roles in my Seven years on staff! My early counselor days I taught swimming and synchronized swimming. I also taught Canoeing. Other summers I taught Music. My last summer at camp, I was the Programing Director. Ever since my WIT year, I’ve always had a passion for younger children. I lived on Junior row for 5 summers! Mockingbird was my second home! What was incredible was that I was able to continue working with girls that not only was I a CIT with, but girls that I had known since my first summer at camp!
I attended Randolph Macon Woman’s College. I earned a BA in History in 1999. I returned to Virginia Weslyan College in 2002 to complete my teaching certification for and Elementary Education. I taught for 3 years before I became a mom! Now I am excited to be able to share with my daughter the love that I have for camp one day.
Camp Carysbrook is literally in my blood. Carysbrook was started by my two great great aunts. My grandmother went to the camp before it moved to where it is today. My mother and sisters were also campers. I grew up on Carysbrook stories. I was fortunate that Toni reopened Carysbrook so that I could go.
My first summer I was a little homesick but Alison really made me feel at home. I met a lifelong friend that year, Carter. I loved being able to experience all the activities that I soon fell in love with especially riding and riflery.
I loved being a counselor and helping create some of the magic. I remember reading stories to Bob White and Toni yelling at me from the office because I am so loud and my voice carried.
I went to Guilford College in Greensboro, NC for psychology. I am now a clinician working with individuals who have mental illness, substance abuse, and intellectual disabilities. I am married and a mother to two boys. I named my second son Stuart Preston after my great great aunt. I still love camp and now tell my boys camp stories. They love the camp songs especially Tom the Toad..