- ABOUT US
- Camp Information
- FEES & REGISTRATION
- Contact Us
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..
How did you find out about camp?
Toni Baughman was married to Earl, Earl worked with my dad, my dad wanted to send me to camp for the summer so what else was he to do?
Describe your first summer? Camper years 1983-86
I started in Dove and I think I was there 2 years, then Bluebird then Swallow. Once I was a returning camper, I kept hearing about this girl, Jen “Sally” Mehler. She was my doppelganger- always came for the first session, I came for the second, she was the Brown Team captain, I took over after she went home, she slept on that bunk, I slept on that bunk! I kind of felt inferior every time I got to camp- Oh, Jen slept there. Oh, Sally was the team captain, oh oh oh! Once she and I met in person, our CIT summer, we became fast friends and she’s still one of my closest peeps in DC! I wouldn’t be who I am without Camp. I love Carysbrook with all of my heart and am so grateful for her presence in my life.
Counselor days: 1989-90
As a counselor, my cabin was Bluebird twice. I was the gymnastics counselor because there was no one else to do it and I could do a somersault!
I got my undergrad at University of Wisconsin. After spending 20 years in Milwaukee, I returned to the East Coast via a short trip to Connecticut for grad school at Yale. Now I work as a Nurse Practitioner at the Heart Institute at Children’s National Medical Center. I still see Sally Mehler Rardin as much as possible and know her daughters will be Carysbrook girls, in fact her oldest’s first gift from “Auntie Rachel” was a BROWN blanket. Camp taught me that a silly song goes a long way, grilled cheese and tomato soup make the sun shine on the rainiest of days and that no matter where we came from or what our family was like, if we were sitting in a hammock, waiting for lunch; walking quietly through the dark to campfire; sweeping out the cabin for morning inspection or just hanging out at fire patrol, we all shared camp. Thanks CC!
How did you find out about camp?
Toni was my step-mom’s cousin and we went to Carysbrook for a family reunion during the late fall of my senior year of high school. I fell in love with camp… the fields, forests, and cabins that weekend and was thrilled when Toni offered me a job at Rec. Sports for the following summer. Two weeks in, I actually traded activities with another counselor and worked at Outdoor Living Skills (where I worked for the next 4 summers).
Describe your first summer:
My first summer at camp was purely amazing. We built 1-match fires and made lots of s’mores; stayed up late, camping under the stars to watch meteor showers; canoed down the Little River; sang songs after every meal; and experienced the magic of Saturday night Campfire. Though the purpose of Carysbrook is to provide a wonderful camp experience for the campers, the staff is provided the same experience, just through a slightly different lens. I can be a very shy person, but I was encouraged to share my interests and talents. Carysbrook really helped me to establish who I am as a person without all those media-driven ideas that we are bombarded with on a daily basis at home. I was introduced to people and cultures from around the world and made amazing friends (friendships that will last a lifetime)! And not least importantly, I was encouraged to be silly… to have fun… and to play in one of the most beautiful places imaginable.
I was a counselor at Carysbrook from 1997-2000, teaching Outdoor Living Skills. In 2002, the summer after Toni passed away, I returned, along with lots of former staff members, to do anything I could to help keep the light of Carysbrook burning. I came back again in 2003, and then from 2004-2007, my family lived at Carysbrook as the off-season caretakers of the property. I was also able to work during those summers as the CAP instructor. I consider myself to be unbelievably fortunate to have experienced Carysbrook year-round, and that my son, Ethin, could spend three of his formative years growing up at Camp Carysbrook.
My first 2 years of college, I studied Outdoor Education at Montreat College, in the mountains of western North Carolina. I transferred my junior year to Columbia College in South Carolina, where I earned my BA in studio art. While living at Carysbrook, I earned my MFA in studio art at Radford University. And, I actually just recently completed my K-12 teaching licensure in art education at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA.