Why we're sending our daughter to Camp Gallagher
By Paula & Jay Patterson
It is impossible to overstate how excited we are to send our daughter to Camp Gallagher! Since the day she was born, going to Gallagher was an experience that we imagined for her with great anticipation because it is a very special place.
The people she will meet will support and challenge her; the things she will do will thrill and motivate her; the beauty she will see in others and nature will inspire and guide her. Being at Gallagher is a potentially life changing experience!
We had the privilege of living and working at Gallagher for a few summers, and the cherished memories sustain us to this day. Gallagher gave us the opportunity to know people and ourselves in a way that has set a standard for how to live and treat others that will never leave us. We dearly want our daughter to be able to say the same, and we know she will because the spirit, ideals, and even some of the staff that we admired and were inspired by are still there.
Adventure. Adventure is a powerful thing. It doesn’t mean danger, but it does mean taking risks. It means trying new things—maybe being a little afraid and overcoming that fear, knowing you can count on yourself and the people around you. We think this is something kids crave that sometimes gets them into trouble, but Camp Gallagher allows them to experience these things—the challenges, the success, and sometimes failure—in a way that is safe—not just physically safe, but emotionally safe.
They do things they thought they couldn’t do and have fun doing it. They get to take charge in a way that lets them experience and really understand the freedom and responsibility that comes with being able to make their own decisions. It’s hard to describe: there’s great fun in the sand, in the water and in the woods, but much more is going on. Real change, growth, confidence, and direction are found. We know for a fact that this happens.
That sounds like a lot. You might be thinking, “How? What’s the secret?” It’s really very simple: community. The expectation that you will respect yourself, respect others, even love yourself and love others, is the key. When you have a group of people who are guided to live by those ideals, away from the distractions of everyday life, having a ripping good time surrounded by incredible beauty, community happens.
This recipe for community, combined with the satisfaction and excitement of shared growth through adventure, creates a fellowship which gains momentum over the session and becomes an amazingly powerful thing to be a part of.
We can’t wait to see what the Gallagher experience will mean for our daughter next summer and throughout her life!