Sending my children to Camp Gallagher is a higher priority to me than any other activity or experience I could sign them up for. There are many great camp experiences to choose from in our beautiful region. And there are many other types of stimulating opportunities that are enriching and worthwhile. But, for me, Camp Gallagher is set apart from the rest.
For my family, Gallagher is a top priority.
By Sarah Walston
As a former camper and staff member at Camp Gallagher myself, I could tell you about the outrageously funny memories from our overnight adventures, or the courageous sharing I still remember from campers at Sundown, or how accomplished I felt learning to flip and right a kayak, or how deeply I can still sense the natural beauty of Gallagher in my body. But none of these conveys the treasure that Gallagher is.
The adventures we shared, the values we lived, and the relationships we formed at Camp Gallagher became a lifeboat for me through the difficult terrain of adolescence. I was a “good kid” with lots going for me, but still, the world around me seemed unimpressive in so many ways. With pressure from peers, parents and school to be a certain way, society’s hyper-focus on image and success, and many uninspiring models of adulthood, I felt a kind of angst or emptiness that I figured was just the way things were in the world.
Enter Camp Gallagher. My sister had told me it was awesome, but I was not prepared for what that meant.
Barefoot and bold, we were free from the stories we usually burdened ourselves with; we could drop the masks. Here, I could be reflective and wild, compassionate and tough all within the same evening. Gallagher offered a safe place to challenge ourselves physically and emotionally. We were given permission to lead and to make mistakes. We realized how we had underestimated ourselves.
There is a culture at Camp Gallagher that invites youth to experience themselves as good, beautiful, valuable, brave, strong, vulnerable, wacky, creative, and empowered. They way people live in connection with the natural world and with one another at Gallagher ignited in me a deep hope about what could be possible in other places too.
So for me, sending my children to Camp Gallagher is not one among many choices for summer enrichment. It is offering them an initiation into what I wish could be available for all people- into value, hope and the joy of being. If my children experience a fraction of the fun and learning that I did at Gallagher, I trust it will be a resource they can draw on forever.
Give your teen the gift of Gallagher.