“Hi Ho! Hi Ho! It’s off to camp we go!”
That’s what they sang at Camp Waldo in Summers County this year and they had a great time!
You may remember that we shared word of this new camp in the February 2020 issue of The Highlands Voice, and one of our two articles that explained our WVHC connection to the camp.
After a year off due to COVID, the summer fun was in full swing for 100 boys and girls for 3 weeks this July at the campsite on the Greenbrier River. There they enjoyed days packed with pleasure and learning which included swimming, archery, yoga, chess, sports, rafting, daily ecology sessions, over-night hiking, art, drama, shucking corn, camp songs and more. They were treated to presentations featuring birds of prey and also pygmy goats and old-time musicians Jim Costa and Jim Lloyd. They suited up for adventures in beekeeping.
Camp Waldo is hosted by Appalachian Headwaters, which adds beekeeping in our mountains to the other educational and revitalizing efforts they sponsor. Camp attendees learn how pollinators are both a “keystone” species [one upon which other species are dependent] and an “indicator” species [its numbers and health provide a snapshot of the ecosystem]. A camper in 2019 said, “At camp, we learn how we probably couldn’t live that well without bees pollinating crops–animals need fruits and vegetables.”
Solar power has been added to the camp and now provides 96% of its electricity.
The kids who attend may be rising 4th to 7th graders and are recruited from West Virginia counties. Fees take into account ability to pay. Counselors this year came from a number of home states and attend these colleges: Swarthmore, Oklahoma State, Rice, University of Michigan, College of Wooster, University of Pennsylvania, Dickinson, Oberlin, Kenyon, University of Vermont, Virginia Tech, University of Richmond, University of Virginia and Fairmont and Wesleyan. A number of Peace Corps alumni sit on our own WVHC board; it should be noted that one serves on the staff of this camp.
Camp namesake Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.” Perhaps a thousand forests and other restorative endeavors will be accomplished through the good times to be had at this one lovely spot along the Greenbrier.
You may wish to see the multitude of photos from this year’s camp; they can revive many a memory for anyone who spent time in the West Virginia mountains as a camper or counselor. Or perhaps you know a candidate for attending or working at Camp Waldo in 2022. Links are listed to find out more…so Hi Ho, Hi Ho…off you go!
Appalachian Headwaters (appheadwaters.org)
2020 – West Virginia Highlands Conservancy (wvhighlands.org) see February