Friendship in Appalachia: We are to Love One Anotherby Anne Dowd, WOV Charlotte
On July 14th, 34 young girls from the Philippi, West Virginia area gathered on the campus of Alderson Broaddus College for the 9th year of Camp Appalachia. This year’s theme, “Friendship; We are to Love One Another,” followed the Camp Appalachia motto, Where Friends are Made for Life, and stressed the relationship we have with our Lord, ourselves and our neighbors.
Under the guidance of WOV Charlotte partners Jan Stubblefield and Cherie Higgins and with the invaluable assistance of World Vision Appalachia staffers Carol Malcolm-Parsons and Shelby Dettinger, 25 WOV Charlotte partners welcomed the girls, ages 8 to 18 for three days of fun and adventure.
Camp Appalachia is a Christian Day Camp developed and orchestrated by WOV of Charlotte, North Carolina. Based on Christian principles and Scripture, the curriculum is developed to provide young girls with a Godly view of their lives in a world that would contradict the basic truths of Christ’s message: You are my masterpiece, I know you, I love you and I have a plan and purpose for you and I will never leave you. Devotionals, singing, crafts, games, spiritual nurture, yoga, manners, makeovers for the older girls, and community service are part of the core curriculum and are designed to enhance the theme. This year the girls had their outlines drawn on brown paper. They filled in and personalized their forms which were then displayed on the walls of the activity hall. During the three days counselors and campers alike wrote ‘affirmation’ notes on the drawings. Relay games developed team work and working at the World Vision storehouse filling emergency supply boxes built camaraderie. Additionally, this year the older girls had an evening out with bowling and dinner. And everyone alwyas loves the singing and the chance to entertain the residents at Baughman Towers with the lovely and upbeat Christian songs as an annual event. The closing ceremony for family and friends is a chance for campers to sing again and this year there was a “ribbon praise” segment for the grand finale that everyone enjoyed. The annual ice cream social is a fitting end to our time together.
But, it remains the relationships that lay at the heart of Camp Appalachia. Counselors make new friends and enjoy special moments with long-time friends and campers do the same. Bonds are tightened between WOV partners and the Appalachia community we are called to serve. Friendships, old and new, remind us that we are all children of God.