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By: Quinn White
Photographer, Summer 2019
Anyone who has gone to summer camp understands that the friendships made in your own camp bubble are some of the most powerful connections you will make throughout your life. Each summer at Lochearn, campers and staff travel from every corner of the world. We each have an incredible opportunity to meet people we may not have met otherwise. Connections like these are unmatched, and allow girls to be exposed to new people, cultures, and experiences. Although many girls start the summer as strangers, by the end, they walk away as best friends.
As the camp photographer, it was my job to pay attention to the details. As the summer days passed by, I noticed many girls becoming close friends with one another. Seeing the magic of camp friendships unfold through the lens of my camera is an experience I will never forget.
Being a camp photographer has been one of the most gratifying experiences of my life. My days were filled with laughter, sunshine and making memories with campers and staff. I learned how to make friendship bracelets alongside campers, spent hours on the ski boats and enjoyed the s’mores bars more than anything this summer [Click here for the s’mores bars recipe!] I had so much fun at camp, but the best part of my entire experience was getting to see friendships grow between campers.
“My friendships at Lochearn have impacted my life by letting me know that I have friends wherever I go. I now have a friend in Japan, Massachusetts, New York, in California and in many other places. I feel connected to my friends even though we’re miles apart, and if I’m facing trouble it helps me to know they’re out there.” – Greta, Park City, UT
I took thousands of photos this summer, and the most memorable ones were of campers who have become best friends through Lochearn. There are many campers who met during their first year on Junior line who still continue to be friends as they become Seniors and beyond. I was told by many girls that they spend the school year counting down the days until they can return to Lochearn and daydreaming about all the fun they will have the following summer.
“My friendships at Lochearn have made such an impact on my life in so many ways. I have made lifelong friends that I will love forever and are always there for me. The friendships I have made at this camp impact my life every day from missing them so much to going to visit them during the year to just wishing they were there with you all the time. From FaceTiming each other for hours a night to seeing each other on Opening Day, you truly know they are there for you and will never leave your side even if they do live on the other side of the country. The friends I have made at Lochearn have made me who I am today, and I will always love them for that.” – Kate, Norwich, VT
Friendships made at camp are camp-wide, both among campers and among staff and everywhere in between. Spending a summer at Lochearn was an extraordinary experience for me. I made memories this summer that I will never forget, and friendships that I will cherish forever. The people I met at Lochearn have helped me open doors to opportunities that I may have never had otherwise. I made friends from around the world, and I learned a lot about myself in the process.
Camp is a wonderful experience for everyone who is a part of a camp community. Many counselors come to camp simply to help create everlasting bonds between campers. Helping a camper to make new friends is the most important part of a counselor’s job. Meeting someone new and learning more about their likes, dislikes, values and culture, while also getting to share their own, is the best way to expand one’s understanding of the world around them. Campers view staff as role models and they often form strong bonds together. Not only do campers look up to staff, but staff greatly appreciate campers as well. The campers I met at Lochearn made my whole experience worth the while.
“As a camp counselor I’ve met lots of kids, staff and parents and every single one has changed my life. I’ve worked with kids who had no interest in the outdoors when they started and then by the end of the summer, hiking is their new favorite activity. I’ve made friends from all over the world and the United States. I even met my best friend who now lives in Australia! The last 3 summers as a camp counselor has given me leadership skills and things I could have never even dreamed of! I would highly recommend working at a summer camp for anyone wanting to broaden their horizons in friends and skills.” – Bekah, Gainesville, FL
Regardless of your role at camp or the reason you decided to go to summer camp, you are sure to form connections like no other. Campers and staff alike make friendships to last a lifetime. My summer at Lochearn was one of the best summers of my life. The experiences I had and the friendships I made will connect me to Lochearn for the rest of my life, something for which I am truly grateful.
When we think of Campfire Hill at Lochearn, we think of the serene, reflective space that allows us to look back on our experiences at camp and treasure the memories we make every day. Surrounded by hemlocks and white pines swaying in the wind amongst the breathtaking Vermont scenery, Campfire Hill is often referred to as a “natural wonder.” Past and present campers and staff are connected by the thousands of footsteps that have traveled the path to Campfire Hill, making it one of the most special places at camp.
The evening tradition of S-Day Campfires on Campfire Hill is made up of so many smaller customs unique to Lochearn. On S-Days, we put on our white Lochearn polo, our navy blue shorts and our sash bearing the Royal Stewart Tartan to get ready for dinner. Each of these pieces make up our Blues and Whites, another signifying connection between campers past and present. It is a beautiful sound to hear Robert Burns’ Selkirk Grace sung before dinner on S-Day nights, a sound that Lake Fairlee has heard from Highland Hall each summer for over one hundred years.
After dinner, we all gather on the Point at the bottom of Campfire Hill, patiently waiting to walk alongside our friends and cabinmates up to encircle the stone firepit etched with the Lochearn Thistle. There is a sense of anticipation in the air as we wonder what we will learn about ourselves or about our peers as we gather on top of Campfire Hill this time. As we quietly walk up to Campfire Hill, the mood sets in and we get ready to hear that evening’s S-Day Campfire theme.
Each S-Day Campfire has a different theme. Sometimes it is a line from the Lochearn motto. The theme can also be a philosophy taken from life at camp or at home, such as kindness, empowerment or self-confidence. Each theme is meant to ground us as we express our feelings or tell a story. Campers and staff members sing songs, share poetry or tell personal stories to relate to their peers. While sitting around the campfire, girls can have a moment of self-reflection and peace. Campfire Hill can evoke many different emotions, from joy and love to contemplation and gratitude. The time spent together and the conversations that happen on Campfire Hill inspire growth individually and as a community. Lochearn is a place where girls blossom into strong young women, and Campfire Hill is where this transition is often made.
For many campers, coming to Lochearn is their first time away from home. Camp life moves fast, and girls spend their time at Lochearn trying new things, meeting new people and learning new things about themselves. The energy of camp slows down on S-Day nights. Although Campfire Hill offers a more reflective side of camp, it is a part of the experience that makes the summer even more special. Campers can have a quiet moment to be thankful for the opportunity to be at camp and to soak in all of the positivity around them. We love experiencing some of the most beautiful sunsets as we look out over Lake Fairlee, and the rare moment of a hot air balloon flying overhead as we sing “Magic” together always gives us goosebumps. Nothing is more special than spending time with friends, new and old, in the light of the campfire’s glow. Many campers and staff leave Campfire Hill feeling refreshed and inspired for the next week of camp.
Young women at Lochearn have been making the journey up Campfire Hill, portraying respect for the sacred space by walking around and not over the hill. Campers have walked over the same roots and sat on the same benches, unifying Lochearn Lassies for many years. If the trees of Campfire Hill could tell a story, it would be the story of how the Lochearn motto comes to life each summer in the words and songs of Lochearn Lassies since 1916.
What’s New This Summer?!
You heard it here first! If you love the slide, you will love another exciting new part of the Lochearn waterfront this summer! Said to be the hottest new camp craze, campers will have the pleasure of enjoying our new Water Trampoline!
Musical Theater Production
Last summer’s production of The Lion King had everyone on the edge of their seats with anticipation. We laughed with Timon and Pumbaa, sang along with Nala and Mufasa, and (spoiler alert!) cheered as Simba reigned over the Pridelands at the end!
This summer, we are excited for our campers to bring the story of Beauty and the Beast to life! Campers in Session 1 and Session 2 will have the opportunity to join the four-week Theater II performance class.
If theater performance isn’t your forte but you love the art of drama, our Theater I class is the perfect way to learn the techniques of improvisation and acting. Sign up for Theater I and Theater II class this summer for an exhilarating experience!
We can’t wait for these Special Trips and Programs!
At Lochearn, we eagerly embrace new opportunities and strive to provide exciting adventures and special programs that will benefit our campers. We are so excited for everything we have in store for our campers this summer!
It’s FIELD TRIP time and an exciting summer to be a Junior at Lochearn. Our 1st-4th graders will be going to the Vermont Institute of Natural Science (VINS) for a super fun field trip including a Raptor Exhibit!
Our 5th graders will have the opportunity to camp out with Girls in the Woods this summer, a true tent campout with a campfire story, roasting s’mores, gazing at the fireflies, enjoying the Vermont night sky and sleeping under the stars. Stacie can’t wait to go berry picking with you!
Lochearn is our name and Adventure is our game! Our 6th graders will be the first group to have their own challenging but incredible fun day hike! The special bonds that come with hiking to the summit of a mountain together are the best part of our Outdoor Adventure Program.
It is so much fun to celebrate Vermont and the special parts of why people travel to New England. 7th graders, get ready for a unique experience exploring the craft of glassblowing at Simon Pearce in Quechee, VT!
Our 8th graders will get to go White Water Rafting on the Androscoggin River this summer! This day trip is packed with two White Water Rafting runs and a gourmet lunch enjoyed together by the river.
We can’t wait for this year’s CT Bucket List, trip to North Conway and Mount Washington, Blue and Green events, Big Sisters and Little Sisters, and the CT’s night out in Hanover!
CITs will take an overnight trip to Burlington and have their own CIT Service Project!
Of all the questions we receive at Lochearn throughout the year leading up to the summer, the most frequent from parents and prospective campers alike is one we love answering: Why the four-week experience?
It’s simple, really. We want to build real relationships, incite genuine growth, build confidence, and, rather than force someone to find their passions, give everyone the time to fall in love with the camp experience in her own way. We at Camp Lochearn believe it’s much tougher to develop these connections – both with others and within yourself – in just two weeks, where the outside world continues to call you back, as do family and friends from home. For everyone on the shores of Lake Fairlee, it’s just you and camp, which is built around our core values: Leadership, Mentoring, Initiative and Passion.
A two-week experience gives girls an opportunity – an excuse, even – to stay in the background and be a seer rather than a doer. We often say “We don’t have invisible campers,” because it’s true. We know it’s tough to open yourself up to others. We’ve been there. It takes confidence, strength and time. We don’t want to rush that growth or inhibit it in any way. Some arrive at the gates ready to conquer those 27 days, and that’s wonderful. But others can’t. It’s not that they’re incapable – we’ve yet to meet anyone who arrives at Lochearn and is – but they often need someone to lead them there. That’s why the relationships built in the cabins on Lake Fairlee are key, and we often see campers emerge with life-long relationships. Realizing you have more in common with others – things you often can’t see in the first few days of meeting someone – is an invaluable experience, and it’s one that can only develop naturally. There’s no time limit on it.
And it can take time to find out what makes you love camp. It’s not your fault – it happens to most. You may not know how much you enjoy horseback riding, skiing, gymnastics or fine arts. Many don’t discover what they love until they’re old and grown, or before it’s too late. We strive to give you 27 days of discovery when it comes to finding your passion, and we hope our campers and staff alike bring a kind and caring heart to give every girl the opportunity to grow together.
From all over the world, our staff is carefully chosen to not just bring a guiding eye, but often they’re brought to Lochearn because they’re relatable. The camper-counselor relationship is built on guidance and respect for everyone rather than authority. Whether it’s because they’ve been to camp before, or they’ve taken an atypical path in life, our counselors are leaders we hope our girls aspire to be, because they’ve found confidence in embracing what they love.
We don’t want to rush what makes you YOU, and the four-week experience makes it possible. Let’s passionately grow together!
It’s me again, probably for the last time before I head home. We just took our curtains down, and I’m not the only one who can’t believe how different our cabin looks without our bits and pieces of home everywhere. And I know I told myself I wouldn’t get like this…but last night as I looked out over the point, towards that beautiful sunset over Lake Fairlee, I couldn’t help but think of the last 5 years at Lochearn. I mean, there’s still so much ahead of me, but I can’t help but think of how much I’ve grown. At first I was nervous about a month away from home, but now it feels like I can’t imagine leaving Cabin 13…
This year, the month seemed to go by faster than most — I feel like for nearly all of Session 2 I’ve heard the sound of footsteps stepping over the roots up and down the line every morning and every night. But now it’s strange, it feels like time has almost come to a complete stop. And not to get off topic, but I can’t believe I hadn’t tried to water ski before this year. It felt so good to try something new, and it’s another thing to take home with me.
Of course, what will never leave are the memories, right? From cantering on Montana, and learning to sew my first T-shirt quilt… And forgetting whether it’s A-Day or B-Day, then wondering how you could ever forget… what I thought and felt, those memories will last a lifetime.
Even writing this made me realize something: I still have two more months in my future at Lochearn to make a million more memories, and I wouldn’t give them up for anything.
Until next time,
As the end of summer arrives, you start to feel it. We call it Campitis.
After a month at Lochearn, it’s the feeling you get when you long for everything that made camp special. You miss the lifelong friendships you made, your inside jokes and the camp songs. These are the things that stay with you, but you miss the little things, too. Like the unforgettable smell coming from Highland Hall when there’s warm tacos for lunch, or the screams of excitement that come with the reveal of camp’s evening program. And you just long for the daily routine, from waking up to the bugle and catching the sunrise over Lake Fairlee, to the harmonious calls of the loons that seem to echo across the water. But most of all you miss who you could be at Lochearn – yourself.
You explored new passions, from beads and bracelets to archery and water sports. You miss how you felt when you won your first blue award in an activity you’d never tried before. You miss the sound of the wind filling your sailboat as you take a deep breath of the cool Vermont air. You miss your new best friends, who in just a month have become as close as sisters. Campitis is when you find yourself missing camp and everything that came with it, and you might find yourself feeling it when you least expect it.
Is there a simple fix for Campitis? We wish it were easy, but the only cure we’ve found is to get back to camp and leave your worries at the gate! The school year may seem like an eternity, but we suggest glancing back at all of your camp photos, wearing your Lochearn gear to school and keeping in touch with your cabin mates from the summer. They could be experiencing some Campitis of their own and are hoping you’ll reach out!
If these don’t help cure your Campitis, just know sometimes there’s nothing better than counting down the days until you’re back on the banks of Lake Fairlee!
At Camp Lochearn, girls have the chance to learn all kinds of skills from sailing to sewing and everything in between. But they’ll also learn skills that extend far past their summer activity schedules. Abilities and opportunities gained as a camper are those that weave through all facets of life, making girls well-rounded, confident individuals that shine in school and, later on, in the workforce.
It’s likely camp is the first experience a girl will have away from home for a few weeks at a time. This can be a little scary at first, but it really gives them the chance to grow into who they are without boundaries. As writer Michael Thompson wrote in his book Homesick and Happy, “The only way children can grow into independence is to have their parents open the door and let them walk out. That’s what makes camp such a life-changing experience for children.” At Lochearn, girls can be completely themselves, whoever they may be. They have the opportunity to challenge themselves in many ways — from striving to earn a purple in Archery to practicing good teamwork and sportsmanship. Being able to complete these challenges while away from home boosts self-esteem, builds a sense of empowerment and strengthens independence.
Girls who go to summer camp, especially an all-girls program, are often better prepared for the future than other girls their ages. Because camp is all about making lasting connections with peers as well as staff members — and maintaining those connections year-round — the girls learn how to network at a young age. This puts our girls at an advantage when it comes to making connections in school or later when applying for a job. In fact, one of the greatest advantages of joining us at Lochearn is that our girls develop communication skills they’ll use throughout their entire lives. Campers are put into a situation that’s not typical for people their ages. Each summer, whether first-time or returning campers, they have the opportunity to meet new people and make connections that extend across the globe. This also adds to girls’ knowledge, interest in and acceptance of other cultures.
Lochearn is not just an investment in a girl’s summer — it’s an investment in her future. The value of the camp experience truly goes beyond summers spent on the shores of beautiful Lake Fairlee.
With Thanksgiving right around the corner, we here at Camp Lochearn have been thinking a lot about being thankful. And because we’re part of the Lochearn family, we’ve got a whole lot to be thankful for. It’s not just sweet, gooey roasted marshmallows or spending a day on Lake Fairlee — Lochearn Lassies can be thankful for so many things, like:
Coming to camp gives you the opportunity to learn all about yourself. You not only learn skills like how to shoot a bow and arrow or make a mug in ceramics, but you also learn communication and independence — things that will stick with you long after the final sunset of summer. Whether you’re a first-time camper or a Lochearn veteran, there are always plenty of new faces on the first day of camp. One of the best parts of summer is creating relationships with campers and staff members while practicing good decision making and discovering how to be independent. There’s so much to learn about yourself and the world around you, and we encourage stepping out of your comfort zone to get the best Lochearn experience.
Campers and staff come from 20 countries around the world to spend the summer in Vermont at Lochearn. It’s easy to fit into our close-knit community of nice girls. Through the good times and the bad, you know there will always be a Lochearn Lassie somewhere who will be there for you year-round, whether you’re at camp or back at home. We grow together over the course of camp, celebrating each person’s uniqueness and encouraging one another to strive to be our best. And when summer comes to an end, we know we’re not saying goodbye for good, because camp friends are for life.
Lochearn’s lakefront cabins and welcoming facilities provide the perfect backdrop for all of the wonderful memories made at camp. It’s easy to call beautiful Vermont your home away from home. Your Lochearn memories are different than any memories made at home or while traveling elsewhere because you can be totally you, no matter how silly or spunky you are. Plus, you’re unplugged. Instead of worrying about posting on social media, texting or Snapchatting photos, we focus on being in the moment and communicating face-to-face. As we saw from generations of Lochearn Lassies last summer during our 100th year celebrations, your camp memories truly stay with you for a lifetime.
If the tall pine trees around Campfire Hill could talk, they’d tell 100 years’ worth of stories about girls gathering around the campfire, reflecting on weeks spent at Lochearn, singing songs and sharing stories centered around weekly themes. We live by a motto that encourages girls to make friends while upholding personal ideals, and we facilitate a deeper value of self, of others and of our environment. Honesty, kindness and positivity are three pillars that all Lochearn Lassies live by at camp as they “grow to have more courage and self-confidence,” and “take home an open mind and a kind and caring heart.”
We’re just under seven months from opening day, and we couldn’t be more excited! Knowing you’ve always got somewhere to come back to is such a cool part of Lochearn, because your favorite things will still be the same, but you’ll be a year older. You experience things in a different way year to year and can set new camp goals for each summer. Maybe this will be the summer you finally earn a purple in gymnastics or work up the courage to try wakeboarding for the first time. And if not this year, you know you’re always welcome back for the summers to come.