I stumbled upon Kalalla almost unwittingly. I had no idea, when I decided to accompany my friend that summer, that it would be the best decision I ever made. I had never been to a sleep-away camp before, and I agreed somewhat hesitantly. As someone who struggles with anxiety, I have trouble with new places and new people. I spent that first bus trip swimming in a sea of trepidation and excitement. I was so far out of my element, but the joy and enthusiasm of every girl on that bus was so palpable it was impossible not to get swept away. I looked around in awe of all the smiling faces, ushered along by the chorus of voices singing songs I’d never heard. It’s a moment I will never forget.
My next five years as a camper created memories I will treasure for the rest of my life, and the following years I spent as staff helped guide me as I entered the strange new world of adulthood. My time at Kalalla made me the woman I am today, and for that, I will be forever grateful. As an all-girls camp, Kalalla has the unique opportunity to bolster independence, strength, and kindness in a safe environment bound by the ties of sisterhood. You may enter camp alone, but you leave as a family.
Camp Kalalla is a sanctuary tucked away in the woods, without technology and removed from the pressures of everyday life. It grants asylum from societal pressures and provides a safe environment for young girls to play and learn and grow. Pretence removed and embarrassment forgotten, the campers feel free to express their individuality and let their true selves flourish. It is a gift every girl should experience.
This safe space is the perfect environment in which to foster independence, strength, and confidence. Through all the games, activities, overnights, and communal meals, the girls at camp learn how to balance cooperation and independence. They grow confident in their abilities and themselves while being supported by their cabin mates and fellow campers. Empathy, kindness, and respect grow alongside strength, independence, and self-confidence.
The bonds created between cabin mates are unlike anything else I have ever experienced. True sisterhood is forged year after year, an ever-growing family of women who love and support each other. The tether stretches far and wide connecting fellow Kalalla girls during the long months between summers. While some of us may distance ourselves over the years, that tether remains long after the final campfire is extinguished.
Now, more than ever, it is increasingly important for our girls to become strong, smart, kind, and independent women. We have to raise our girls in environments where they feel safe and supported and free. We need to teach our girls the lessons they can carry with them into the real world to create positive change. Camp Kalalla’s unique sisterhood is what our girls need. In the immortal words of Ms. Amy Poehler, “Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.”
– Chelsea Wright ☕️
This touched my heart! Well written and so true!!!