School is closing in about three weeks and the summer will be long and hot. But not in Tallulah Falls, GA. Where God and a Good Time are Friends!
Athens Y Camp is a legacy of which the city of Athens can proudly, loudly boast. Over 110 years old and still going strong.
Summer camps are not for everyone and honestly, I don’t know how you pry a ten year old away from modern conveniences and digital devices. But if you can, the young child you send away will, and I guarantee it, return a better human.
Just enough religion to make one humble and enough discipline to make a drill sergeant grin. But the fun, the freedom and friendships that come from just a week or two at AYC is incalculable. Seriously, you could not rebuild with an unlimited budget the built-in historic goodness that is Athens Y Camp.
I remember my dad driving me and my brothers up US 441 Father’s Day Sundays and dropping us off at the camp entrance. Eight weeks later (!) he returned to pick up his young charges.
Yes, it took a few weeks to unlearn the new words we had mastered, and a few more to stop scrathin’ the wholly inappropriate places we had learned to scratch. But by the time school started, the bad of Y Camp had dissolved and just enough of the good stayed. Athens Y Camp days may not have been the best of my entire life, but they were the best of my entire youth.
My son went for four years in the 90’s and I went for six back in the 1960s. My father and his brothers attended during the 1920’s. Friends I made in Cabin #12 or Cabin #15 (avoid #18…. really) almost fifty years ago are friends today.
More importantly for me, AYC was the first place to offer me and other teens an opportunity to learn and practice leadership. I think it’s telling that the Leaders at AYC are not called Counselors. A counselor refers to someone who can tell a young camper what to do. A Leader shows by example.
Business leaders, politicians and hundreds of high level athletes got their taste of AYC as children and used the experience to boost their self-confidence. I just cannot overstate the positive influence of this hot, cold, dry, wet, friendly, scary piece of heaven.
I don’t know, but I imagine space is still available. It’s not cheap anymore, but what the heck is? If you cannot swing it this summer, please consider putting some movie money aside to send your child next year. If you need convincing, find a former Y Camper, they are all over town. Take soap.