You can't know me long before you realize the two things I talk about most are Caroline Furnace and marching band. Recently these two passions converged when my sons Ethan (16) and Alex (12) discovered a common interest with summer staff member Andy... all three are trombone players. Andy, a member of the Marching Virginians at Virginia Tech, invited them to come to Tech for "MV for a Day," and event that lets high schoolers see what it's like to be part of a college marching band. Ethan had the thrill of performing on the Lane Stadium field next to Andy... an opportunity we would have had no idea existed without the friendship formed at camp between Andy and our family. Afterward, the "Generation to Generation" connection continued as we met up for dinner with a group of current and recent staff who are students at Tech.
This is just the most recent example of how I've seen the "Generation to Generation" theme echo through my own life across the decades. Some of my closest friends are fellow staff from the early 90s, but I also count as great blessings the many, many intergenerational friendships formed in this place:The counselors I had as a camper in the 80s who remain cherished friendsMy campers who found me on Facebook years later. Now we keep up online for those who live far away and got to meet up a few times for those closer.The staff from across the decades I connected with at alumni reunionsTwo little girls, daughters of fellow 1993 staff members, whose faith I have the privilege to help encourage as their godmotherThe summer staff I met as a volunteer in the early 2000's... one of whom even became our nanny when our boys were smallThe friends met at work weekends, board meetings, and retreats, and the ever growing family of summer staff that renews itself each summer. Now as a parent of kids coming of age at Caroline Furnace, I have the additional "Generation to Generation" joy of watching our kids develop those relationships for themselves.
Our relationships bloom at camp itself, of course, but they extend beyond Fort Valley as we interact in our own communities or online, carrying the lessons learned here and God's love for all out into the world.
-Angie Covington, former camper, counselor, and Board member, and current camper parent and volunteer