"Going to the place I love, to the mountain high above. Highlander's your name, but to me its all the same to call you home."

Greg GallowayGoing Home (Camp Highlander Alma Mater)

The feeling of coming home to the Highlander has been a common theme since Highlander first opened its gates in 1957. In 1982, Greg Galloway, a former Highlander camper and staff member, was sitting at the airport waiting for his ride to camp. Unfortunately for Greg, his ride got distracted and missed the exit to pick him up. Fortunately for camp, this left Greg anticipating the summer ahead and longing for his Highlander home. He got out his guitar and wrote what is now the Alma Mater of Camp Highlander, “Going Home.”

While many of our campers already call Highlander home, we have some new campers who may not have experienced the magic of this mountain. They will! Over the next few weeks I will be writing an update each day of camp (the weather, the EP’s, themes of Reflect, and the food). These details will help you visualize the day at camp, connect with your camper and give you insight to the heart, the magic and the mission of Camp Highlander.

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We had a fantastic Opening Day! As campers jumped out of their cars and headed to the gym, there was a huge schoolhouse chalkboard with the words…“Before I leave Camp…” Campers and staff filled the chalkboard throughout the day with the hopes, dreams, goals and wishes for this session…a camp bucket list so to speak. The black board quickly turned to a rainbow of hope that will stay in the gym all session to remind us that we need to make the most out of every opportunity we have in the next three weeks.

Some of those hopes and dreams included:

  • Be Pro-Marksman at riflery.
  • Win HBA championships.
  • Try new things.
  • Win honor cabin.
  • Conquer my fear.
  • Complete the Crow’s Nest.
  • Be an Honor Camper.
  • Square dance with a boy.
  • Get my Master of the Mills.
  • Make new friends.

Just to name a few…your children are amazing. In just one day, we have seen some of those goals reached, some friendships formed and lots of trying new things. We had a wonderful afternoon of activities on camp and tomorrow we head out for new adventures off-camp like whitewater rafting, climbing, overnights, hiking and more.

Favorite Details of the Day:

  • Weather - As you know, our Opening Day weather was amazing! Warm temperatures, no rain, and a light breeze coming through the trees. This was a tremendous blessing as we had to unload and deliver over 600 trunks and bags to our campers. We are thankful for our amazing staff who worked hard and served with a smile. We are thankful for the patience and grace extended to us from all of our camp families who waited in line for the gates to open or on the gym road to unload. You are the BEST CAMP FAMILIES ever!
  • Meals - Grilled cheese and tomato soup and salad bar (an Opening Day tradition and a camper and staff favorite.) Dinner was fried chicken, corn on the cob, kale salad, homemade rolls and Dirt and worms for dessert. YUM!
  • Afternoon - Activities, swim evaluations and cabin photos (be sure to check summer services on the website for the latest photos of your camper)
  • EP - Opening campfire! Tonight Bruce, our campfire musician, was joined by Greg Galloway. The music was fantastic! (The weather was kind to us, and the drizzle started just as we were singing taps at the end of campfire!)
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Opening Day to me feels like a big family reunion - the hugs shared between friends, the screams of excitement as a new cabinmate arrives and the stories shared to catch everyone up on the last 11 months of your life. Everyone is so excited to see those that they haven’t seen since last summer and meet new friends that they will have for a lifetime.

I love opening campfire, and all the tradition it brings. I love watching the campers dance to the songs they love and teach their new friends all the right moves. Most of all, on Opening Day I love seeing all our camp families, how all our campers have grown over the year and getting the chance to visit with you, our parents, on different ways that we can serve your children and your family.

We want to thank you for the privilege of partnering with you on the journey of growing your child. Thank you for making Camp Highlander a part of your summer. We think that Camp Highlander is A Place Like No Other, and we hope you do too!

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