Meet Carly, a volunteer who joined Double H Ranch as an Arts & Crafts Program Volunteer for the first time this summer. Although this was Carly’s first time at camp, she has always heard about the magic of camp from her grandfather – Walter Robb – who is a Board Member of the Double H Ranch. Carly grew up outside of Boston and currently resides in New York City. As an avid runner, snowboarder, and hiker, she is no stranger to the magic of the Adirondacks and was excited to spend some time sharing that magic with Double H Ranch campers this summer.
From my grandfather’s first discussion of Double H Ranch with Charley Wood in 1993, he knew this would be a magical place. Since then, he has told me stories about the brave campers with serious illnesses or physical challenges conquering feats such as ziplining, skiing, horseback riding and other campers roasting perfectly golden marshmallows around a campfire with their new friends. It is a place, as one camper explains, where “one week, every summer, the hardships and the struggles at home or in the hospital don’t matter. At camp, everyone is just a kid.” After hearing from my grandfather and the campers about this magical pocket nestled in the Adirondacks, I knew I wanted to get a glimpse of it myself.
When I walked in on my first day of volunteering, I was hit with nostalgia of the camps I went to growing up, smelling the camp fires, hearing the excited chatter and singing, and feeling the buzz of the morning before the daily activities start. While I was with the Deer Cabin, they excitedly discussed the games that would be held that night and talked about what friends they had made. The counselors, after the Deers morning activity, asked them to say a word to express how they were feeling, the responses included “excited!”, “happy!”, “ecstatic!,” capturing the camp’s core value of letting them Be A Kid. With every activity, campers leave feeling accomplished and encouraged, creating an atmosphere of possibility that could be transferred into other areas of their lives.
The enchantment of Double H makes the campers and volunteers alike not want to leave. And, as with magic, you can’t just make something disappear, you have to bring it back, which is why year after year this camp brings back its campers for another unforgettable summer.
By Carly Robb, Program Area Volunteer
Come join the fun! Double H Ranch offers a variety of volunteer opportunities for you to make a difference with your time and talent. Learn more and apply online!