Why I Give: Alex Claycomb

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Dear Camp Rising Sun Alumni:

I’m a younger member of the Camp Rising Sun alumni. I only joined the Camp community 7 years ago, in 2011 at Red Hook. Yet, since then, Camp has become one of the most important parts of my life and I’ve gotten lucky enough to be back as second-year and three-time counselor. I’m blessed to have been a part of 5 summers at camp, each with some familiar faces and some fresh ones, but each as challenging and as rewarding as the last. If you haven’t guessed, camp will be with me forever.

I started donating to LAJF on the last day of camp in 2011 and have given on a regular basis since then. I think I was particularly moved by an instruction that was given by a LAJF staff member that summer, in which she told us campers that the only owners of Camp were us, the alumni.

The camp season we experienced was only possible because of the continued generosity of those who came before us. That message struck me and I’ve given ever since.

Each summer that I spend on either Rising Sun Lane or Oriole Mills Road I am reminded of why I choose to give. Essentially, there are three reasons:

  • First, I give because I believe in our mission and the program we use to deliver that mission and I want it to persist for generations to come. The chance to learn from, have a discussion with, and rely on a group of people with diverse stories and backgrounds is something that, as a staff member, I see as valuable in the lives of our campers, emerging young adults.
  • Second, I give because I feel that in today’s world, experiences like the one camp offers are more important than ever. It’s easy to get caught in an echo chamber with people who share our interests and tastes and, more significantly, our perspectives. At Camp, we try to provide the chance to step into someone else’s shoes and walk around for a bit—and that’s significant.
  • Finally, and most importantly, I give because of the people that I’ve gotten to know through camp who have touched my life and made it richer. In a sense, I give in honor of you.

Camp is ours; no matter how many years it’s been since we’ve walked through the Old House or the Main Building, it’s here for us. But it’s also here because of us and we need to be there for it. Camp’s not perfect, and at times we may feel distanced from it. But I ask that you consider joining me in taking ownership of our camp. I’m a senior in college— believe me, the size of my contributions is nothing to brag about, but I’m contributing the best way I can in my life right now, and I’d be honored if you’d join me.

Alex Claycomb