There are SO many small details and traditions that make Greystone unique (becoming “old Greystone girls” after the first meal in the Dining Hall, sundaes and slow songs on Sunday, even Wildlife Wednesday!), and they all come together to create that special “bubble” feeling we all adore.
A big part of that culture is how campers and counselors of all ages can become friends - the barriers that exist in the real world just melt away! At Main Camp, we start that process before the session even starts with the Big and Little Sister program. Every year it’s a favorite for the Big and Littles alike, and today we’re hearing more about it from the people who know best - two of our 2021 Big Sisters!
But first, what is the Big and Little Sister program? Every year, we pair each Senior-Senior camper (in her last year at Main Camp), with a Main Camper in our youngest age group (3rd and 4th graders) to write each other before the summer. Your Big Sister is like a Penpal who can show you the ropes of our flagship session! Once camp starts, we help the Big Sisters find their Little Sisters, and encourage them to continue to get to know each other, whether that’s enjoying Shoppe “dates,” signing up for a class together, or sitting together at an Evening Program. Some Bigs and Littles really hit it off, and continue to talk long after the session ends!
Now to introduce you to two of our 2021 Big Sisters: Mary Charlotte and Evie. Take it away, girls!
Evie: I had always looked forward to being a camp big sister! I remember being a younger camper and looking up to the older girls, and I was so excited to be able to act as a role model for girls younger than me.
Mary Charlotte: I 100% looked forward to being a big sister at camp!! I admired the way the girls before me have valued and created incredible relationships with their little sisters, and I couldn’t wait to do the same!!
Evie: We wrote lots of letters back and forth before the summer started. Meeting her at camp was so much fun - we really enjoyed Shoppe dates and just walking through camp talking. She also came to my cabin after EP and we would sit on the Castle porch and have awesome talks.
Mary Charlotte: We wrote our answers to get to know you questions on postcards and in letters to get to know each other better! At first, I was really nervous to meet my little sister!! As soon as I met her, I could feel so much love and energy radiating from her tiny little body. This was the moment where I wasn’t scared anymore. I saw so much of myself in this little firecracker, and I couldn’t wait to spend time with her!
Evie: I loved all of the simple moments I got to spend with my little sis: all of the late-night porch talks, Candy Shoppe dates, and dances in the Fort. I will cherish the memories I made with her forever, and I am so excited to come back as a counselor and see her again.
Mary Charlotte: I felt so loved by my little sister. Every time we would see each other, she would wave so hard it seemed like her hand was going to fly off her little arm. The excitement she would get on her face whenever she would see me made my heart so happy. I loved the way that even though we are nearly ten years apart in age, we are friends. One of my favorite memories of my little sister is when she gave me a hydrangea flower. As soon as she gave it to me I pressed it into my Bible. Every time I open Psalms, I think of my sweet little sister and I’m reminded of the beauty of camp friendships.
Evie: Being a big sister was one of the best parts of my summer, and I would not trade my time with my little sis for anything in the world.
Mary Charlotte: I’d like to offer some advice to the big sisters out there — I know that being a big sister seems a bit scary at first, but there is absolutely no reason to be scared. The littles at camp are so packed to the brim with joy, energy, craziness, and love. The second you meet your little sister, she is likely to greet you with a hug and an unparalleled sense of blind love. Even though she doesn’t know you yet and she’s nearly a decade younger than you, she will make you feel important, loved, and valued (even if she doesn’t quite know she’s doing it!). My biggest advice is to take the leap, be all in, and be prepared for your little sister to teach you a lot more than you’d expect.
Friendships like these are what makes camp so special! 2022 Main Campers who are seniors or 3rd/4th graders, look out for your Big or Little Sister pair in the spring. You never know - you might just be making a friend for life!