Tucked away deep in the Tennessee mountains of the Cumberland Plateau lies a sacred spot. Nestled in the forest on beautiful Lake Aloaloa, the grass is a deep green, the air is fresh, and a sea of yellow flowers blankets the rolling hills. This is where, for a few short weeks out of the summer, I find the best part of me. This is where I feel the excitement of accomplishment, the joy of simple pleasures, and the power of friendship. Though the time here is short, I cherish every single moment. This is Camp Nakanawa. Secluded from the "real world," being at camp is like living in a fantasy world, a secret bubble. Everything is wonderful and perfect. There is no such thing as sadness or grief, only happiness and high spirits. And no one can understand the beauty of Nakanawa unless it is experienced first hand.Nakanawa has made an imprint on my heart. It taught me a great deal of selflessness, care, motivation, perseverance, and love. In this world of rapid change and shifting values, Nakanawa holds solidly to the idea that what is simple and natural and wholesome will always be of value to growing girls. Nakanawa has remained over the years, a solid rock on which thousands of girls have anchored their values and beliefs. The Camp Directors, Ann & Pepe Perron, are dedicated to preserving the traditions of Nakanawa. Ann, who was first a camper, then a counselor has spent over 35 summers at Nakanawa. Together, Ann & Pepe work to ensure that Nakanawa remains a place of beauty and wholesome fun. Working with them are the Counselors and Staff, college students and graduates, teachers and Moms, who come to be enriched through the experiences gained from working with young girls in such a beautiful, wholesome atmosphere. Many of the counselors are former campers who hope to pass on to the girls they work with the love they have for Nakanawa. This love has been passed on from counselor to camper from Mother to Daughter, for over half a century and this legacy of tradition is a very special part of Nakanawa.
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