Brown Ledge girls live in attractively designed log-type cabins, each housing four or five campers. The cabin belongs to those girls for the summer: It is theirs to take care of, to decorate, to entertain their friends in, to enjoy.

A mature counselor is responsible for each cabin. She lives close enough to provide adequate supervision, and is always available in case of emergency, but she does not live in the cabin. This gives campers not only some much-appreciated privacy, but also the much-needed independence upon which a genuine sense of responsibility is built. As camp’s founder, Harry E Brown told new Brown Ledgers,

“Our job is to interfere as little as possible with your search for happiness and to help you hunt for it when you ask… We think the most important thing that can happen to anyone is to learn how to make choices that will work out right…so we believe in giving you all the practice you can get.”

Together, bunkies decide how they will share space, and determine how to work together to make the cabin a home and a haven. The cabin’s counselor may suggest ways of managing the important business of getting along together, and she will be there to listen to confidences or offer advice. But according to HEB’s wisdom, “If you wait for her to tell you to put on your raincoat or dry your hair, you’ll most likely get fearfully wet!”

Nevertheless, campers often develop a strong bond with their cabin counselor. She visits the cabin each night at bedtime, and through these regular visits, truly gets to know each camper well. Campers often eagerly await “counselor time,” looking forward to the chance to chat about their days, play games, paint nails, or just hang out. The casual and comfortable atmosphere fosters a close, trusting connection.

In addition, each cabin is assigned a Junior Counselor, who is approximately sixteen to seventeen years old. She visits during rest hour, and provides her campers support, encouragement and advice. The camper-junior counselor relationship is very special.

Girls who require hotel accommodations will not care for Brown Ledge. The cabins are in no way elaborate. Each has electric lights, is equipped with the essentials for restful sleep and cleanliness, and is screened. There is a main bathhouse containing showers with plenty of warm water and changing areas, wash basins, and flush toilets.

At BLC, no one can hide. The girls must figure out the interactions and relationships within their cabin – for themselves – with no overly concerned parents. The “bunkies” must learn how to function as a unit to exist for those four or eight weeks. And, miraculously, mostly they do!

— Catherine T., parent