Alix Sommer Smith

Alix Smith

I am embarrassed now to admit that my aunt Sunny Moore had to ask me twice  to be a Clearwater counselor. It was 1969 and I had just finished my sophomore year at Sweet Briar College, majoring in History and English, and was intent on reading War and Peace that summer. Sunny was just as intent on helping Halokwe build a staff.  I told Sunny that I had no camping skills whatsoever, and I remember asking her if I could wear dresses as I almost never wore pants!  In the end, Sunny wore me down by promising me there would be a place for me at camp. We just had to find it. And we did. It was a transformative summer.  

At Clearwater, I was a Cape counselor, I taught Arts & Crafts and Fishing, but I found my real niche in Drama, rewriting familiar stories into plays for a whole unit to put on. Then, with the exception of the summer of 1971, when I was at Brown University in graduate school, I served as Program Director from 1970 to 1977.  Camp helped me find my path in life as a teacher and instructional administrator.

I retired in 2004 after 32 years with the Stafford County, Virginia,  Public Schools. I taught middle school history until I became a middle school assistant principal in January, 1978.  From 1987 until 2004, I was an Instructional Supervisor with division-wide responsibilities primarily in gifted education. I helped to create the regional Commonwealth Governor’s School which serves gifted and highly motivated high school students in my area.  I continue to work as a consultant for the state’s Department of Education evaluating Governor’s Schools across Virginia.

Returning to Clearwater as a board member has been an honor. As one of the many women who received the gift of a “Clearwater education,” I believe wholeheartedly in the mission of Clearwater Camp. It was at Clearwater that I discovered my calling to work with young people, honed my creative and leadership talents, and developed my planning and administrative skills.  As Chairman of the Campership Committee, I am particularly excited to work toward our vision, “to provide the Clearwater Camp experience to as many girls as possible, because we know it makes a difference in their lives and they will make a difference in the world.”