Growing the Garden… and Gardner

March 23rd, 2018

I love Judy’s Garden at Camp Weequahic. We built it about five years ago and CMJ, with the help of a lot of campers, has been faithfully tending it ever since to the enjoyment of many.

Our budding chefs from the Top Chef kitchen can be found grabbing a few herbs or veggies. CMJ and her pickling team produce pretty fantastic treats each summer. And, it’s a great place to watch everything from flowers to veggies grow.

One important task is to keep the weeds from taking over the garden. Try as we might, we can’t seem to keep them out completely. But, with the diligent help of a few intrepid campers, the ‘good fruit’ of our garden is kept safe from the weeds.

Our Own Gardens

I’ve run into the analogy of gardening and soil often over the past few weeks. When the same theme pops up three or four times in short order, I pay attention – someone is trying to tell me something!

Here’s the idea: we have to think of ourselves in two ways. First,  we are the soil in which our fruits – thoughts both good and bad – grow. Secondly, we need to think of ourselves as the gardener who cultivates our own personal garden.

Here’s what I mean.

Think of your mind and soul as a garden bed. When you are born, that soil is naturally rich and accepting of all sorts of ideas and experiences.

You won’t remember it this way but watch a baby or toddler with engaged caregivers. You’ll notice that the adults are trying to help the child learn and grow in wholesome ways – be patient, use your words, explore, laugh, read, and more.

The hope is that these actions take root in the child to the point where they lead to bearing ‘good fruit.’ This means actions in the future that are beneficial and helpful.

This can come in lots of forms: reaching out to a friend in need, showing self-control and self-direction, being kind, an inquisitive nature, etc.

But remember, your ‘soil’ can be planted with things that are not beneficial, too. I would call these weeds that can choke out the good fruit in you – things like selfishness, anger, impatience, and fear. If you aren’t careful, they’ll take root… and take over the garden.

Up Grows a Gardener

One of the many amazing things about being a human is that we can practice ‘introspection.’ A house cat doesn’t look back over its day to see what it could have done, said, or thought better. Neither can any other animal – except you!

As you get older, you start to realize that you have a lot of control over what you think, say and do. Even more, you begin to understand that all the ‘inputs’ – what you read, see, and listen to –  leave seeds that grow over time.

All of these messages are fighting to get into your ‘soil’ in order to take root and grow. But, here’s the important part: you get to choose what grows and what gets removed in your garden.

You are the gardener. But, be warned: some weeds are really, really tough to get out. I’ve tried for years to my cravings for canteen. I’ve gotten better over time but that longing will probably always be in me, even if just a little. I kid… but not really….

Helping Gardners Grow

Whether you know it or not, camp is trying to help in both areas. We do our best to surround you with great friends, fun messages, good ideas, and awesome experiences to fill up your internal garden.

And, just as important, we strive to surround you with mentors who will you develop your own gardening skills. These young men and women give up a lot of their time to teach you! By showing gratitude, choosing their attitude, and practicing both courage and kindness, the hope is that a little of it will rub off on you!

So, spend some time over the coming weeks taking a good look at your garden, and your gardening skills. It’ll be some of the most important work you do!

Have a great week!



March 17th, 2018

Yes, I know. I misspelled ‘responsible.’ I was trying to get your attention. Hope it worked!

What I should have titled this post would have been ‘response-able.’ But, the title mashup is one of my new favorite words – along with gratitude, attitude, courage, and kind.


‘Responsable’ might be best described as the ability to choose your reaction in any situation. Think that is important? Let’s try it out in a few situations….

The camper sleeping above you is feeling left out –always holding back from the group, super quiet, and often looking down. What’s the proper response from you?

Your counselors have asked you twice to clean up your area because it’s three minutes before flagpole. Do you a) ignore them and keep jawing with your buddies, b) keep jawing with your buddies and clean up as quickly as you can, or c) tell your buddies that you can’t speak anymore until you get it all done.

Today’s your day to wakeboard and you’ve been waiting since last summer to try a new trick. As you walk out of lunch, you see the clouds coming. And, as you start walking to the dock, those clouds open up – no wakeboarding today. What do you think?

The Lab

Camp affords you the best of all worlds to become more responsable.

You live in an environment this safe, engaging and so much fun. You are surrounded by mentors and leaders who want only the best for you. And, because you are literally surrounded by people from all over the world all day long, you have a lot of chances in which to learn.

Every day, you will have a number of chances to choose your responses. Some responses will be perfect. Others may need a little work. The trick is to take a few moments each day to think about your responses throughout the day, learn, and determine to do better where needed.

We all get to choose our responses to any and every situation. And, you can be calm and thoughtful in just about any moment.

In order to be that way, you first have to understand that your thoughts shape and color your every experience. Secondly, if you have the mental agility to see things from new perspectives. And, to make it stick, you just need to be mindful of your responses throughout the day.

You can become more responsable – it just takes a little work each day. But, don’t worry – it’s worth the effort!

A Wheel of Growth

March 9th, 2018

We all enjoy spending time at the campfire. Campers and staff laugh and celebrate surrounded by friends. We enjoy a pleasant evening by Sly Lake and watch a fire crackle away. And, we learn. It’s the only time each week we are teaching in a way that is ‘overt’ or, as some might say, in your face.

But, do you think that’s the only time we are ‘teaching?’ Of course not. Our campers and staff learn all week long – in the studios, on stage, in dining hall, on the courts. These activities are a ton of fun and led by people who really know their stuff.

Walking around camp seeing everyone totally engaged and going is one of my favorite things to do. Anyone looking will see how much the kids enjoy the activities. One activity our campers don’t love? Doing their morning chores.

The Wheel of Growth

The infamous chore wheel can be found in every bunk. Names on the inside of the wheel, chores on the outside. Move it one tick each day and you’ve got your new responsibility – sweep or take out the trash or help on the close line, etc.

Of course, you always have to make your bed and tidy your area… but you already knew that. What you may not know is that these chores are instrumental to the future lives of our campers.

Don’t take my word for it. In one of the longest studies ever conducted, researchers at Harvard found a lot of important information – the importance of close relationships and the power of doing chores.

Doing things around the house (or bunk, in our case) was directly related to respondents being successful in work and well-adjusted in life. And, the earlier these chores started, the more positive impact they had on the respondents.

Does this mean you have to do your chores to be a successful, well-adjusted adult? No, but doing chores will certainly help you in a lot of ways.

You become better at seeing that you have a direct impact on those around you. You begin to realize that no job is too small or ‘beneath’ you. And, by doing those jobs, it may help you appreciate those who do them for you later in the life. Don’t forget ‘work ethic’ – rolling up your sleeves and getting it done – improves over time and with use. Plus, you get an emotional and build confidence because you’ve been helpful to those around you.

See? There are a lot of great reasons to do your chores. So, next time we spin the Chore Wheel remember… it’s for your own good!

Have a great weekend!

Noticed or Missed?

March 3rd, 2018

I read just about everything Seth Godin puts out. He’s a thinker, writer, and all around generous person. I highly recommend him to anyone who wants to get something interesting in their mailbox every week.

He recently wrote about this idea of being noticed vs. being missed. Which would you want more?

Getting Noticed

In today’s culture, it seems we all want others to notice us. Our Instagram feed is full of dolled-up pics, our facebook pages show our best ‘wow’ moments, our snaps… ok, I don’t snapchat but I imagine there is a lot of ‘look at me’ going on there, too.

You can notice me  for a lot of reasons. I can be the best at my sport, my art, my trade. Or perhaps I’m the best looking (ok – stop laughing… it’s just an example….) or most fit or fastest or strongest.

There are a lot of ‘positive’ ways to get noticed. And, there is a flip side….

A lot of times, babies and young children cry or yell to get noticed. It’s a pretty common thing since they literally do not have the words yet. This behavior doesn’t necessarily stop as we age. Act outing. Speaking too loudly or too long. We hit or we demean or something else just as negative.

Both of these approaches – both positive and negative – have something in common: they are all about me. I want the attention. I want your notice. And I’m working hard to get it.

You want to know the problem with this ‘getting noticed’ approach? It doesn’t leave a lasting impression. Instead, it leads to replacement.

Being Missed

Want to play a different game? It involves humility, self-control, generosity, humor, empathy, gratitude, and helpfulness.

By helping others before yourself, you leave an impression. Making someone laugh or paying attention or being faithfully present or serving someone other than yourself…. When reaching out to those in need, you become something more than just a kid or a staff member or ‘a number.’ You become someone people miss.

Do this enough: Sure, they will notice you… but they’ll also remember you.  Have a good weekend!

Choose Your Words Wisely

February 23rd, 2018

Parents and teachers are always saying ‘use your words’ when breaking up a kerfuffle or dealing with a frustrated child. It’s actually not an easy thing, especially for boys – our brains do not start using words well until our late forties. (Actually, brain science says it’s earlier – between 18 and 25 – but I’m still waiting for mine to kick in….)

So, when we say ‘use your words’ to young people, we have to be patient with the result. It’s an important process since it provides kids and adolescents a chance to learn how to talk things out. They learn to use their words wisely.

Know what is equally important in terms of words? Choosing them wisely.

‘Hoo Words

Kate, Cole3 and I had a wonderful opportunity recently to visit the University of Virginia. A close friend gave us a behind the scenes tour of the basketball facility before a game – the practice courts, the weight room, the student services section and the men’s locker room.

It was all pretty incredible. Hey – they are ranked #1 right now – Go ‘Hoos! But it was not the sleeping pods, food choices, or entertainment options that impressed me most about the facility itself.

No, what caught my attention were words on the wall.


Full disclosure: I’ve spent a lot of time in Charlottesville and continue to be a huge fan of my alma mater. And, I knew a lot of the basketball guys and girls a (very) long time ago. But I had never seen something like this in the men’s locker room. While the teams of my time were good, they were not even close to what’s happening in C’ville now.

Watch the team play and these words are apparent – the play with passion, give the ball up unselfishly, and are grateful the opportunity. When they talk to the media or interact with fans, these words to describe how the players and coaches act.

As a group, they have all ‘bought in’ to these specific words and their actions are guided by them. And this fact, I believe, is a big part of their success both on and off the court.

Choose Your Words Wisely

There is a funny story told by Dr. Larry Arn, the president of Hillsdale College and possibly the foremost Churchillian scholars alive. At one point, his frustrated teenaged daughter said to him, “Dad, you just don’t want me to be happy!”

“Honey,” he replied, “you don’t know enough to be happy.”

Dr. Arn was talking about Aristotle and Plato’s view of ‘happy’ rather than today’s version which focuses more on amusement and entertainment. The latter definition is all well and good… for a time.

We are certainly happy and entertained at camp. But while you are having so much fun, every now and then you’ll realize that we are talking about gratitude, choosing your attitude, courage and kindness… a lot.

These are the words we’ve picked. They are the words that we look for in hiring our staff and the words we base our training on each summer. They are at the center of Weequahic and everything radiates out from that very solid, stable center.

We did not pick these words by whim. We chose them specifically to help us teach what is important and unchanging in our future.

Your Words?

So, how about you? What words will you choose as your center? Don’t feel you have to get it right the first time. In fact, it’s really good to try some on, walk around them in for a while, and see if your actions and emotions match up. And, the more you read and listen to those you love, the better sense you’ll get of which ones make the most sense for you.

Trust me – your future is worth the effort.  Have a GACK-tastic weekend!

Overcoming Fear

February 16th, 2018

We have amazing minds. That big glob of neurons and systems between your ears has developed incredible memory, speed, and power over hundreds of thousands of years. In fact, it’s so powerful that our super-computers take 40 minutes just to simulate one second of its workings.

Our brains have helped to keep us, the human race, ahead of natural dangers – and caused a few dangers of our own.

One of the most commonly spoken about systems in the brain is the ‘fight or flight’ response. Basically, when we see a threat, our brain decides that we are going to fight the threat, it helps to come up with strategies and dumps boosters into your system. When it decides ‘time to run’, it comes up with strategies and dumps the same boosters into your system.

That’s right – different outcome but the same physical response. So… what does that mean for us?

We get to choose.


“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela

I’ve always been fond of President Mandela’s definition of courage as it recognizes the reality of fear and gives the reader a way forward. Like anything we want to change, we first have to recognize what is going on. Once we understand the situation, we can choose what we want to do.

So… how can we actually conquer that fear? I can tell you what we do at camp and then we can figure out how to use those same ideas back home.

A Trusted Mentor

One of the worst things we can do is keep the fear inside us. When we expose it – the emotion we are feeling and the future we are imagining – to someone we trust who has more experience that we do, the fear begins to go away.

First of all, you’ve just shared its burden with someone you know has your back, no matter what. That person has just become an ally and they’ll do all they can to help.

Secondly, by simply talking about your fear out loud, you reduce its power over you. You start to see for yourself that your fear, while real, may not be as powerful as you first thought.

When are campers are missing home, we ask them to talk about it with their counselor, DH, Camp Mom Judy, or me. It’s a little harder for the boys than the girls but it’s just as important. That mentor can help the camper see what’s really in front of them (which is way, way, way more good than scary) and help them through it.

Little Steps

A lot of our campers have a hard time climbing our 50’ tower or getting up on stage in front of the whole camp. The mechanics, they have covered. All can climb a few feet up and all can walk out on the stage. It’s the perception of those things as big fears that hold them back. So… we help them along the way.

A lot of life is what you focus on. Want to see the bad? There is more than enough opportunity. Want to see the good? There is even more than the bad.

To help our kiddos climb the wall, we ask them to go three steps higher than they feel comfortable. We always have them on the ropes and they are completely safe. They even test it a couple of times.

By heading up three more holds before coming down, they can see a) they can do it and b) they were safe. Next thing you know, they are up at the top of the 50’ tower.

Something Bigger Than Yourself

Most of the time, fear is completely and utterly personal – it’s all about you. You are afraid of this or that. However, when you connect with others and let some of their strength affect you, encourage you, fear starts to slide away.

For me, my favorite time at camp is Campfire. We are all together, outside, around a roaring fire. It reminds us all – from CIT to our youngest JJ, from CMJ to our first-time staff member, that we are Weequahic and that we are stronger together than we are apart.

At home, you’ve already got something great – the love of your parents. As La Tzu said, being loved by someone gives you strength. Use that strength to overcome your fears. Reach out to trusted mentors with your concerns and ask them to help you come up with a plan. Take little steps in the right direction – your courage muscle will grow!

And, remember that you are a part of something greater than yourself. Your family, your school, and your camp… speaking for Weequahic, we are behind you one hundred percent!

Have a great weekend. – Cole

Humble Pie

February 9th, 2018

I love dessert. Given the choice, I’d rather have a slice of dessert for breakfast rather than anything else. I come by ithonestly – my mother is a total dessert junkie, too. Of all the desserts, one of my favorites is warm apple pie… or pumpkin pie or lemon chess or key lime pie or…. Well, you get the picture.

While I could have it daily, I know I shouldn’t if I want TRY to keep up with our campers during the summer. That got me thinking, “What kind of pie could I have every day and it be good for me?”

A good book by Dr. Leonard Sax recently gave me the answer: Humble pie.

A Confession

I have a confession to make: sometimes I feel like everything revolves around me. When one of our team helps me to snap out of it (Kate is the best at it), I get that ‘doggone it, I let it happen again’ feeling and promise to do better. Depending on what I read and how much time I spend focused on others, I’m better or worse about it.

Do you ever feel this way, that everything is about you? Sometimes it comes up when you are thinking about plans for the weekend or the dinner you want that night or just getting ‘your stuff’ done.

There is certainly a need to take care of ‘your stuff’ be it school work, a job, practice, etc. But when we get all wrapped up in the cocoon of ‘me’, we lose sight of what’s important – the relationship we have with those around us.

You know what a great time and place is to get out of this ‘me, me, me’ mindset? Ten o’clock on a starry night on Main Campus. Another good time and place? Walking the trails with your counselors and buddies picking and eating the wild blueberries. Want one more? How about huddled around the campfire with the entire camp besides you.

Looking around you in those moments make you realize the community is really fun and takes a lot of people to make it this way. Being amongst the trees makes you realize that we are small and have the power to protect or take away the forests. Observing the stars that are billions of years old and light years away….

When you consider all this in that moment, the realization that we are small puts us in our place a bit. It reminds us to practice humility.

Humble Pie

What is humility? Some people mistakenly think it’s thinking less of yourself. Rather, humility is thinking about yourself less and thinking more about those around you.

In his recent book Twelve Rules for Life, Jordan Peterson suggests the following:

Assume that the person you are listening to might know something you need to know. Listen to them hard enough so that they will share it with you.

This practice of thinking about and being interested in other people as much as yourself can be hard to learn. The rise of Instagram, Snapchat, and other means of broadcasting yourself makes switching focus outward towards other people even more challenging.

But, things that are hard to do are – many times – really important. It was hard for you to learn to walk. Growing teeth was incredibly uncomfortable. Learning to speak, read and write? Really hard. (Once you are a parent, you’ll understand….)

However, these new skills that you developed with lots and lots of practice make you a healthier, more independent human. If we want a happier, more connected, and enjoy a meaningful life, we’ll chase humility.

Humility is the doorway to gratitude. In Dr. Sax’s words, the practice of humility ‘leads to gratitude, appreciation and contentment. The key to lasting happiness is contentment.’



So, in the week ahead, let’s all do a good job in being as interested in those around us as we are with ourselves. Building the habit of humility is just like building anything else – it takes intentional practice and lots of it. But, I bet we’ll be happier for it.

Now, if I could just find that last piece of the apple pie….Have a great week!

Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

Our Jurisdiction

January 26th, 2018

Father Greg Boyle tells a story about walking through a housing project on his way to work and, most days, seeing a man watching the passersby from a window. One day, as Father G rounds the corner, he hears “I LOVE YOU, FATHER G!” Running back to say thank you to his admirer, the man responds, “It’s ok, G. You are in my jurisdiction.’

Our campers and our staff share a very special ‘jurisdiction’ at Weequahic. For six weeks each summer, we get to grow together, create innumerable memories, and laugh… oh, do we laugh!

And sometimes, as we live on earth, sometimes there are problems. And, it’s not always about one specific person. Rather, it’s two groups that are having a hard time.

These two ‘jurisdictions’ grumble, rumble a bit.  A lot of people have something to say about this situation. A little lady from Calcutta said it best.

The Little Nun

If you don’t know about Mother Teresa, you should spend some time getting to know her.

Born in what is now Macedonia, she felt called to do all she could for the least and the lost. Moving to Calcutta and spending literally all of her time with the people considered the poorest in the world, she did incalculable good. Throughout the process, she taught all who would listen.

One of her many nuggets of wisdom is this: If we have no peace, it is because we’ve forgotten that we belong to one another.

I love this idea. We are all on one Earth… and I’m pretty certain we all came from it.

But, yet, we build walls all the time to keep those who aren’t like us out. This happens at school – there have always been the tables somehow reserved for particular groups of kids. We build little jurisdictions in which everyone is accepted… until they do something that gets them kicked out. It happens in adult life, too.

But are we all really that different? Sure, we all look different (thank goodness – how could we tell each other apart!) We all have different aptitudes and interests. But we are made out of the same atoms, built by the same water, and contain DNA strands that are barely, BARELY different from one another.

At our base core, we are all made of the same stuff! So, why do we insist my group is better than that one or that one or that one….

An Illusion

Thich Nhat Hanh said something similar to Mother Teresa: we live an illusion of separateness.

Camp helps us destroy that illusion. We wake up in bunks close enough to see everyone in the room. We share a bathroom, break bread at every meal, together, play, laugh and learn together. At the end of the day, we smile at each other as we fall asleep.  We are completely together, almost all the time. And from this closeness comes magic.

Heck, even Dr. Seuss gets into the act with this short story about Sylvester McMonkey McBean who sells stars to the Sneetches without thars….

It must be a natural instinct to create these smaller groups with ‘ins’ and ‘outs.’

My wanting to eat the entire pan of Chef Daniel’s Sloppy Joe is a natural instinct, too. However, I know it would have disastrous consequences and therefore, don’t. (But, oh wow, it is SO GOOD!)

In other words, some of these ‘natural instincts’ need to be ignored. More often than not, they should be actively fought. But you can’t fight something you don’t know exists.

(That’s the whole point of these little Friday Night Campfire missives – to remind myself of what I need to remember and hope others may remember it, too….)

Bridges or Walls?

When we build up walls around ‘our group’, we run the risk of moving our little bubble, our little jurisdiction, a long way from the other groups. Sooner than you think, you’ll be so far from the others that bridge building between your group and others is really hard.

Do you really want to be on an island with the few who share your same thoughts on… whatever? I’m guessing probably not.

You know what is easier than building bridges? Tearing down walls. If we all belong to one another, the sooner we raze those walls, the better.

It takes courage, by the way. But, when we remember how good it is at camp, we realize tearing down walls are a whole lot better for everyone around you, including yourself.

So, get ready to go out there (wherever you find yourself reading this) and BEEEE AWESOME! Hey, you are in my jurisdiction. Have a great week.

The Wind and the Sun

January 19th, 2018

It’s so cold outside! Kate, the boys and I have just finished spending a bit of time at camp this week and loved every minute. To do something you don’t normally get to do i.e., sledding down Waterfront Hill, is a blast. But, man – it’s cold!

All of the winter gear – the warm boots, hats, gloves, and coats – made me think of one of Aesop’s Tales about the North Wind and the Sun. If you don’t know it, here’s the short version:

The North Wind and the Sun

The North Wind and the Sun decide to have a contest to see who is more powerful.

They spot a traveler walking with a coat on. The game? The first one to get the coat off the traveler wins. 

The North Wind starts off and sets to blowing. It pounds the traveler with everything – cold, gale force winds, and even a bit of rain. Nothing gets the coat off. Rather, the traveler keeps pulling the coat tighter and tighter for protection.  

After the North Wind has had its chance, the Sun steps up to the plate. Gently sending its warm rays down, the Sun begins to warm and dry the traveler.

Finally, the coat comes off as the traveler finds a shade tree to sit under and enjoy the warmth for a bit.  

Today’s Wind

Sometimes I think what the world wants for our young people is too much. There is a lot of … ‘stuff’… they have to deal with that was not a part of my world at their age.

There is more competition in everything. Comparison is through the roof. People lose the ability to remember who they are with the constant striving to be, well, something else.

I see these forces as the North Wind, pounding with all it’s might. We keep pulling our coat – the brave face, the over wrought work ethic, the effort empty of enjoyment – tighter to us for protection.

A Summer of Sun

At Weequahic, we get to be the Sun. Surrounding our campers with mentors whose focus is the camper – not their phone, not their friends, not their future selves – helps to bring our campers back to their true selves.

Yes, there is competition at camp – but only on the fields, courts, cooking or dance studios AND ONLY if the camper wants it. Yes, there is comparison – but only in choosing which canteen item would taste better right then and there.

By making things fun, by showing that welcoming, gentle smile, by listening and playing along… we get to be the Sun. And those gentle rays of summer sun allow our campers (and many of our staff) to shed what they carry to become who they really are.

Sun Year Round

Here’s the thing: you don’t have to wait to get to summer to feel this way. You just have to surround yourself with people who bring the Sun.

Want to know what’s even better? You can make the choice to be the Sun to those around you.

Sure, it’s easy to be that way towards your friends. You already like them and want them to do well, be well. Even when you are having a bad day, you can normally shake it off and be there for a buddy.

What about that difficult sibling, hard classmate, or, gulp… your parents? This is more of a challenge. And, it’s important. Is their happiness, desire for connection, or worth any less than yours?

Of course not. Your difficult little sibling, your teacher and that kid no one ever speaks to at school needs the Sun in their lives as much as you.

So, will you be the North Wind pounding down or warm Sun helping those around you open up? It’s your choice.

Have a great week!

Change Awaits Us

January 12th, 2018

“Change awaits us. What is decisive is our deciding.” – Father G, Tattoos on the Heart

One of my teachers this week talked about epiphanies. We all have them from time to time. They are a moment of clarity when things ‘click.’ I find most of my moments of clarity involve being re-introduced to something I’ve long known but from which my attention had wandered. Father G’s quote represented an epiphany for me.

Thoughts are easy. Living out a new decision, though… that is challenging. Not eating those foods. Getting up off the couch and running. Writing those ‘thank you’ notes each week. Reaching out to a new friend. Going to camp for the first time.

These changes are hard. But, until we are challenged, we cannot change.

Staying where you are – emotionally, physically, mentally – that’s easy. You are already ‘there’ – wherever there is. And, you are as happy as you are going to be ‘there.’

Camp is set up to challenge and, thus, create change. Going away from home, from what and who you know is challenging. Especially if it’s the first time you’ve done so.

That’s why all of our new campers live with and connect with other new campers. They need to know there is someone around them going through the same challenge. We draw strength from shared experience. Its incredible the number of lasting friendships born out of that first summer together.

Second Summer

You know what else is challenging? Coming back to camp for a second summer.

Everything should be the same, right? You loved it last summer. Your counselors were amazing, the friends fantastic, and activities incredible. Sure, you missed home but everyone does there first summer, right?

Here’s the thing: while so much of camp remains the same, things change each summer. We have to! If we don’t change, we can’t get better at our unchanging goal: creating an amazing experience for everyone we meet.

Another thing that changes? YOU DO! Yes, you may feel the same but every year you get older, you can’t help but change. You’ve experienced more. Your eyes have been opened to a larger world. In lots of ways – some big and a lot small – you are a different human being each time you return to CW.

Let’s embrace that change. Let’s celebrate it – together! And, are the challenges worth it? Without a doubt! Whether it’s your first, second, or 22nd (you rock, Camp Mom Judy!), we are excited to have a blast alongside you this summer!