Archive for July, 2010

Introducing … Tiny Ham!

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Introducing our Girls’ Head Counselor, Amanda Robertson, otherwise known as Tiny Ham. Though her name may sound small she has an enormous presence in our camp.

A vivacious and inspirational leader she comes to Weequahic with tremendous camping experience. Having worked for seven years at a reputable Northeast residential camp, she brings with her a love of camp-life and campers. Her enthusiastic and creative contributions to daily programming, special events and evening activities are fantastic. She is thrilled to be at Weequahic for the endearing campers, beautiful setting and strong relationship with her colleagues and friends.

What distinguishes Tiny among our fantastic leadership is her ability to connect with girls of all ages, including our female counselors. She works tirelessly to ensure that the overall bunk experience is a positive one for all the girls.

She has her nimble hands in all facets of camp life and whether she is MC’ing the Miss Weequahic Evening Activity or teaching an early morning water aerobics class she wears a bright and engaging smile. Her ability to understand the nuances of young girls is impressive and she is am amazing role model. She is as playful as she is responsible and balances her duties admirably.

Born and raised in Tennessee, Tiny moved to Atlanta, GA to pursue her career as a school psychologist; she simply loves working with kids. When not mentoring youngsters, she enjoys the outdoors, watching sports, reading and traveling.

Weequahic is indebted to Tiny for her seamless transition to our camp and her deep commitment to fulfilling our mission and traditions. Thanks, Tiny!

Yum!

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

Yum, it is mealtime! And our hats are off to Wayne, the tireless Chef who feeds our entire camp as if we were his family. After 15 summers at Weequahic, it is no surprise as this has become his summer home. Supported by a cheerful staff each meal is fresh, ready and waiting as our ravenous campers enter the building. Wayne’s primary objective is to keep the campers healthy and happy. To that end, he collaborates with Cole to provide a camper-centric and healthy menu.

Full of loud cheer, the chanting is voluminous and spirited. Table games keep groups amused, while others enjoy the opportunity to sit and chat over a tasty meal. The energy is infectious and laughter contagious. It is where we celebrate birthdays, share announcements, honor sports teams or simply sing. After a long summer day, the air conditioned dining hall is an added bonus for all.

Whether dining on eggs, ham and English muffins, pizza or matzo ball soup and baked chicken, smiles abound. The food is delicious and among the campers favorites are: Maryland style Fried Chicken, Sloppy Joes, Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup, and Chicken Nuggets. A nutritious salad bar is always available stocked by the friendly Jared and it is refreshing to see how many campers enjoy this option. His homemade dressings and daily surprises keep the campers coming back each lunch and dinner. The occasional BBQ meal is a nice break from the dining hall where campers gather to eat in the picnic area. It is such a pleasure to dine amidst such a beautiful setting.

Alan the Baker, otherwise known as ATB, is busy baking homemade treats for all. After 21 years in our kitchen, he claims the kids love the brownies or chocolate chip cake most of all. Campers may argue that the Black and Whites may be a close second. Thanks to ATB the kids enjoy homemade breads with every meal including, French, Italian and Chala breads. It is the variety of all baked goods that he strives for, he is always thinking about the campers. The fresh fruit and fruit bowls are always a nice touch.

Weequahic’s hearty meals keep all the campers and staff going day in and day out. A big thanks to the kitchen for their hard work and care!

Project Runway and Survivor come to Camp Weequahic!

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

Each week campers gather for Special Event days centered on certain themes. Providing a break in the day-to-day activities, these events are designed to foster camp spirit and unity. On these days campers bond in a positive way using important skills such as teamwork, creativity, organization, and leadership. Laughter and cheer can be heard across camp, capturing the fun involved as well.

The first happening for the boys featured Weequahic Survivor, led by our proud CIT leaders. Demonstrating their competitive edge, the boys of all ages swam, climbed, trekked and solved riddles, striving throughout the day. They had a ball.

Meanwhile, on the other side of camp the girls were putting their imagination and originality to work in preparation for Weequahic’s Project Runway. Each bunk received a box that included an amalgamation of fabrics and decorations in which to create an evening gown and a “green” themed dress. One counselor from each bunk modeled the finished products that were judged by our fashionable leaders, Kate, Sue, Judy and Brie. The dresses were quite impressive and the girls enjoyed the collaboration in constructing them.

The following snippets highlight the thrill and excitement of the two Special Events:

On Survivor:

Alex S. loved the teamwork aspect of the day and Alex B. thought the obstacle course in the gym was the most exciting part.

Max enjoyed every aspect of the day and the culminating relay race was his favorite of all. He especially appreciated the change in scheduling.

Lucas raved about the competition and likened the event to a mini color war.

On Project Runway:

Lauren enjoyed the freedom and independence of creating designs, while Carly had fun selecting the music to accompany their final presentation.

Demi and Claire had fun dressing their counselors and seeing the other bunk’s creations.

Maren liked how it brought out everyone’s creative side.

Upcoming events to look forward to include a carnival and of course, the three day Tribal War. Campers eagerly anticipate creating lasting memories together while carrying on the traditions of Camp Weequahic.

Meet Kiersten!

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

Kiersten Johnson, the head of our girl’s lower camp is a woman on the go! A mother of three herself, it is no surprise that she is able to shepherd our 29 youngsters so swiftly. She works deftly to assure that the campers and counselors are happy, healthy and safe. And, are they ever! Kiersten treats the kids as her own and can be found arm and arm with one girl or surrounded by a gaggle of five to ten. There is no doubt that her sunny disposition and warm heart help win the affection of those around her. While this is her first summer at Weequahic, she has spent many of her adult years working in camping, in addition to a lifetime spent at family camp. Her favorite part about working at camp is witnessing the personal growth of both campers and counselors. Kiersten is a consummate professional; her instincts are spot on and she works hard to do things right, the Weequahic way.

A self-proclaimed gypsy, Kiersten is an explorer. Since college she has literally moved every three years seeking adventure for her and her family, living in Ohio, South Carolina and Florida, to name a few states. When she returns from camp she intends to put her house on the market and set off for another home. Her three children are home schooled which makes this journey together easier. Their lives are surrounded by service and music as the Johnsons often perform musically at church or in senior homes, for example. A handy woman indeed, Kiersten is happiest when tearing down walls, installing bathrooms and remodeling homes.

When not at camp, Kiersten is deeply committed to working as a consultant for autistic children. She has earned a certificate in Applied Behavioral Analysis and as a leading expert in the field she speaks nationally at conferences. She has been responsible for training teachers as well as entire school districts. She also devotes her time contributing to the enhancement of non-profit organizations. Her proudest accomplishment to date is her recent production of a documentary film that she hopes will have widespread impact on the lives of autistic children.

A few of her campers from Bunk 23, Athena, Charlotte, Jenna and Rae had the opportunity to interview Kiersten and this is what they learned:

What is your favorite tv show?

-Survivor

What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

-Moose Tracks

What is your favorite movie?

-Any Jane Austin movie

What is your favorite color?

-Navy blue

Where is your favorite place to travel?

-Ireland, any rainy weather place

What is your favorite hobby?

-Arts and Crafts

What is your favorite food?

-Sushi

What is the worst thing that ever happened to you?

-Dislocated my thumb

Thank you, Kiersten! Camp Weequahic is grateful for the work you do each day.