Archive for March, 2012

Camp Senses

Monday, March 26th, 2012

The unseasonably warm and pleasant weather seems to be bringing on summer faster.  The flowers are blooming, the birds are back, and the days are sunny. It’s hard not to take advantage of the opportunity to prematurely engage in all of one’s favorite summer activities a little bit.  The other day, my sisters and I caved.  We decided to rally my niece, go to the park and, yes, even though three of the four us fully qualify as grownups, play on the playground.  I’m convinced that no matter how old one gets, no one ever gets tired of swings.  It turns out that we weren’t the only ones with such an idea.  The place was packed, children and adults everywhere.  The park had even opened up the boating dock, something that they usually don’t do until Memorial Day Weekend.  People were out on the lake in rowboats and paddle boats.  They were picnicking.  They rode by on bicycles, skates and skateboards.  The comforting familiar smell of campfire from the nearby campground even permeated the air.   It was as if 2012 had transposed May and March.  My niece and I managed to score the last two remaining swings while my sisters preoccupied themselves on the monkey bars.

My niece and I have this game we play.  We see who can swing the highest.  The little boy between us apparently thought our game looked fun because he joined in.  As we slowed down for a bit after tiring ourselves out, he started a conversation.  I think he actually wanted to talk to my niece but decided I’d make a good mediator—at least in the beginning.   His name was Hunter.  What is her name?  Angelica.  How old is she?  She is six.  Same as me, he said.  What grade in she in?  First.  Same as me, he said again.  He jabbered on.  His dad had told him that if he was good they might rent a paddle boat later.  Maybe Angelica could come on the paddle boat with him.  He wished the concession stand was open so he could get ice cream.  Earlier in the day he’d gone to his swimming lesson at the JCC.  Then his mom signed him up for camp there this summer. I perked up.  Every now and then, chance throws a writer a bone and you have to grab it and run with it. Camp, huh? Do you stay overnight at this camp?  No, I’m not old enough.  I didn’t tell him that I already knew this.  The minimum age for most overnight camps is seven.  Is this your first time at the camp?  Yes, my sister went last year.  She said it’s really fun.  What do you think will be the most fun?  Ummm…I don’t know.  I don’t really know what we do there.  I bet you swim there.  Yeah, I think we do.  I worked at a camp.  You did?  Yep.  Only everyone stayed overnight at my camp.  His eyes grew.  They did? Yep.  I think I would like to do that someday.  Was it fun?  Yep.  What was it like there?  I looked around at the bicycles and the boats.  I took in the smell of campfire in the air and listened to the sound of all of the children playing and laughing.  It’s a lot like this.  I think I would like that, he said.  Hunter had no idea that he made my day and helped me out a lot by literally handing me material for a camp blog.  I hope he has fun at the JCC camp this year…and that he makes it to overnight camp someday.  If you haven’t thought about sending your children to camp, take a trip to your local park on a nice spring day.  Your senses just may help the decision become clear.

A Staff Member Reflects on His Weequahic Experience

Saturday, March 10th, 2012

Hi everyone.  My name is Chad Razey and I’m 22 years old and attend the University of Georgia. Go Dawgs! I will graduate in May of 2012 and look to continue my education at Auburn University.  I first came to camp as a basketball instructor and bunk counselor and am now moving into the Basketball Director position. I can remember my interview for the job so clearly.  I was able to meet Tony and Sue Baldwin in their home and we had a great conversation. I was convinced that camp was the place for me and I would really be able to apply my physical education major.  And I got so much more from the experience!

I love the atmosphere at Camp Weequahic.  I have never experienced another place where you can walk in and feel like nowhere else in the world has to exist. Weequahic has it all, from great people to great facilities; whatever you look for in a camp, Weequahic has it.  I was not just a counselor or a basketball instructor. I was a part of a family. The staff got so close that many of us formed relationships that will last a lifetime. The children that I worked with looked up to me as a big brother and a role model; they never saw me as their boss.

Weequahic is its own world. While at camp, there are no weekdays or weekends, there is just camp. No one is stressed from the hustle and bustle of daily life, and everything seems to always flow smoothly. The people you are surrounded with always attempt to make your day better in some way. Weequahic is like a utopia, nestled in the northeast corner of Pennsylvania.

I am thankful for new leadership opportunities, and the chance to return to my summer Utopia! Go Weequahic 2012!