Archive for October, 2012

Home Visits

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

The air is getting cool, the leaves are starting to turn, and we’ve moved back to our winter office.  That means it is time to start seeing families interested in Camp Weequahic for Summer 2013!

It is no small thing to choose a sleep away camp for your family. And it is your family we focus on, not just the camper. Sure, the camper has to be excited about going to camp and having a great time whilst there. But, when all is said and done, it is the development of the relationship in which we partner with families to help raise their children for three or six weeks that represents the biggest piece of success for a family.

The best way to start is to meet face to face. Home visits normally take one hour and give everyone a chance to get to know one another.

We show a lot of great pictures from the previous summer, answer and ask a lot of questions, and hope to have some fun along the way.  At the end of the meeting, families should feel knowledgeable about:
– who the director is and the philosophy of the camp
– how staff are selected and trained and the director’s expectations of them throughout the summer
– the type of daily program and activities the camp offers
– how the camp deals with problem behavior when it occurs (because it will)
– how the camp differs from others in which you are interested for the coming summer

Just as importantly, you should leave the meeting feeling comfortable with your decision about whether or not to send your child to camp.  As camp directors, we are happy to help with as many questions as you’d like to ask – it’s a long winter and we have the time!

If you would like to set up a time to visit with Camp Weequahic, please feel free to call. We travel quite a bit around the country (and Europe!) and would be happy to see if a home visit would make sense for your family. (And, yes, cookies are always welcomed!)

Choose Your Own Summer Camp Adventure

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

There is a new trend sneaking into summer camps.  An increasing number of sleepaway camps are foregoing the traditional pre-determined summer camp schedule in favor of giving campers complete control over their summer camp experience.  This approach to summer camp has become  a particularly popular approach to the summer camp experience at session camps, which tend to attract a less traditional family of campers than seven week camps.  And the appeal is mutual.

Allowing campers to customize their experience gives them the opportunity to experience a traditional summer camp while enjoying many of the same benefits that they might enjoy by attending a specialized camp.  It’s truly a best of both worlds scenario, and the response has been overwhelming.

There is certainly no shortage of children who want to experience summer camp.  The conflict seems to arise from increasingly busy summer schedules and the pressure placed on children to be great at—well—everything.  Despite our inclination as adults to want them to be everything we are and more, along with everything we are not, children need time and space to be…children.  Enter the session sleepaway camp, an environment catered to letting them be themselves while improving their skills in those activities they love while giving them ample opportunity to try out new ones in shorter, more realistic segments for the busy family.

In addition to having freedom over their activity choices, the independence children gain while at summer camp is also a great way of letting them try out their wings. For many children, camp is their first experience away from their parents.  It’s the first time they’re choosing their own clothes, deciding what to eat, determining which activities to try, and learning how to be part of a social network without the assistance of mom and dad.  For those children not quite ready for the full summer experience, a session camp is the perfect way to give camp a test drive.
So if you’ve hesitated to enroll your children in summer camp because you’re afraid it’s too much structure, or if you’ve been thinking you would like them to learn how to be a little bit more independent, consider a session summer camp.  It just may be the perfect fit.

Things You Can Only Do at Camp

Friday, October 12th, 2012

Things You Can Only Do At Camp

As I sit looking over the pictures of Summer 2012, I was struck by how many things you only do at camp. The list is long and full of things that make you laugh and things that make you think. Campers, if I leave anything out, please let me know!

Only at Weequahic…

•             Is racing with a bed in hand a serious sport.

•             MAKING the bed, hands clasped with a ‘sister’ a timed and valued activity.

•             Is Bench ball played, and played well!

•             Does anyone know what BBG means but also knows how to play it!

•             Do you find a Camp Mom without any ‘real’ children as campers at camp

•             Do you play underneath an American flag so old that it has only 48 stars.

•             Are you a part of  Tribe or Team at the end of the session where you add value, regardless of your strengths and challenges

•             Do you spend a Friday night thinking about gratitude, attitude, and courage

•             Can you hear cows mooing every day at 2:55pm

•             Can you launch a rocket, play in the lake, compete in a soccer game, enjoy canteen, and STILL have time to goof off with your friends.

•             Do you get to enjoy Free Play on Main Campus

•             You listen to nominations from staff of campers who have done awesome things that day before lowering the flag

•             Do you sing Taps and Alma Mater while facing the lake, regardless of where you are on camp

•             Are 13-16 year old guys clamoring for a handball team tournament under the lights

•             Where you get to hang out with friends 50 feet off the ground

There are so many wonderful things you get to do only at Weequahic, and the above list is just a start. Campers and staff, let us hear from you about what we are missing from this list.

Can’t wait to add more to it in Summer 2013!

Camp: A Different Set of Expectations

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

Okay, admit it.  You’ve found yourself spending a considerable amount of time admiring that candle your daughter gave you on her camp’s Visiting Day or those wooden bookends your son brought home.  Part of you wonders how come you never got to make stuff that cool when you were a kid while another part of you is mystified by how the arts and crafts staff of your child’s summer camp was able to draw out the Picasso in your little ones.    After all, you can barely get them to focus long enough to make a poster for their science projects.  What is it about camp that seems to facilitate children’s creativity?

Sure it’s woodsy and remote, even quaint–the perfect place for children to feel free to be themselves. They certainly do a lot of things at camp that they don’t get to do at home.  And you did spend the entire summer looking at photos of your daughter posing in a rainbow colored tutu—Did she ever take that thing off?—and of your son covered in face paint knowing full well that neither of them would EVER dress like that at home.  And was that your son dressed as a dog singing on stage?  Singing?  Him?  Really?  And last night he just told you, by the way, that he is trying out for the school play this year because the camp play was really fun.  He would never ever—even if someone had double dog dared him—have auditioned for a play before camp.  What changed?  The Expectations.

There are a lot of reasons children find themselves exploring more creative avenues at summer camp, but one really big one is that the expectations are different.  Children learn to respond to expectations.  Moreover, they learn to respond to the expectations of individuals.  They understand that their parents have expectations as do their teachers, siblings, friends, coaches, so on and so forth.  Whether  we’re comfortable admitting it or not, a lot of the expectations in that ten month world campers know as “winter” in some way promote conformity.  Expectations placed on children at home, in school, etc. emphasize the importance of following rules and established guidelines.  Of course, camp expectations do this, too, but the emphasis at camp is not to find one’s place in that larger whole by blending in but by standing out.  Camp is a place in which children are encouraged to try new things in a quest to find their passion.

Sure you’re thinking of those photos of your daughter holding up her latest tie-dye creation for the camp photographer’s camera—those ones in which she was covered to her elbows in dye—and you’re thinking that’s you wouldn’t really classify tie-dye as a “passion.”  Maybe not.  But it could be the beginning of one, the spark that leads to an interest in art or the arts, or even just the memory of trying something new that turned out to be fun that lends courage to trying other new things.  The expectations in the “world” of camp is that campers will explore it.  Perhaps this is why it’s no surprise that many well known figures attended summer camp and attribute it to being the place where they found long-term direction.  Sure, learning how to plunk out folk songs on a guitar is a long way from the philharmonic and being part of the chorus in the camp play is certainly not Broadway, but the idea is the same and, for many campers, it’s the start of building enough self confidence to stand out.

Early Enrollment Open Until October 15

Friday, October 5th, 2012

We are pleased to offer our Summer 2013 camp families an early enrollment discount of $200 for enrolling by October 15th, 2012. In order to qualify, you must enroll online and pay the appropriate deposit ($1000 for Tribal or Olympic Session, $2000 for Super Six) by the closing date.

Based on the growth of the past several summers and our current 2013 enrollment, we expect our Tribal Session (Saturday, June 22 to Saturday, July 13) to fill quickly and our Olympic Session (Sunday, July 14 to Sunday, August 4) to be close to capacity.

Please contact Director Cole Kelly with any questions by calling 877.899.9695 or via email at cole@weequahic.com.