Archive for December, 2014

A Parental View on Summer Camp

Thursday, December 25th, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 11.25.12 AMAttending Camp Weequahic can be a wonderful experience for a child. Apart from being a fun place, camp teaches some important lessons of life. A child learns to do things on his own without realizing it. However, parents note healthy changes in the child as he/she learns to polish shoes, making their bed, and pack their school bag among others.

Summer Camp: An Experience of a Lifetime

It may sound over the top but children remember their summer camp experience for life. There are camps where senior alumni members come and share their camping experience. These occasions are nostalgic as senior members who attended the camp once or twice remember the virtues of life they learned there.

Photo Nov 11, 4 56 30 PMChildren attending summer camp enjoy the unique, pleasant environment for multiple reasons. Making new friends is one benefit. It is not an understatement that children make friends at a camp, but since they share similar experiences and activities, they are likely to remain friends. There are cases where children from different schools and locations became friends, joined activities and shared routines throughout the camp. After the camp, they share contacts and remain in touch.

Don’t Over Caution Your Children

Worrying occurs naturally when your child is away for a day, let alone for three or six weeks. What parents must not do is to over-caution children. Parents must keep faith in the camp administration that they will take care of their child. Parents must not restrict the child neither must they emphasize them to follow the school schedule. It has been observed some parents also restrict their children to stay within the community or schoolmates. In some cases, acts of racism are also observed. It should be noted a summer camp is run by experienced professionals who know how to deal with children with odd behavior. Set the overcautious attitude aside and let your child enjoy the experience.

No Harm in Maintaining a Healthy Routine

It is all right to remind the child of his daily routine, such as brushing their teeth twice, washing hands before eating, and getting proper hydration. To protect skin, use sunscreens or lotions/creams to keep sunburns away. To keep bugs away, use skin lotion or spray insecticides, particularly when outside the camp at nighttime. Being away from home doesn’t mean children are free to do as they please. Ask them to sleep early as they do at home during school days. Maintaining a healthy routine is never a bad thing,

Summer camp can be a lasting experience for children and parents alike. Children overcome shyness and gain a great deal of self-confidence when they are away at a summer camp. Not to forget the happiness and the pleasant memories they are likely to cherish for life.

Healthy at Camp

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

Photo Oct 01, 10 58 15 AMWhen you combine the ease and affordability of fast food with the ability to literally record days worth of TV to be accessed at any time, your result is kids who are eating junk while watching junk. They are spending more time in front of a screen than they are playing outside. Sometimes the only body part getting a workout is their thumbs from playing video games or their index finger from pointing and clicking all over a computer screen for hours at a time. Lack of exercise and accessibility to unhealthy foods is what has caused childhood obesity to skyrocket in the last 30 years.

According to the Center of Disease Control, more than a third of kids and teenagers were overweight or obese in 2012. The physical risks of childhood obesity are endless; joint problems, pre-diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and it leaves them vulnerable to various types of cancers as they get older. Not only can early obesity lead to a lifetime of bad habits that are very hard to break, but the effects on a child’s already very fragile self esteem and body image are devastating. Children who are overweight and self-conscious are less likely to participate in team events or sports, try out for a new sport or activity, or be proactive in making new friends. This is can be a lonely and scary time for kids and teens, and it is absolutely preventable.

At Camp Weequahic, we take the health of each camper very seriously. We have been known to sneak exercise into the daily lives of campers by giving it a new name: FUN. We’ve also found a top secret, patented way to keep campers from eating unhealthy foods all the time: We don’t give them access to calorie filled foods all throughout the day. It’s novel concept, we’re very aware.

The menu at Camp Weequahic varies by the day. There is always fruit available, and a salad bar is always an option at lunch and dinner. Piping hot soups, vegetarian options and plenty of healthy options are always available. Whether your child needs a menu that is gluten, dairy, soy, nut or shellfish free, or they have other specific food allergies, a menu of delicious options can be created for them so they can enjoy everything camp has to offer with a full belly and no annoying or even worse, life threatening allergic reactions. Parents are encouraged to contact the specific camp your child is attending in order to discuss his/her dietary restrictions.

Even if campers do splurge on mac and cheese, shaved steak sandwiches or get creative at the pasta bar, they will easily work off all of those delicious calories in the endless physical activities the camp has to offer. A game of flag football, an afternoon of kayaking (talk about an arm work out!) an early morning mountain biking adventure, an impromptu basketball game vs. the neighboring cabin or an hour dancing away in a fitness class are just a few ways campers can keep their heart rates up while having fun with new friends. Exercise disguised as fun means campers stay active all the time! When campers are so busy running (sometimes literally) from activity to activity, they don’t have time to mindlessly munch on snacks. Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 11.19.45 AM

Camp Weequahic does not offer soda as a daily drink choice, which is a major culprit in the childhood obesity epidemic in our country. Plenty of water keeps campers hydrated as they tackle another day of go, go go!

Although Camp Weequahic is not specifically targeted towards weight loss, it is a common benefit that occurs naturally when campers spend the summer here. If weight loss is not a concern for your child, they will still benefit tremendously from the constant activity and plenty of healthy food options provided at camp.

Camp Weequahic wants the best for each camper on every level, including their physical health, which is why we are focused on instilling positive attitude towards healthy decisions. A mindset focused on healthy food choices and staying active is an excellent core value to instill in children, and could literally save their lives. By encouraging them to eat right and exercise daily, they are creating habits that will benefit them as they grow, and allow them to live long and healthy lives.

4 Tips For The Perfect Cannonball

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

Things every camper should bring to camp to ensure an amazing summer:

  1. Extra underwear
  2. Bathing suit
  3. This classified, top secret, limited edition guide to doing the perfect cannonball.

Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 11.17.18 AMAs the summer temperatures peak, most campers find themselves lounging around the beautiful swimming pool at Camp Weequahic, or splashing the day away in the lake. Hanging out in the water is a great way to beat the heat, while hanging out with new friends and making memories that will last forever. When it is time to make things a little more exciting, initiate a camp wide Cannonball contest! Equipped with these researched, tested and proven tips, you can leave camp as this year’s Cannonball Champion.

First, it is important to remember that safety is always of the utmost importance. Remember to always check the depth of the water where you are going to jump. Jumping into water that is too shallow could cause serious injury. If the cannonball contest is taking place on the pool deck, remember not to run. You could slip and fall, and then you’d never get to show off your cannonball skills. You can achieve a perfect 10 cannonball without running and jeopardizing your safety.

Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 10.23.28 AMGet Some Height: If there is a diving board, use that bad boy to get some extra height and land with a splash. The simple logic behind the perfect cannonball is that the higher you go, the more gravity you have to pull you back into the water with a splash.

Loosen Up: Many believe that the perfect cannonball is created when you fold yourself into a tight, round ball. This is actually not the case. The more area you take up when you hit the water, the bigger the splash. To accomplish this, wrap your arms around your legs, but keep your elbows out to the side, don’t pin them tightly to your body. Remember to keep your form loose and focus on taking up as much space when you land as possible.

The Landing: You loose a lot of splash potential when the bottom of your feet are the first thing to hit the water. If you angle backwards a little bit, your bottom should be the first thing to touch the water. To avoid a knee vs. head accident, keep your knees slightly apart so the force of the impact doesn’t cause your knees to come up and hit you in the nose. Remember to keep your head up so you can see the faces of everyone who is in awe of your perfect cannonball style. Don’t be surprised if there is a line of campers waiting for you when you emerge from the water who want to learn a thing or two from the cannonball master.

Unique Opportunities at Camp Weequahic

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

When your child heads back to school after a summer at Camp Weequahic, they will hear a lot of their classmates talking about what they did over the summer:

“I went swimming in my pool. Every day.”

“I played baseball with my friends.”

“I visited my Grandma in Oklahoma.”

But when your child stands up to share his or her experience, it might sound something like:

“I don’t even know where to start! I tried archery and gymnastics, I learned to bake INCREDIBLE French pastries, I crafted my mom a necklace in arts and crafts. I swam a lot, but I also went water skiing and sailing! I went camping and learned important outdoor skills. I was in a musical. I even went down a zipline!”

Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 11.12.54 AMThe great thing about Camp Weequahic is that it’s not a place to send your kids where they’ll do the same ol’ thing they’ve always done. Once they step foot onto camp, they’ll be surrounded by new activities. A camper may discover their love for archery or sailing, but would have never had the opportunity to try it back home.

At camp, your child has a hands-on opportunity to learn outdoor skills such as navigating a hiking trail, learning to make a fire, cruising through an outdoor fitness trail and getting pro-level instruction in tennis, lacrosse or basketball. These are things they would rarely have the chance to learn outside of a summer spent at camp. These skills prepare campers with a sense of confidence and self–sufficiency that can be carried over into many other aspects of their lives.

The lessons campers learn while trying out new activities at camp are invaluable. Learning to work together as a team, whether in flag football or during a mountaineering adventure, is an essential character trait built upon at summer camp. Campers learn to trust themselves and step out of their comfort zone, while also learning to trust their peers and building lifelong friendships in the process.

Campers can explore their creative side, and try new artistic outlets not found in their typical English class or art elective. Jewelry making, cartooning, ceramics, music production, jazz dance and cooking are just a few activities geared toward right-brained campers. When was the last time your child had the opportunity to really get their hands dirty and create a piece of ceramic art? Or learn first-hand what beautiful art can be created out of a piece of scrap metal? At summer camp, giving each camper a once in a lifetime experience is our goal, and we strive to make sure there are unique opportunities for everyone to take part in.

Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 11.13.11 AMYour child could go back to school with thrilling adventures of playing Bingo with grandma in Oklahoma or delight the class with play-by-plays of their neighborhood baseball games. Or they could teach their class a thing or two about archery, French pastries, sailing, outdoor skills, jazz dance, flag football, ceramics and what is involved in training for a triathlon, just to summarize their first couple weeks at camp.

Give your child the gift of brand new experiences by sending them to a camp where they can do it all. It’ll be a life changing experience for the both of you.