Archive for April, 2015

Campers being silly at Weequahic!

Monday, April 27th, 2015

counselors_dressed_up_5Campers donning big, silly hats and oversized costumes can be found dancing and singing their hearts on stage at Camp Weequahic. You can see campers giggling in groups until they cry, and others transforming into super heroes and villains as their imaginations run wild. Even staff members get in on the action, letting their inner child emerge by singing, dancing and playing with the campers. Campers and counselors feel safe here, safe to be silly, to use their imaginations and to just “let go.” They learn right away that camp is a judgment free space, where they can be themselves and act like a kid. In a world where kids are exposed to adult themes in their TV shows, music and social media, it can be easy for them to lose the silly, magical, goofy part of themselves, in fear of looking “uncool” to their peers.

Camp Weequahic encourages campers to be silly in a variety of ways. Free time allows campers to explore the grounds and socialize with their friends in a way that is supervised, but not highly structured. This gives campers time to use their imaginations. Some campers like to put on skits or host a bunk or cabin comedy club. They are encouraged to do and say the silly, kid-like things that come so naturally to them.

During structured activities, kids are supported when they speak their minds, share their opinions and engage in discussions. They are taught to listen to and respect each other, which gives kids the green light to do and say silly things without fear of embarrassment or ridicule. By exploring this side of themselves, kids develop a sense of humor which helps them navigate other areas of their lives. A good sense of humor helps kids to be spontaneous, to see different sides of a situation, enjoy the playful parts of life, and not take themselves too seriously. These character traits are extremely helpful for kids who have a lot of stress and responsibility in school, sports and home life back in the real world. A good sense of humor also increases their self-esteem, which is always a bonus!

Counselors are counselors because they like kids, and they enjoy seeing the world through the eyes of children. They are fun and relatable, and are great at being silly. They know they are role models for the campers, so they make it a point to set a good example. When counselors can sing, dance, goof off and act silly, campers catch on quickly and begin to feel safe to do the same. They are also a good example of knowing a “time and place” to be silly. They model how to calm themselves down when it is time to be serious, and teach campers how to differentiate between a place where it’s okay to be silly (free time) and a time when being calm and focused is more productive (quiet time in the cabins.)

Kids are expected to be focused and serious for a large portion of their day in the “real world”, so it is important to foster their childlike wonder and silliness whenever possible. At Camp Weequahic, kids can feel safe to show off their silly side.

5 Ways Kids Can Stay Healthy At Camp Weequahic

Monday, April 20th, 2015

Parents want to make sure their kids have fun and stay safe at camp, but a main concern for many parents while their kids are away is how to help them stay as healthy as possible. Before you send your kids off to experience the summer of a lifetime, get them in the habit of these 5 things so they can enjoy everything camp has to offer and not spend their time in bed with a runny nose, grumbly tummy or annoying cough.

Eat Well

Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 11.51.03 AMCamp Weequahic knows that kids need to stay well nourished in order to have the energy it takes to swim, climb, dance and play all day long. Healthy choices are available, and getting your kids into the habit of picking something nutritious over something salty or sweet is a great way to boost their immune system and fight off germs. Healthy foods also give your kids the energy they need to be as active as possible, where fatty foods will make them feel sluggish and lazy and may lead to missing out on some great fun with other campers.

Stay Hydrated

Pack 2Encourage your kids to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Get them excited about it by having them pick out their own water bottle the next time you go to the store. Have a friendly competition within the family to see who can fill up and drink their water bottles the most throughout the day. At camp, kids who stay hydrated stay healthy!

Hand Washing

Kids are going to be shaking hands and high fiving a lot at camp, and this is a very easy way for germs to spread. Get your kids in the habit of washing their hands after they use the bathroom, before they eat and after spending a lot of time outdoors.

Sleep

There’s something always a little off when it comes to sleeping and kids. A teenager’s biological clock is set to stay up later and sleep in late (so it’s not totally their fault when you have to go in at noon and wake them up!) Sleep is vital in maintaining a healthy mind and body, and kids who get the recommended amount of sleep for their age group perform better than kids who don’t. Getting enough ZZZ’s also helps the immune system stay strong, and keeps their memory sharp. Kids who get enough sleep report lower stress levels than those who can’t get enough sleep, and lower stress is better for the brain and heart. A well-rested kid can focus on their creativity, concentration and athletic performance, and can fully enjoy everything camp has to offer

Sunscreen

Before you send your child to camp, get them in the routine of applying sunscreen before they go outside. Help them understand the harmful effects of the sun’s rays, and assure them they can still get a tan while protecting their skin. Nobody likes to spend 3-4 days of camp walking around like a lobster, flinching every time someone brushes up against his or her fried skin. Over exposure to the sun during childhood has been linked with skin cancers in adulthood. Encourage your child to take the extra two minutes to apply sunscreen and remind them how great they’ll feel if they go home without being burnt!

A healthy camper is a happy camper, and by introducing these easy steps to your child before they get to camp, you’ll rest easy knowing they’re not only having the time of their life in a safe environment, but they are staying healthy as well.

Playing Outside at Camp Weequahic

Monday, April 13th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 11.24.06 AMAttention kids: if you’re still trying to find ways to convince your parents to send you to Camp Weequahic, you’re in the right place! You’ve worked hard in school; maintained good grades, stayed out of trouble (for the most part) picked up extra chores around the house, and have left pictures of camp all over the house as subtle reminders. But if you really want to spend next summer at camp, you have to think like a parent. Parents care about your health and safety (boring, we know) but they are very concerned about you being healthy and productive people. So….if going to camp was actually good for your health, they couldn’t say no, right?!

Present them with this scientifically proven information about how playing outside is good for your health, and that if you spend next summer at camp, you promise to spend most of your time outside!

It’s Good For Your Eyes- A study by Optometry and Vision Science found that kids who play outside have better vision that kids who spend a lot of time staring at TV, cell phone and computer screens

It’s Great For Socialization– (Use the word socialization, it sounds impressive!) When you play outside, you have to learn to take turns and communicate with others in a way that is healthy and productive. It also allows you to exercise your imagination! Playing outside gives you the chance to interact with your peers and learn socially acceptable behavior.

Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 11.42.31 AMPay Attention- Do your parents seem to tell you to “pay attention!” all the time? Explain that if you went to summer camp and played outside, you would also be working on increasing your attention span. Studies show playing outside in natural settings has been effective in reducing attention deficit symptoms in children. Explain to your parent that you’re not just going to camp for you, but also so you can be a more attentive child to them.

Reduce Stress– Studies also show playing outdoors lowers stress levels. You’ve spent the last ten months studying, working, learning, testing, reading, writing and doing math formulas. That is a lot of stress on a developing brain. Spending the summer at Camp Weequahic involve a lot of outdoor play, and also serves as a stress reliever. (Throw in there what a stress free summer your parents could have if they knew you were having the time of your life in a safe and fun place, AND improving your health at the same time!)

Playing Outdoors is Like Taking Vitamins!- Remind your parents about how the doctor recommended that you take your vitamins, and then remind them that natural sunlight provides vitamin D, a vitamin responsible for preventing future bone problems, diabetes and heart disease. Going to camp and swimming, boating, biking, climbing and running outside is just what the doctor ordered!

Exercise– All of the activity you will be doing at camp is incredible exercise, and is a great way to keep your body weight down, heart rate up and muscles tone. It’s good for your lungs and heart to play outside. Staying active outside is great for your immune system. Expose to natural elements outside reduces the chances you’ll develop autoimmune disorders and allergies. Being outside keeps you from getting sick!

Armed with this information, you are now ready to present your parents with professional, realistic and scientifically proven reasons why , as responsible and loving parents, they really have to let you go to camp!

Good luck, and see you at Camp Weequahic!

Why Working at a Camp Is Better Than an Internship

Monday, April 6th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 9.43.08 AMAccording to statistics, there are an estimated 1.2 million camp staff in the United States, and the numbers continue to grow steadily. Now, you might think – “why should I get a camp job over an internship?” Well, working at a camp gives you the opportunity to earn more than just cash. Internships are all about gaining skills and that’s exactly what working at a camp provides, but the question here is that how working at a camp is better than an internship?

The biggest reason why it is better is because working in a camp helps you develop skills that will not only build your resume, but also last you a long time to come. You have the opportunity to lead from the front and solve problems, in addition to fulfilling your responsibilities with utmost sincerity. A camp simply offers real-life experiences that cannot be learnt behind an office desk.

Benefits of Working at a Camp

There are many benefits you can gain by working at a camp. Below we have listed some of the most common:

  • You develop better self-understanding
  • You enhance personal growth
  • You master problem-solving skills
  • Have positive and significant influence in the lives of children
  • You expand/develop a network of peer relations.

How is Working at a Camp Better than an Internship?

Here are a few convincing reasons you should consider working at a camp:

It Builds Character Along with Your Resume

If you do not have character, your resume is pretty much useless. If you make a comparison, you will notice that most interns count the minutes until they are finally done with work, and on the other hand, camp counselors and camp staff dedicate their summers. So, why do they do it? That’s simply because they enjoy what they do. When you work at a camp, you learn to dedicate your time for things besides yourself, as you have the opportunity to deal with adults, kids and other counselors.

It’s Not Only about the Money

When you work at a camp, you not only show up every morning because you are getting good money. You show up because your job involves spreading smiles and happiness. You are not confined to an undersized desk, relentlessly waiting for payday.

You Make Kids Smile Instead of Customers

It’s not uncommon to come across interns pretending to be extra nice, so that they can make a sale. A camp job, however, revolves around campers and making them happy. Getting an authentic laugh or smile out of a camper is something more pleasing and enjoyable than selling a particular product to a random guy.

You Learn to Be Selfless Not Selfish

While interns spend most of their time pretending to be busy or surfing the web, every minute you spend in camp is devoted to the campers. Each minute of your time is spent for others, not just for yourself. After all, have you ever seen an intern worrying about the progress of their company they work for, as much as they do for themselves?

So, if you have been considering a job, why not go for it, as you will gain experience and skills that will definitely be of use to you in the future.