Archive for September, 2015

Camp Weequahic Camp Outs

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015


weequahicblog2We were thrilled to have so many campers enjoy a night sleeping outside this past summer. Our head of the Forest, the unforgettable and aptly named Forrest, let trips of campers of all ages and their staff out into the woods for a wonderful evening and morning in nature.

While our campouts take place on Camp Weequahic’s property, our camp ring is way back in the woods. A couple of times each week, campers loaded with sleeping bags, tents, and supplies hiked the 15 minutes from Main Camp to their overnight adventure.

Forrest quickly helps everyone get settled and then directs the placement of tents and collection of firewood. After some fun campfire games lead by Forrest or our Head of Outdoor Adventure, Danny, the kids all have some time to share their experiences with their friends.

Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 2.43.26 PMFlashlights and campfires are extinguished and the kids quiet down, falling asleep in their tents while listening to the sounds of the forest. The next morning, the campers clean up their campsite, pack up their gear and hike back to camp in time for breakfast.

It’s touching to see so many kids (and some staff) return to camp after their first ever campout. It is a memory built at camp alongside friends from all over the country and world. It’s an experience they won’t soon forget and one that will keep them smiling for months to come.

We look forward to helping our campers continue their exploration of nature each summer!

Birthdays at Camp Weequahic

Monday, September 21st, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 12.35.45 PMWhat could be better than celebrating your birthday with your closest friends and amazing mentors? Campers and staff whose birthdays fall during their stay at Camp Weequahic have an amazing day from start to finish.

The day starts with a phone call home. Parents simply need to call our office to set up a time to speak with their camper at a time convenient for both which is normally at breakfast. Plus, it starts everyone’s day off with smiles.

At breakfast, our birthday camper gets the safety neon green birthday shirt to wear in addition to a sharpie for their friends to sign the shirt. Following breakfast and morning clean up (which everyone has to do, whether it’s your birthday or not), our birthday people get to come forward and raise the flag at the end of our morning meeting.

The birthday celebrations come to a crescendo at dinner and evening meeting. Near the end of dinner, our birthday friend is invited forward to stand on a chair in front of the entire camp. Director Cole leads them through some fun questions and then helps direct a camp-wide rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ while a homemade birthday cake is presented, candles and all.

Once the cake has been shared with our birthday camper’s bunkmates, everyone heads to Free Play and our evening Flagpole. This is when things get a little goofy. With the entire camp cheering them on, our birthday friends are challenged to catch a frosted cupcake… that is launched about 100’ in the air with a slingshot! Everyone gets three attempts and, if desired, can call on friends to help.

It’s a wonderful thing to have a birthday at camp. We do our best to help each birthday person enjoy a number of fun (and delicious) memories!

Home Visits before Camp

Monday, September 14th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 12.32.39 PMDuring the school year, there is no better way to learn about camp than to have a home visit with our camp director, Cole Kelly. These roughly one hour gatherings give each family time to ask any and all questions they have about the camp, learn more about the overall program, and see pictures of our campers’ daily lives.

The goal of each visit is to build a connection between your family and camp. We are going to be caring for your camper for three or six weeks. Therefore, it is vitally important that each family feel comfortable with Cole as he sets the tone, oversees all staff hiring, and is an integral part in each camper’s experience. And, when parents call during the summer, Cole will be the person calling them back to answer questions.

Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 12.33.21 PMAnother reason for the home visit is answer all the questions that arise. What is the daily program like? How do you select, hire and train your staff? What are the campers in my child’s age group like? These questions, and many more, are asked in the comfort of your own home and with (or without) your camper present.

If you are interested in learning more about CW, please call us to speak. If after learning more you’d like a home visit, we’ll be happy to schedule a time when Cole and stop by to learn more about your family.

Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Lots of Ways to Enjoy the Lake at Camp Weequahic

Monday, September 7th, 2015

 

Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 12.29.19 PMCamp Weequahic is blessed with one of the best camp lakes in Wayne County. Sly Lake lies beautifully below our Senior girls’ bunks and is the stage for a wide variety of fun-filled activities.

The jumping off point (quite literally!) for most of our lake activities is our sandy beach. Campers find a buddy and check in with our head lifeguard before heading to one of their waterfront choices. Should they bounce on the water trampoline? Paddle a kayak or stand up paddleboard? Perhaps they should choose free swim or play volleyball on the beach? There are lots of good choices that require several trips to the waterfront to enjoy.

In addition to our waterfront activities, campers interested in learning how to sail do so under the tutelage of experienced instructors. Our Sunfish sailboats stay out on Sly Lake a good part of the summer and are used by complete beginners all the way up to experienced sailors.

Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 12.29.47 PMWhile most of the activities at the waterfront are on the surface, one program that explores the depths is our fishing program. Anglers at CW get their lines wet every period of every day and we’ve got plenty of fish stories to tell.

Most of our fish are catch and release. However, when we catch a good large mouth bass or large ‘sunny’, our staff will teach the campers how to gut and prepare the fish to be cooked over an open flame. And, yes, they all get to enjoy a bite!

Not to be outdone, our waterski and tubing program is a frothy blast. Campers interested in learning to waterski do so with the help of experienced teachers and boat drivers. We have had many children learn to waterski for the first time at camp and even learn to drop a ski and go slalom! In addition to waterskiing, our wakeboard program continues to be a popular choice as well.

We hope that you will come have a blast at Camp Weequahic’s amazing waterfront next summer!

Camp Changed My Kid

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

 
Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 4.10.04 PMI was nervous and excited to send my son Connor to Camp Weequahic this year. Connor’s best friend attended the camp the summer before and could not stop raving about it. So after plenty of research and discussions, we decided to let Connor spend the summer away. I won’t lie, my “mommy heart” broke a little when he practically jumped out of the car at drop off and didn’t look back, but I was pretty sure we were making the right decision. Last week, when we picked him up, I was 100% sure we had made the right decision. The excited, smiley kid who jumped into our backseat was….different.

 

I couldn’t pin point many differences right away, except for the excitement in his eyes and voice when he talked about all of his new friends and cracked himself up remembering inside jokes and hilarious conversations with his new buddies. One of the main things I noticed when we got home was how helpful he had become. Without me asking, he would make his bed, take his plates to the sink, offer to bring in the groceries or even simply ask if he could get us anything from the kitchen since he was going that way. I noticed a new sense of thoughtfulness when he came back. Not that he was heartless before by any means, but I definitely noticed a change in his willingness to help others and think of others before himself. As the days passed, my heart exploded with joy to see him excited to email, chat and FaceTime all of his new friends. He went to camp a little reserved, and came back social and confident. I loved seeing him interact with his peers, I loved seeing how he was truly listening to what others had to say, and how he felt confident contributing to the conversation.

 

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 4.08.57 PMJust today, he told me he was going to try out for soccer tryouts at school, a sport he had never played before camp. He said he was encouraged to try it at camp and played it almost every day while he was there. As a mom, I am blown away at what positive changes have come from sending my son to camp. I knew he would make friends, try a new activity or two, and learn to live both independently and with a group, but I had no idea about the social skills, character development, relational growth, and boost in confidence that spending just a few weeks away could create.

 

Any parent that is even thinking about sending their kid to camp should stop thinking right now and sign them up. Not only will you enjoy a few kid-free weeks of relaxation, but when your kid comes home, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at everything they’ve learned, and more importantly, who they’ve become.

 

Camp Weequahic changed my son for the better, and we are both looking forward to the growth and changes that will happen next summer at camp!