Archive for May, 2016

The Importance of Fitness at Camp

Monday, May 30th, 2016

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There are quite a few things that have seen rapid growth over the last several years, including Justin Bieber’s popularity,  SnapChat and Disney’s Frozen. However, there is something that is taking over America’s youth at a frightening speed, and it’s not as light and fluffy as Elsa or The Biebs; it’s childhood obesity. Childhood obesity has seen a dramatic increase over the last 30 years, and more and more children are struggling with health issues because of their weight. Excessive weight gain in kids and teenagers can be blamed on hormones or genetics, but a major reason kids are overweight is because they are sitting in front of TV screens and laptops instead of getting outside to play. At Camp Weequahic, kids spend all day on the go, and many have seen a dramatic change in their weight and overall health because of it.

 

Many campers spend their days out on the water. Swimming, water skiing and water aerobics are just a few of the ways that campers stay busy and moving throughout the summer. A lot of the favorite waterfront activities require using muscles that kids aren’t used to using, and helps them tone muscles and lose weight, without even knowing they’re working on it. These activities are great for kids who don’t naturally gravitate towards traditional sports and fitness activities, and for those who have a natural attraction to the water.

 

For those who do love sports, Camp Weequahic has plenty of options. Natural born runners will love participating in running and triathlon sports, kids who like being part of a team will feel right at home playing flag football, soccer, lacrosse and softball. Regardless of which sport they try, they will be surrounded by counselors who have a heart for the sport, who are focused on fitness, and can motivate and inspire campers to make healthy choices.

 

Tennis is another camp favorite, and burns more calories than cycling, skating or aerobics! It is a sport that requires speed, flexibility and agility, and is a fun and easy way to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

 

And when campers aren’t participating in organized sports or activities, counselors put together games that combine team building, socialization and physical activity. Campers are always on the move, working up a sweat and burning calories, and it’s all disguised as good ol’ fashioned fun.

 

The food served at camp is both delicious and nutritious, and is carefully planned to fit in with the camper’s high activity levels. Salad bars, soups, healthy sandwiches, fresh veggies, and vegetarian options give kids the opportunity to eat foods that taste great, and help them achieve their fitness goals.

 

Kids who spend a summer at camp come home with a few more things than they left with. They come home with more friends, a deeper appreciation for their own health and wellness, and the confidence to make healthy choice and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

How to Turn Summer Camp into College Credit

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

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Being a summer camp counselor has well-known benefits for college students. From building leadership skills to practicing time management, working as a counselor is guaranteed to improve on the personal qualities that make a great student.

 

That being said, being able to point to a summer of camp counseling on your resume has some other lesser-known collegiate benefits that you should definitely check out if you’re considering diving into camp life. Depending on your school and major, you might even be able to get credits on your transcript! If all this sounds awesome, read on…

Proven leadership skills to highlight in program admission essays

Getting accepted at your top-choice school is only half the battle. Many specific major programs require you to apply from within the school, and they won’t just be looking at your grades; just like college applications, they want to see unique experiences that set you apart from the pack.

 

If you’re considering a major in outdoor rec, education, psychology, or any other field related to working with groups and/or children, having real work experience will set you far above applicants with only academic experience. Camp counseling isn’t just a job; it’s a key selling point on your resume!

A leg-up for qualifying for work-study positions

Work study can make or break the college experience. If you get a good position that’s aligned with your interests and declared major, it can give you a serious bonus when you enter the job market after graduation.

 

Unfortunately, work-study is highly competitive, and sometimes there are only a limited number of positions available. Priority goes to students who can demonstrate that they have the commitment to do the job well, and the time management skills to balance it with their course load.

 

So, who do you think is going to get the job? The student with zero work experience, or the student with glowing employer recommendations from their summer of full-time employment at Camp Weequahic? You do the math!

Internship credits for special programs

If you’re looking at a track that requires extracurricular engagement, be sure to check if they accept camp counseling experience for credit. It could be that your summer at Camp Weequahic has already earned you a bonus on your transcript without even realizing it!

 

Internship and work experience requirements vary depending on your school and program, but even if your school doesn’t have a policy about internship or work experience credits, sometimes all it takes is asking nicely at the advisor’s office to get a special exception. And if they do have a program for summer experience credits, be sure to explain to them why your time at camp is a good fit. I guarantee they’ll love hearing about it and be very impressed.

 

Meeting with academic advisors can be intimidating, but trust me — they want to help you. You just have to show them how!

5 Ways international camps expand camper horizons

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 3.42.06 PMSummer camp is already super fun. So as you can probably imagine, adding international campers and counselors to the mix turns up the fun-dial even higher!

…But international camp isn’t just the same camp activities and friendships with a few exotic accents thrown into the mix. The secret sauce that makes international camp so special to returning campers is the chance to learn something about people who are truly “different” — and learn something about themselves in the process.

1. Difference is the spice of life

Everyone is different and special in their own way — at international camp, they’re just a little more different! Meeting peers from other countries and finding common ground with campers from the other side of the world teaches international campers to value differences.

After all, no one wants to be around people who are exactly like themselves all the time! Learning to appreciate different cultures helps international campers grow into curious, tolerant, and fun-loving world citizens.

2. Communication is everything

Is talking about communication redundant? We sure hope not, because workshopping camper communications skills is a huge part of the leadership programming out here at camp! International camp is a chance for campers to put their communication skills to the test.

Especially when all the campers come from different cultures with separate languages, finding common ground and making oneself understood can become a challenge; every international camper learns the rewards of sharing a part of yourself with someone completely different.

3. Meaningful friendships

Friendship is at the core of the camp experience, and it’s what keeps campers returning year after year.

“Who’s going to be in my group this year?”

“Where will they come from, and what will they be like?”

Questions like these are at the top of any young summer camper’s mind.

…The best part is, once the summer ends, international campers return home with pen pals from every corner of the globe. Who knows — maybe you’ll even go visit some of your new friends in France, China, and Spain some day soon!

4. Tolerance is the international passport

In a world that’s more connected every day, learning to be tolerant of those who are different from you is an important lesson for everyone to learn — not just summer campers.

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 4.10.04 PMInternational campers learn first-hand how the differences between cultures can be fun and interesting rather than intimidating or alienating. Bridging cultures is the name of the game at international camp.

5. Curiosity is key

International campers know that the secret to making friends is to always be curious. Instead of assuming things about people from different cultures, international campers simply ask.

When it comes to making friends with campers from other countries, listening with a curious ear is the easiest path to a fun summer. Who knows what you might learn!

Always open to new experiences

The world is an adventurous place full of fun and opportunity for those who know where to look. International camp is an excellent first step, teaching campers not just the exciting things the world has to offer, but an appreciation for the things that make their own culture unique and interesting.

Every country in the world seems exotic from someone’s perspective — for international campers, the world is one big family!