Posts Tagged ‘benefits of sleepaway camp’

How Camp Made Me More Appreciative

Monday, February 20th, 2017

 

Dear Camp Weequahic,

 

I’ve never been the type of person who gets Thank You notes out to their guests in a timely manner after a party. I am always thankful for friends who come to my parties, but I just forget to send the formal cards. But spending a summer at camp changed that in me. Not because a summer at camp taught me party etiquette, but because during my time at camp I learned to appreciate things that I normally take for granted. I was also made to feel appreciated by my fellow campers and counselors and realized that is a good feeling when someone acknowledges something you’ve said, done or contributed.

 

While I was swimming, climbing, playing and dancing my summer away, I was reminded of other kids in my school who didn’t have the chance to go to summer camp this year, and it really made me thankful for my parents who provided with me with this incredible experience. As I went to sleep each night in my cabin, surrounded by my new best friends, I was moved to tears in thankfulness and appreciation that they sent me to camp.

 

At camp, this girl Amy would leave little post-it notes around the cabin thanking the other girls for something they did, or something they said that was helpful or kind. These little post-it notes meant so much to us, and we all kept them even when we left camp. Amy taught all of us that it only takes a second to let someone know you appreciate him or her, and it can really turn someone’s day around. Most of us followed her lead and wrote notes for other campers when they did something we appreciated. It created an atmosphere of gratitude, appreciation, and selflessness throughout our cabin, and really helped all of us grow.

 

I saw my counselors constantly thank other counselors for their help. I saw campers thanking other campers when they did something nice. I think we all realized that back in the “real world,” we can sometimes take things, and people, for granted. For me, camp reminded me of all I have to be thankful for, which is why I’m writing you, Camp Weequahic, my first ever Thank-You note.

 

Thanks a million,

 

Carly

Our Home Away From Home

Friday, July 17th, 2015

home away from home

I believe it is safe to say that coming to Camp Weequahic is a once in a lifetime opportunity that not many kids get to experience. But what makes this particular camp so special to the hundreds of campers that have come here over the years? Let’s ask some of our campers!

Camp: “Lola, is this your first summer here at Camp Weequahic?”

Lola H. (Junior Division): “Yes!”

Camp: “We are so glad to have you! What has been your favorite part of camp?”

Lola: “I love gymnastics. The counselors there are so great and I have learned so much.”

Camp: “What is one thing you look forward to when you wake up every morning?”

Lola: “I had never tried Ceramics before I came to camp and now it’s the first thing I think about when I get up!”

Camp: “That is so great to hear, Lola! Last, but not least, who would you like to thank for this experience?”

Lola: “I’d like to say, ‘Thank you so much to my mom, dad and all of my counselors.’

Camp: “Thank you so much Lola! Charlie, since you’ve been to camp before what has been the reason you return every summer?”

Charlie W. (Jinter Division): “I’ve made so many friends during the years I’ve been here and I love coming back and seeing them again.”

Camp: “That’s wonderful, Charlie. What is something you look forward to when you wake up in the morning?”

Charlie: “The weather here is beautiful so I’d have to say that the weather is something I really look forward to.”

Camp: “You are absolutely right. The weather here is amazing. Lastly, what is one thing you’ve learned this summer and who would you like to thank for this experience?”

Charlie: “Here at camp I’ve learned that friendships are one of the most important things and I’d like to thank Cole, Kate and my parents for sending me here.”

Camp: “Thank you so much for your answers, Charlie! Roxy, I know this is your first summer here at Weequahic, so what has been your favorite part?”

Roxy A. (Inter Division): “I love all of the arts here. There are so many different art activities to choose from and I haven’t found a single one I haven’t enjoyed!”

Camp: “Our Arts department is pretty amazing isn’t it?! So, what do you look forward to when you wake up every morning and what is something you’ve learned this summer?”

Roxy: “I always look forward to playing tennis, and I agree with Charlie that friends are one of the most important things.”

Camp: “I think you are absolutely right Roxy. Lastly, who would you like to thank for this experience?”

Roxy: “I’d like to thank all the counselors for their hard work. They are all so great and I’m really going to miss them.”

Camp: “Thank you so much Roxy! Alright Matt, since you’ve been at camp for a few years now what is the reason you’ve kept coming back?”

Matt V. (Senior Division): “Spending the summer with all my bunkmates and friends is something I always look forward to.”

Camp: “That’s great! What is something you look forward to when you wake up every morning?”

Matt: “The best part about waking up in the morning is that every day is a new day.”

Camp: “I think that is a great point! What’s one thing you’ve learned this summer and who would you like to thank for this experience?”

Matt: “I’ve learned that it is super important to remember to respect all of the counselors and staff and I’d like to thank one of my good friends because we both started camp the same summer and have both come back every summer since then.”

Camp: “It is wonderful to hear that you both have gotten to have this experience together. Thank you so much, Matt. Last, but certainly not least, Dylan, what has brought you back to Camp Weequahic every summer?”

Dylan K. (CIT): “The friendships I’ve made here are really special to me and I know we will stay friends for a long time.”

Camp: “What is one thing you look forward to when you wake up every morning?”

Dylan: “As a CIT I look forward to being a role model for all the younger campers.”

Camp: “That is wonderful to hear, Dylan. Tell me one thing you have learned this summer and who you would like to thank for this experience.”

Dylan: “I’ve learned that anyone can be a leader and also that you don’t have to have the loudest voice in order to be a good one. As far as people I’d like to thank, there have been so many outlets of inspiration this summer I couldn’t even begin to name everyone, so thank you to everyone!”

Before we say goodbye, CW would like to leave you with one last message:

Dear Weequahic Family,

It has been an amazing three weeks full of laughter, fun, bonding and learning. After interviewing some of our campers, it was easy to see that this camp is very special. Without this group of amazing campers, counselors and staff there wouldn’t be a Camp Weequahic. All of us here on staff would like to say thank you so much for sending your children here. It has been our pleasure to make their summer one full of great memories and friendships. We hope to see everyone back next year and wish everyone all the best in the year to come.

With GAC,

Camp Weequahic

Camp Weequahic: Through the Years

Friday, July 10th, 2015

image1 (1)It is mind boggling yet incredible to think that Camp Weequahic has been around for more than 60 years. Although many aspects of camp have changed throughout the years, so much of Weequahic’s tradition has been preserved.

Our very own Camp Mom Judy (CMJ) began her journey here back in 1999 and has been with us ever since. I spoke with her to get a picture of what camp looked like 16 years ago. CW used to be an 8 week camp and today it is separated into two 3 week sessions or one Super Six session.

“Now that we have a shorter time period with most of our campers, every minute counts,” says CMJ.

Our Directors and Programming Heads really understand the importance of time and make sure that every minute of every day is jam packed with activities. Our Community Service program, for example, allows Senior campers to create environmental friendly projects such as Water Bottle Wednesday.

Since we now have a choice program, campers get to pick activities and create their own schedules. This ensures that everyone gets to participate in things they like and are comfortable doing.

The Weequahic program has evolved from a ‘bunk activity’ plan in which each camper was scheduled by camp without any choice to a structured choice format that allows kids to have a say in their activities but enjoy them with other children their same age and gender.

It is also important to get to know people outside of your bunk which is very easy to do when you have so many activities with different people every day. During evening activities, Tribals and Olympics every camper is encouraged to participate. This ensures that every camper tries an activity they may not normally think of doing.

“A variety of skills are acquired because camp is the only place you might ever get to learn how to canoe, build a bird house or start a fire,” says CMJ. With over 60 different activities and many incredible teachers, the skill learning abounds!

Special Event Days and division trips have been a part of CW for a long time, however, campers today get to go to new and exciting places such as amusement parks and baseball games. Our CIT program is also something that has been around for a long time and is unique to this community. Campers-In-Transition take trips to surrounding cities and get to see different universities and colleges, serve as apprentice counselors in specific areas, are provided training in group leadership and dynamics, and given many opportunities to lead at camp.

Even though Camp Weequahic has changed since its birth in 1953, many of its traditions and core values have stuck. Our mission to maintain happy and healthy campers and to create a unique environment where everyone is exposed to a variety of activities and experiences remains the same.

Showing Gratitude, Attitude and Courage the Weequahic Way

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

image1 (1)

It has been such an exciting day here at Camp Weequahic. While the Inters, Seniors and CITs headed off to Dorney Park, the Juniors and Jinters each had their own special event on camp. The Juniors had Roy G Biv Day and spread color all across camp. The morning began with a giant game of Twister with over 50 colored spots! Even though this was an individual event, campers were still competing for their respective teams and were cheering on their players with so much excitement and energy! Next, the Juniors participated in a Rainbow Scavenger Hunt. However, this hunt was unlike any other scavenger hunt. Each counselor was given a different colored marker and campers were told to chase the counselors to try and collect all the colors. But wait! There’s a twist! Some counselors had wipes to clear the colors, so the Juniors had to be very careful not to get caught by any of the wipers. After lunch was the ever popular Color Run! It was very similar to the ones we’ve all seen or participated in at major cities where runners are covered in different colored powder as they make their way through the course. However, instead of simply running a race campers had to make their way through an obstacle course complete with hula hoops and pool noodles. The Juniors worked together so well during the obstacle course and helped each other along the course. The final activity to close out Roy G Biv day was a Slip n Slide which is always a crowd favorite! The Jinters also had a great time today. They participated in Renegades Day and everyone was split into six teams consisting of the zombies, ninjas, cowboys, aliens, robots, and pirates. There were eight different stations campers rotated through during the day as well as some talent competitions including a dance off, handstand/headstand competition and whistling competition. The Jinter boys absolutely loved Capture the Flag and Bombardment while the girls had a blast playing Steal the Bacon and Balloon Bonanza. The standout activity for all the Jinters, however, was the Ice Cream Trough. All the campers had the time of their lives stuffing their faces with ice cream and sprinkles. Both the Juniors and Jinters had a fantastic day and really showed good sportsmanship as well as team spirit. It was a joy watching everyone work so well together and embody gratitude, attitude and courage the Weequahic way.

The Subtle Pleasures of Camp

Saturday, December 22nd, 2012

Have you noticed subtle pleasant but odd changes since your children returned from summer camp?  Have you peeked into your son’s room and noticed that he made his bed?  Were you tempted to take your daughter’s temperature the other night because she volunteered to clean up her room?  Maybe they just seem calmer or are better about sticking to routines about which you went hoarse more than once preaching to them before you put them on that bus or plane headed to their favorite summer zip code.  Perhaps they’re better about saying ‘thank you’ and ‘please’ or spend less time all out at war with each other over little things like the remote control and whether they’re going to watch The Voice or Modern Family.  Did they really mature that much at summer camp?

Not that you’re complaining.  It’s a nice, unexpected bonus.  When you initially enrolled them for camp, you were thinking it would be good for them to spend their summer working on arts and crafts projects, learning how to sail, going swimming, doing the silly things that kids do at camp, and playing sports instead of using up your entire cell phone data plan during twelve hour texting marathons or playing the Kinect so much that you can no longer tell whether you’re watching a video game or an actual television program.  You thought, ‘Maybe they’ll even make a few new friends.’  But, oddly, it’s the smaller things they seem to be bringing away from their summer camp experiences that you find yourself enjoying the most.

Sure, you read all about the benefits of sending children to summer camp before you decided to send them.  But you didn’t allow yourself to actually have expectations that your children would come home friendlier, more dutiful, more flexible, able to manage their time better, and generally happier–in short, more mature. Those are the special changes that you enjoy seeing and that make summer camp that much more valuable your eyes.

A Camper’s Experience by Baily B.

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

I’m 14 years old, and I’ve been at Camp Weequahic for two summers.  My first year,I signed up for three weeks, but I fell in love with the camp and, at the end of the first session, decided to stay six weeks.  I spent some time with my parents, but when I came back I felt as if I was coming home.  All the people in my first session bunk only stayed three weeks, so for the second session I moved into a bunk of kids who had been here for years.  I was kind of nervous about moving into a bunk of people who’d known each other for so long, but by the end of the summer I grew close with my bunk.  This year, I’ve come back to great friends and my home away from home.