Values & Traditions
Welcome to Weequahic! We are happy you’d like to learn more about our community. Below you’ll learn about our traditions and values, our history, leadership, and some fun details.
Every family wants their camper to have an incredible time at camp. To us, that requires a few things: an amazing staff and a fun and welcoming community guided by specific, bedrock values.
Here are the values we hold dear:
Gratitude: A Grateful Heart is a Happy Heart. Philosphers and teachers throughout the ages know that statement to be true. Therefore campers spend time each evening thinking about their day and expressing at least two moments that made them happy. A daily expression of gratitude encourages being more thankful and more thoughtful about ourselves and other.
Attitude: Choose Your Attitude. The only aspect of our lives over which we have complete control is how we react. Attitude is a chosen outlook on life and we remind our campers of this fact by how we act as a staff, what we say and the questions we ask.
Choosing the attitude you present to the world and yourself is one of the most important realizations our young people can come to at camp. We develop this habit through our staff’s behavior, gentle daily reminders and creating a community of fun for all
Courage: Courage is a Muscle. Courage requires exercise in order to grow! We don’t talk about the courage needed to do something heroic. We focus on the courage it takes to complete the small, every day actions required to be a good person. Standing up for yourself or another, trying something new, being polite when it’s hard to do so – these are the small courageous actions of good people.
To learn more about our bedrock values and how we think about camp, please peruse our weekly blog, our Campfire Conversation podcast, or our recently published book, The Weequahic Way.
Complete Camp in Three Weeks: New campers come in with their bunkmates. They bond and have a blast together. All of our three week campers head home following Visiting Day on the last day of each session. We offer different Evening Activities, Trips, and Special Events including two different, multi-day Color Wars in each session. Regardless of when our campers arrive, they have a specific beginning, middle and end of camp with their buddies.
Deep Traditions… Since 1953, Weequahic has offered a camp experience full of traditions. Our Friday Night Campfire – which starts with either a Shabbat service or “Values” service based on the camper’s choice – remains our most popular evening activity. Songs are raucously sung twice a day in the Dining Hall. Campers build deep, lasting friendships. Our Color Wars at the end of the Tribal and Olympic sessions originated decades ago and the winning teams can be found adorning our Rec and Dining Halls.
…with Modern Touches: We offer a choice-based program with STEM activities, incredible art and adventure options. Our bunks have instant-hot water heaters so you never take a cold shower. We have a heated pool and an air-conditioned Dining Hall. And Color War includes arts, adventure and aquatic competitions along with all the fun traditional events like Sing, Rope Burn and Bucket Carry.
Choice-Based Activities… within a Structured Day: Before camp starts families tell us the activities they want their campers to enjoy. We then organize each camper’s day so that they enjoy those activities with other campers their same age and gender.
Bunk Time is Important Time: Campers enjoy one ‘bunk activity’ each program day in addition to spending every meal, rest hour, shower hour and evening activity together. We’ve found a little separation during the day allows our campers to build even better relationships with their bunkmates and camp friends.
Camp Weequahic was founded in 1953 by Art and Mollie Lustig. A member of the Weequahic High School staff in Newark, NJ, Mr. Lustig searched for the perfect place to start a summer camp. Our wonderful property by Sly Lake certainly fit the bill.
From 1953 until the 2008 season, members of the Lustig family directed Weequahic. Known for its caring atmosphere, excellent facilities, creative activities and wonderful lake, Weequahic became a popular camp in the northeast.
Cole and Kate Kelly took the torch so ably held by Lustig family in 2009. Having run private camps in the northeast for many years, they wanted to find a place with deep traditions where they could bring their years of experience and their family.
The Kelly’s are thrilled to continue the great traditions of Weequahic while welcoming new campers and ideas from all over the world. Of course, we always welcome our wonderful alumni to come walk camp. Give us a call to schedule a time to stop by and walk down memory lane!