Meaning at the Margins

Posted October 21st, 2018 by

A camp director in China asked me how our program, our daily schedule, creates meaning for our kids. (These are fun conversations while hiking the Great Wall….)

I thought a moment and answered, “It doesn’t. Meaning is built at the margins.”

It’s true.

Meaning at Camp

Anyone who tells you how they teach tennis or waterskiing or ceramics builds character or meaning is wrong. Sure, our campers improve skills that way. And realizing they’ve developed or deepened a skill will increase that kid’s confidence.

This is a wonderful, important outcome. But character? The instillation of meaning?

Nope.

Parents, think about how you developed character in your life. You did not sit in a class called ‘character development.’ (Or, if you did, you probably didn’t listen much.) You did not have a paid professional bearing down on you.

Rather, you had parents, teachers, volunteers, rabbis, priests, books, friends, mentors, poems, etc.

You took in information over your lifetime. At certain moments, some one or some thing prompted you to think: This is important. This is wrong and I have to do something about it. I need to remember this.

Building Meaning

Character is built this way. Drip by drip. Mentor by mentor. Examined experience by examined experience. It takes time… and effort. Meaning comes only to those open to changing their way of thinking and behaving.

This is why camp is so important for our kids.

Our campers are growing and questioning and searching for a way to become. They are washed in playful connection with other kids, surrounded by mentors interested in serving, and reminded of meaning… at the margins of their day.

Once a week at campfire. Each night before they go to bed and have some quiet time for reflection. At the flagpole celebrating, with the whole community, that day’s small victories over self-involvement.

Our kids are open to these moments of meaning because the whole experience has built trust.

Campers see with their eyes the actions of the staff and older campers. They hear with their ears words and cheers. They overcome hesitation and playfully participate.

And, when they are ready, they awaken to the meaning infused in the moment. Whether it comes in the form of a question, a smile, a memory, or a story, the meaning is there… but always at the margins.

Have a great week!

The Big Picture

Posted October 15th, 2018 by

 

It’s easy for children to think of their entire lives in the context of their “nucleus,”’ their home, their community, their school, their family, their friends. They typically have no need to seek beyond their immediate surroundings, and their perspective of the world is seen through a restrictive lens based on where they live and the things they’ve experienced. Attending a sleepaway camp gives children and teens a way to broaden their worldview, to see themselves as a small (yet important) part of the bigger picture. Camp Weequahic gets campers out of their comfort zones and allow them to catch a glimpse of how much world they have to explore. 

Exposure To A New Place 

For campers who have lived their entire lives in the hustle and bustle of a big city are in for a shock when they step foot onto the campgrounds. For some campers, the first time they explore the wilderness or really see a constellation is at camp. Even campers from rural areas are in for a treat as they spend the summer in a place busy with people, excitement and adventure. The experience of the journey from home to camp can help campers see that there is much more to explore outside of their familiar life. 

 Exposure To New People 

Camp Weequahic brings people together from all across the globe, and is responsible for thousands of lifelong friendships. Boys and girls spend night and day with others who come from different backgrounds, cultures, religions, and experiences. Working, playing and growing together at camp allows campers to break through stereotypes and appreciate diversity in a brand new way. Some campers come from places where everyone thinks, looks and acts just like them. It’s refreshing for them to see that the world is full of incredible people with so much to teach them. 

Exposure To Independence 

Sleepaway camps give campers the opportunity to venture out in a new place without their parents walking them through it. This experience helps campers gain a sense of independence and realize that they are strong enough, smart enough and more than capable enough to make positive decisions on their own. Giving campers this sense of freedom and independence allows them to do some self-discovery to understand further who they are and what they can contribute to the world around them. They learn things about themselves that they didn’t know, and they begin to ask the questions that will help them determine who they are becoming outside of their family and friends. 

Exposure To New Activities 

Camp Weequahic packs every day of the summer with fun and adventure. Some campers arrive never having been on a boat before, or never having access to a dance class or have never been rock climbing, but camp changes all of that. Camp is the place where so many “firsts” happen, all of which open up new windows in the brain and increase their understanding of the countless adventures and travels awaiting them. Some campers fall in love with sports they never even knew existed, which can be the first step in a lifelong passion. Campers who have the sleepaway camp experience go home with a desire to learn more about the world around them. This exposure to new things and people shifts their perspective and helps them realize that there is so much to the world than what they know. 

 It’s important for children and teens to understand that the world doesn’t actually revolve around them. They are part of something bigger, and the sooner we can ignite the excitement in discovering just what that “something” is, the better. The sooner campers can grasp the idea of a big wide world just waiting for their gifts and talents, the sooner we can develop leaders who are excited to serve, lead, love and explore the world beyond their comfort zone.  

 

 

Discipline Leads to Freedom… and FUN

Posted October 12th, 2018 by

I knew a boys camp that had a person on staff known as the Dean of Discipline. It was (and still is) a tremendously fun spot, safe, and well run. The guys I spoke with loved camp. The way which they spoke about the DoD, though… you could tell they loved him more than almost anything else about the camp.

Hm…. The guy who held them accountable? Check. A person who would dole out punishment? You betcha.

Why?

Because he saw what those boys could and would become – good men – and treated them in a way that led them towards that future vision. Just as important, the boys knew this, too. The accepted his discipline because it was delivered from a place both of belief and love.

Required Discipline

You want freedom? It takes discipline. You want to do well in school? It takes discipline. You want to run faster than anyone else? It takes discipline. If you want… ok, you get the picture.

Coach Wooden, the man whose teams won 10 NCAA basketball championships, talked about this idea… a lot. “Discipline yourself, and others won’t have to,” he’d say to his players.

When his best player, two-time player of the year Bill Walton, showed up for fall practice with a beard, Coach Wooden listened to his star’s impassioned speech on why it was his right to wear the beard. Coach said, “Bill, I respect your feelings. We are sure going to miss you.”

Bill shaved a few minutes later, showed up for practice, and won a national championship that year.

Others have talked about discipline, too:

True freedom is impossible without a mind made free by discipline. – Mortimer J. Adler

Self-respect is the root of discipline: The sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself. – Rabbi Abraham J. Heschel

Self-control is the chief element in self-respect, and self-respect is the chief element in courage. – Thucydides

You will never have a greater or lesser dominion than that over yourself…the height of a man’s success is gauged by his self-mastery; the depth of his failure by his self-abandonment.  – Leonardo da Vinci

We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort. – Jesse Owens

Camp Discipline

The list goes on and on and on. So, why are we talking about this at camp? Well, because without discipline, we wouldn’t have as much fun, the best staff, the deep traditions, the great food, the joy of community, the… again, you get the idea.

Part of camp is about having so much fun that your head just about pops off your body. It’s also about learning to be a good human. And, yes, it does take discipline to accomplish that aim.

Making your bed each morning takes discipline. So does saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ at Canteen. Reaching out to new friends? You guessed it… discipline. Waiting your turn in line at the Rock Wall or Ninja Course or Slip n’ Slide? You know the answer.

Here’s your challenge this week. Gain some discipline by requiring more of yourself. It will take some thought, yes, and some effort. But, like courage, discipline is a muscle that grows and creates a more free, open, and enjoyable life down the road.Have a great week!

The Power of a Smile

Posted October 5th, 2018 by

I’m a big fan of learning from people who are wiser, with more lifetime-learning, and who draw from different experiences. Two teachers who I often read about are Thich Naht Hanh and Mother Teresa. And, as you would expect, both have something to say about a topic I really appreciate: smiling.

Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can the source of your joy. – Thich Nhat Hanh

All three of our major values are touched on with this thought on smiling. If one is truly grateful, that is, appreciating that which is in one’s life at that moment, a smile naturally occurs. It’s easy when you are being pulled around the lake with your buddies or sitting at Campfire to smile. You’ve got A LOT of good things going on right then and there.

But what about when things aren’t so rosy, like you’ve had a tough day at school or your little brother inadvertently (I assume!) destroyed something you’ve been working on. Deciding to smile on those occasions takes intentionally modulating your attitude and practicing courage.

The more your smile, the more you’ll notice the joy in your life. The more joy you recognize, the more your smile. It’s a wonderful cycle….

Mother Teresa had a lot to say about smiles:

 – Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.

 – Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.

 – Peace begins with a smile.

There is a lot to unpack that should one want to but I think Mother Teresa’s words are more than enough.

There is a lot of talk focused towards future generations (you youngins’) that rotates around changing the world. Here’s the problem with that goal… it’s too big. The world is enormous and complex and impossible to truly know.

That’s not to say you cannot have an effect. Whether you know it or not, recognize it or not, value it or not, you do have an effect. When you smile at someone – with both your mouth and your eyes – you affect them. In fact, might even make them smile in reaction. (This happens a lot of times.)

That smile that you’ve given your neighbor may be the start of something pretty awesome for them. As Mother Teresa said, “We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.”

So, while one smile won’t change the whole world, it can change the course of a person’s day. Do that enough and it will make the world around you better. We spread that message, well… then we’ll have something.

Smile and have a great week.

PS – A quick thing you might not know: when you smile, it changes how your voice leaves your mouth and people can hear the difference. Want to make your parents, grandparents or friends feel good when they call you? Smile while you answer the phone. It makes a difference – I promise!

Outside the Campfire

Posted September 30th, 2018 by

I love spending time with our campers and staff around the campfire. There is something elemental, primal about the experience. Doing so connects us to a practice used by humans for hundreds of thousands of years: seeking shelter and warmth, cooking, sharing stories… and courage… while in community around the campfire.

Campfire & Society

The campfire has provided a great deal over the millennia – warmth, protection from predators, a beacon, a place to cook, and more. So important is the campfire, in fact, that some researchers suggest that the campfire conversations of the past have helped to shape who we have become!

‘Are we going to have a campfire?’ is one of the first questions potential campers ask. The second, of course, is, ‘Will there be s’mores?’ Darn tootin’. In fact, one research has found initial evidence that being around the campfire actually lowers one’s blood pressure.

It’s a so pervasive in human culture, in fact, that the healing properties of sitting around the campfire is a part of Fort Nite. (Grab just about any 12-year-old and they’ll explain.)

Campfire & Camp

At camp, we use the campfire to gather around, to share in community, laughter and a bit of learning. While maybe not necessary, I firmly believe the tradition of Campfire is vital to Weequahic’s culture. Because it’s the only time we celebrate the victories of the past week and think about how we’ll act in the future, all together, it’s an anchor to our week, one that keeps us moored to what’s important.

In order to live, though, you have to leave the light of the campfire and venture out. You have to lift your anchor, turn your back on the campfire, and walk out into the dark, the unknown. Knowing your way back to the warmth and community of the fire will never leave you – you’ll always know how to get back.

But you can’t really learn and live without moving outside the ring of light your fire provides.

Campfires & You

You want to know something great in the midst of all this unknown? There are a lot of campfires out there. Some, you’ll be invited to join. Others, you won’t want to join but it just doesn’t suit you. A few, you’ll want to join but have second thoughts about, wondering if you belong or if you are good enough.

You are. Just saddle up, listen, learn, and give of yourself genuinely.

Drips of Attitude

Posted September 14th, 2018 by

At the end of Summer ’17, Kate, the boys and I packed up the family car and headed west for a long trip. We had pulled the boys out of school (something they want again right now!) for an adventure spanning most of the Western states between Labor Day and Thanksgiving.

After a few fun stops along the way, we found ourselves in Jackson Hole, WY, and floating down the Snake River, paddles in hand.

The Snake is one of the west’s great rivers. Starting not far from Jackson Hole and dumping into the Columbia before hitting the Pacific, the Snake travels 1078 miles and drops 8500 feet from the source to the mouth

Our one-and-a-half-hour trip on the river was amazing – stunning views, great rapids and (very) refreshing water. Looking up the canyon walls, it was easy to see the highwater line from earlier in the spring – 14 feet above us!

The Power of Snowflakes and Rain Drops

Snowflakes are tiny things, each famously different from the rest. Individually, they don’t take up a lot of room. And, they are so fragile. Put your hand out, catch one, and you’ll see it disappear in seconds.

Yet, you get them together…. In fact, close to 700 inches of the stuff had fallen around the source basin for the Snake leading to one of the most incredible melts in recent memory. The trip we enjoyed in September took just half the time three months earlier due to all the water.

We are witnessing the power of collected water right now in the Carolinas. Some forecasters project that Hurricane Florence will drop 10 trillion gallons of water on the ground over the next few days. We are all praying our friends get through the onslaught safely.

Drips become torrents. Rain drops collect, rush down mountains. These collected torrents move boulders, form rivers that cut mountainsides.

Your reactions, your attitude, your thoughts are the same way.

The Collection of Attitude

Each and every moment, you get to choose how you act and react. Only you have control of that little (and sometimes very loud) voice inside your head. You can also choose the emotions you wear. Remember – most of your intent is communicated by your body, what your eyes, face and posture broadcast.

We talk about this a lot at camp. Having had the opportunity to observe thousands of kids and staff over the years both in and out of camp, I’ve come to the conclusion: we are better a choosing our attitude at camp than anywhere else.

This happens for a number of reasons, I think. First, we talk about it a lot. It seems we must be reminded of this power we have over our attitude. At camp, it’s pretty constant through those around you and the messages you get. Secondly, there are no other or at least very few concerns. You simply get to be in the present. Lastly, well… it’s just a lot of fun.

An author named Roy Bennett wrote: “Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.”

It’s a great reminder and one I hope you’ll remember in the weeks and months ahead as move through the school year and back towards camp. Your attitude, that which you show all of those around you on a moment to moment, drip by drip, is your gift to them… and to yourself.

Why choose to make that gift anything but great?

Have a fantastic week!

‘Well… duh!’ Studies

Posted September 7th, 2018 by

Growing up, I got to spend a few weeks each summer at my grandparent’s house in Maine. Located about a half mile bike ride away was a small, protected cove full of crabs, sea glass, drift wood, and sand – a perfect play pen for my brother and I.

Flipping over tidal pools rocks in search of crabs was a full-time job. We got pretty good at it. One morning, though, everything changed.

Without planning it, we arrived at the lowest ebb of a full-moon tide. We had never seen the water that low… or that many perfect rocks to flip!

Wading out under the watchful eye of our father, we started our exploration. The first two rocks hid a few little crabs. The third, however, produced a new sight: a mottled-red flash heading backwards from under rock – a baby lobster!

The next rock produced the same thing! And then another! By the time the hour was up, we had seven baby lobsters, four pinches on our fingers, and a new appreciation for the Cove. For the next few summers, we were glued to the moon and tide schedule, planning our forays to the land of lobsters – net in hand.

Fast forward a few summers. We wake up to our father laughing at the morning paper – not a normal occurrence. The first page story: after spending a lot of money, Maine universities discovered that baby lobsters head close to shore in order to grow into maturity.

Umm… all they had to do was ask a couple of Georgia boys and we would have told the same thing!

‘Duh’ Studies

The modern world is often finding out things we already know. In recent years, studies have shown separating technology from kids at camp increase their empathy and connection with the world. We’ve ‘learned’ physical exercise is a great thing for you. Video games and phones are additive.

We’ve also learned that gratitude, pride and compassion are important for your health. From a recent David DeSteno NY TIMES Article:

What these findings show is that pride, gratitude and compassion, whether we consciously realize it or not, reduce the human minds tendency to discount the value of the future. In so doing, they push us not only to cooperate with other people but also to help our own future selves.

Feeling pride or compassion has been shown to increase perseverance on difficult tasks by over 30 percent. Likewise, gratitude and compassion have been tied to better academic performance, a greater willingness to exercise and eat healthily, and lower levels of consumerism (and) impulsivity….

If using willpower causes stress, using these emotions actually heals: They slow heart rate, lower blood pressure and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. By making us value the future more, they ease the way to patience and perseverance.

Perhaps most important, while these emotions enhance self-control, they also combat another problem of modern life: loneliness.

Ask any camper at Weequahic and they’ll tell you the same thing: the more gratitude you exhibit, the better you feel. They’ve been practicing this for a lot of years and have tons of evidence – better relationships, happier moments, and a huge reduction in anxiety and a lot less loneliness.

Gratitude, Attitude and Courage

GAC does not have to last only at camp. Think of coming to Weequahic as your re-charging station and these weekly blog posts as minor jumpstarts in the process. Yes, it’s a lot easier to get the full experience at camp when everyone around you practices the same way. Yes, it’s harder at school because not everyone has learned the power of practicing gratitude, choosing your attitude, and developing courage.

All of this is not to say you can’t live in a GAC way year-round. You can. It’s a choice to remember what’s important. And, how you act on a daily basis? That’s up to you, too.

Duh, right?

Have a great week!

Innie or Outie?

Posted August 31st, 2018 by

During the last few gasps of summer, the boys and I hit the local pool for some fun in the sun. Our pool does not have the same great view of Sly Lake that we enjoy at camp but it’s still pretty nice.

After throwing Luke and Jack around a bit, I took a break by the side of the pool. As two little neighborhood boys skittered by, I couldn’t help but overhearing their conversation:

“Yours is an ‘outie.’ My belly button is an ‘innie.’ Yours is cooler than mine….”

Ha! It’s a conversation I remember having a similar conversation with a buddy forty years ago. With our boys starting school, my thoughts drifted to their groups of friends. It made me think of ‘innies’ and ‘outies’ from a social standpoint. Of course, that got me thinking of camp, specifically about how we train our staff.

Kate comes up with all sorts of games for our staff to play during Orientation. They think it’s all just for fun… at first. And, not surprisingly, most of the games start in the form of a circle.

Circle One

One of my favorites has all of the staff form a couple of really big circles. Each has about 50 staff member standing shoulder to shoulder, facing inward. Two staff members are picked out at random and we tell them to try and get in the circle.

Well, those two normally do everything they can – jumping, trying break through, sliding underneath legs, etc. The circle members, without being told to, normally do their best to keep the ‘intruder’ out.

This is a pretty normal response. If you were ‘in’ the circle, you’d probably get a little competitive and think, ‘They aren’t going to get into the circle by me!’

But is that the point of game? No, the point was for the person ‘outside’ to get inside the circle. What if they just walked up, tapped someone in the circle on the shoulder and asked, “Mind if I come in?”

How many times have you seen someone do everything they can to try to get ‘in your circle?’ The more outlandish things they try, the more annoying they become, right?

But what if they just walked up and said ‘Hi. Mind if I join you?’ You’d probably be more likely to let them, wouldn’t you?

Circle Two

Another circle game has the staff get in groups of five. They exchange names, answer a few goofy questions, and laugh a bit while getting to know one another.

Then, for some random reason, we pick one staff member to leave the group. Whoever is tallest. Which staff member has the longest hair. Whoever traveled the furthest to get to camp, etc.

They are literally cast out and told to find another group. The four remaining in the group are asked to remain silent.

It’s tough seeing those people wander about trying to find a group of four to join. The limit for each group is five people so there is always a lot looking around for a new crew. They are searching for a group, wandering the room, not knowing if and when they’ll find a new group.

We do this once or twice before we introduce a wrinkle: having your name called out. This changes everything.

Rather than the groups of people remaining silent while some person searches for a group to join, the group of four start actively calling the wanderer’s name. ‘Sarah, come join us.’ ‘Drew, over here!’ ‘Scrappy, we need you!’

Totally different experience, isn’t it? That simple change – from silent to calling – makes all the difference. It’s always better being called, invited, than not, right? All it takes is for the group to start looking outward and having the courage to call out.

Your Circle

One of the great things about our summers at Weequahic is the circle we form together. It’s big, it’s inclusive, and it’s really fun. The challenge for you back home is to actively decide what type of circle you’ll have and/or how you’ll try to enter other circles.

Almost every ‘circle’ you’ll see will be facing inward towards each other. And they should – it’s fun to be with your friends. However, it’s equally important to sometimes open up the circle to add more people… as long as they make the circle better.

It’s also important to sometimes completely turn the circle so that you are facing outwards, arms open and out-stretched.

That’s how we want camp to feel when our campers get here – counselors shoulder to shoulder, arms stretched out, reaching and smiling towards the on-coming campers. It makes for a great start.

You can do the same with your friends and possible-friends back home. You’ll have an ‘outie’ circle that way… and it’ll be pretty cool.

Have a great start to the school year!

The Push and Pull of Connection

Posted August 24th, 2018 by

There are lots ways to think of the word ‘connection.’ You can talk about connecting to someone on the telephone, joining two transistors, connecting to the wireless. You can also talk about connecting with other people.

The first set of connections is mechanical – you plug pieces together or type in a few commands and you are connected. With humans, though, it’s a lot more emotional and it requires being in the present moment, together.

Not too long ago, to connect with someone across the city, state or the world, you had to make an expensive phone call or send a letter that would take well over a week.

Campers, you don’t know that world. Each of you were born into a world with literally instant communication with anyone, anywhere in the world. Rather than having to make individual connections like your parents did – phone call by phone call, letter by letter – you have group chats, Instagram broadcasts, and snapchats.

But, while you can connect with more people more easily, I wonder if you are less connected to your peers as your parents were to theirs? A lot of recent studies find you are not.

It seems that with the rise of connection over social media, we are being pushed further and further away from each other.

The Pull of Camp

Thankfully, for six glorious weeks each summer, we change that dynamic.

The individual social media ‘push’ turns into a camp-wide ‘pull’ of connection.  We connect not only to those around us but the very moments in which we live. We spend more time focused on life ‘where our feet are’, rather than being distracted by anything else.

Two pretty impressive people had something similar to say about this need of connection. Albert Einstein talked about one thing he absolutely knew: we are here (on earth) for the sake of others. Mother Teresa talked about it in a slightly different way.  She said, “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”

At Weequahic, we get to practice this idea of belonging to one another. It’s a such a small community, we remove (almost all) technology, and we get to simply life and laugh and learn together. We make beds, share chores, play on teams, applaud the actors, and frolic together all day. It’s magic, isn’t it?

So the question is this: How can you take some this magic back home when your camp friends feel forever away?

Connection Back Home

Here are a few ideas on how to connect back home like you do at camp:

Idea #1: First of all, take a break from social media, Fort Nite, and other tech. Instead, go and do something with your parents, your siblings (yes, I said it!), or your friends. Play a card game, take a walk, throw a ball, build legos, cook something…. The key is to do something that requires you to interact face to face rather than with your thumbs.

Idea #2: Keep a gratitude journal. You talked about it every night at Weequahic with your counselors. Why not do it at home? Get a small notebook, place it by your bed, and jot down your happies from that day every night before going to bed. Want extra credit? Share those thoughts with your parents. It helps you be more in the moment and realize what’s really important in your day.

Idea #3: Sit with someone new at lunch or reach out to some you’ve not met yet. Yes, I know it’s hard from a social situation but it is no less important. When you get to know people outside ‘your circle’, you stretch. When you stretch, you grow.

I’m sure you can take a few moments and come up with some ideas of your own. The key is to make the effort… and that takes courage and the right attitude. So, for the week ahead, do some pulling with those around you. Have a great week!

The 5 Coolest Things About Night Time At Camp

Posted August 20th, 2018 by

There’s something magical that happens at camp when the sun goes down at Camp Weequahic. Of course, we have the fun and excitement of our evening activities. Yes, there is so much more that sets the scene for some of the fondest memories of the summer.

Here are the five coolest things about night time at camp:

Stars

When the sun goes down and the moon rises over the camp, the entire vibe changes. What was just a high energy playground of fun and adventure turns into a calm, peaceful retreat in the mountains. And away from the city lights, the stars shine brighter than you could ever imagine! Just picture sitting with your fellow campers, searching for shooting stars and admiring the overwhelming majesty of the nighttime sky. Campers and counselors enjoy sitting their everyday chairs and finding constellations in the sky. Not only is it a great way to relax and unwind after a busy day, but it’s also an opportunity for exploration.

Campfire

The campfire is a traditional part of the Weequahic experience and brings campers together unlike any other part of camp can. The bright reds and orange flames dancing against the black sky create an intimate and exciting environment in which campers can talk, sing, roast marshmallows, be silly and make memories. A campfire is a place where campers can reflect on their day, where they can share their adventures and stories with other campers, and where they can feel connected with nature. Many campers say that campfires are their favorite part of camp, as it was a special way to end the day.

Fireflies

There’s nothing more endearing than watching a camper experience the magic of fireflies for the first time. Fireflies put on a illuminated show for campers as they make their appearance each night. The laughter and excitement that comes from catching one of these little creatures and examining them up close is an experience that many campers have for the first time at camp. These bright little flying bugs turn night time into a light show!

Night Time Sounds

While many of the nighttime aspects of camp can be seen, there is something to be said about the unique sounds of camp at night. From owls calling in the distance to the songs of crickets and the crackling of the fire, certain sounds will stick with campers forever. These sounds, many of which can only be heard once the noise of the day has faded, serve as a soundtrack to the summer nights that campers will never forget.

Bunk Time

As the campground settles down and busy campers head back to their bunks, more memories await. Bunk time allows campers to have quiet conversations with their bunkmates and share stories and details about their lives. This low key, quiet time is a great way for campers to connect with each other without the distractions of the day. This time gives campers a chance to journal or do some self-reflecting, prepare for the next day or simply get some much-needed rest.

A summer at Camp Weequahic is packed with fun, new adventures, new friendships, and excitement all day long. But when the sun goes down, the fun doesn’t stop. Campers love night time at camp because it brings a whole new feeling and vibe to sleepaway camp. Each night, campers fall asleep with images of campfires and fireflies dancing in their heads and wake up from a good night’s rest ready for another day of fun.