|Hello! The first day of camp will be here before we know it. Here’s a good checklist to see how you are doing so far. |
– Contacted Camp Trucking to get your camper’s bags to and from camp?
– Ordered the necessary Amerasport clothing?
– Looked at the packing list online or in the Forms and Documents section of your CampMinder account?
– Contacted PackMyRx to prepare all daily, pill-form medications including vitamins, Claritan & melatonin?
– Filled out your camper’s Travel, Bunk, Camper Profile and Activity Request forms in CampMinder? These are due May 15.
– Started filling out your camper’s Health History form online and sent the Physicians Authorization form to your camper’s doctor to complete? These are due June 1.
– Downloaded the Campanion app for your phone?
We can’t wait to get everyone to camp this summer and so appreciate your work in preparing for a great summer. Please don’t hesitate to call or write if we can be helpful!
PS – Please expect a May 15 email with Special Event/Dinner clothing ideas, the Parent Handbook, Phone Call Policy, and more information on our Testing Protocols. Thanks
The 2021 Leaders-In-Training group is currently reading Chop Wood, Carry Water by Joshua Medcalf*. It’s a simple story filled with short, thoughtful lessons. This is my third time through it and I continue to pick up ideas that make a big difference when applied.
In brief, it’s a story about John, a young man who travels to Japan to realize his dream of becoming a samurai archer. His mentor and teacher, Akira, spends time instructing John through the process of becoming an archer. The lessons are many, useful, and unexpected.
While there are many questions Akira asks of John, one I think most useful right now is this:
What’s Your Scorecard?
We all have an internal scorecard. For some of us, it’s about school grades or friendships or ‘likes’ or ‘streaks’ or college acceptances. For others it may be money or fame or ‘one more customer’ (or camper) or becoming the best.
Tennis great Andre Agassi talked about his experience of becoming #1. He thought realizing his dream would be fulfilling and affirming. He found it wasn’t. In fact, it felt empty. His scorecard was very real and it led him to a place that he didn’t find worthwhile.
Writer Jonathan Foster Wallace spoke about this idea in a thought-provoking way in his This is Water speech. (Warning: the speech is excellent but should be read by adults first before sharing with kids.)
Rather having than all the things we can accumulate on the scorecard, what if we put behaviors or characteristics that we could practice every day on the scorecard instead? How much better could our lives be if we showed gratitude, picked our attitude, demonstrated courage, behaved justly, loved mercy, stayed humble, remained curious and so much more every day?
To start, Akira suggests John think of the people in his life that he admires. Then to write down the characteristics that they exude which he admires. From the resulting list, pick a few that resonate most and make those the new daily life scorecard. It’s a great exercise.
Camp Weequahic has a scorecard. It’s one, we believe, that helps create a community that pulls the best out of the participants, be they campers or staff members. It’s by no means perfect but it does help to keep us grounded and striving toward a goal that will make the small world around us a better place. And that matters.
Scorecards change over time. But they always exist. It doesn’t matter if you are talking about a business, a school, a camp, a third grader, college student, or 90-year-old. We’ve all got them. We also all get to choose how we measure our lives. And that’s the great part.
So, what’s your scorecard?
*A portion of the book sales from the links above will go to SCOPE, a summer camp charity that we support.
Before we get too deep into this, I want to be totally honest about two points.
First, I’m an optimist. The glass has always been not only half full of water, but totally full. (Because it’s got air in it.)
Sure, I’ll see the realistic side of things, too. That’s a big reason why we did not open last summer. Could we have hosted camp? Yes. But the unknown was too great at that point. Which leads me to the second point.
Our three boys have been in face to face schooling since middle August. One of the boys was ‘contact-traced’ for a week but, otherwise, we’ve had no problems with COVID-19. In a school district with more than 8,000 students, the highest weekly positivity rate has been .49%. We’ve averaged closer to .14% throughout the year.
We mask when we go into a store. We keep our distance from others. And, because we are getting ready for summer, we read and ask questions and study everything that comes out of the CDC and the National Institutes of Health concerning COVID.
Based on everything I’m reading – plus the fact that the Governors of both New York and Massachusetts have recently said they’ll be opening camps this summer, we’ll be ready to go. Especially since Pennsylvania is already in the ‘green’ phase!
Let’s Go to CAMP!
Our kids need it. (So do our parents!) We’ve learned a lot of lessons through this experience and one certainly is the absolute need for kids to be outdoors, connecting with friends, and exploring new things.
Another lesson is that camp can be run safely, especially with testing before arrival, upon and 6 days in, social distancing of pods, mask wearing, having most activities outside, and keeping good hygiene going.
Are we ready to say exactly what we are doing across every aspect of camp? Not yet. Though we’ve spent (literally) 12 months planning for it, we’ve still got four months between now and our campers’ arrival. There will be some changes, modifications and fine-tuning of the plan.
And, I must give some props to the entire industry and especially our friends in the Wayne County Camp Alliance. Everyone is pitching in to share knowledge, ask questions, and learn together. We’ll all be ready for this summer, all the more so because we’ve prepared together.
Let’s Start Planning Now… Together
Weequahic, it’s time to start planning in earnest for a fantastic summer. Most of our camper forms are available on your CampMinder account. The Campanion app will be a very useful tool for you for the spring and coming summer. Please download it to your phone or other mobile device.
We’ll be hosting monthly conversations on our private Weequahic Families Facebook group starting this Sunday at 8pm est. I hope you’ll join us and ask as many questions as you can. If you don’t do Facebook, let us know and we’ll send you a link to the video to watch elsewhere.
Answers about traveling to camp, our activity choices, and a few other details will arrive as we move through the Spring. So will a few new ideas… and some pictures of our new floating Water Park!
As always, please don’t hesitate to call or write anytime. This is all we do and we love talking with you.
Ah… let’s go to camp. See you this summer, if not before!