Month: March 2015

Cooking at Camp Weequahic

10982417_10153191453101419_4703919330874546619_oOne of the perks about sending your child to Camp Weequahic that nobody mentions to parents is that it is very realistic to send your child away for the summer and get a private chef when they return. Your child who only knew how to make a sandwich or had no idea how to boil water could come back as a baking, sautéing, mixing foodie who has a newfound appreciation for seasonings, sauces and the magic that can happen in the kitchen. This transformation begins when kids take advantage of the cooking programs at camp.

TopChef is a specialized culinary program, taught by specialists with a wide range of experiences. The state-of-the-art facility gives kids the tools, appliances and space to create their favorite dishes and learn a few new ones.

Encouraging your child to explore their culinary side not only ensures your get to try some of their creations once they return home, but also teaches them valuable life skills. Cooking is not just throwing ingredients together and waiting until it’s edible. Cooking is an art, and a way for students to express themselves. The thought, preparation, and emotion that goes into cooking is something many children find challenging but rewarding. They also learn valuable skills such as time management, following directions, and communication, and cooking also perfects math and science skills in a way that is fun and different.

When your child is able to start and finish a project in the kitchen, their self confidence grows and they become more self assured and willing to try new things that seem out of their comfort zone. When they are active in the kitchen and learn about the things that go into their food, they are also learning about making healthy choices when it comes to what they eat. When they cook, they learn to appreciate the bright, fragrant colors and smells of fresh vegetables and fruits, and introduce their pallets to healthy and fresh ingredients.

Cooking also gives kids a sense of purpose, and gives them something they feel they can contribute to the family. Once the family takes a bite of their famous mac and cheese or savory French Onion soup and can’t get enough, they’ll feel accomplished and that they have a valuable quality to contribute to family functions. Even if they just learn basic cooking skills, the importance of cleaning up after yourself, and how to measure properly, they will be ahead of most of their microwave dinner eating peers.

Whether your child is a TopChef in the making, or is just starting to show interest in the kitchen, cooking at camp is a great way for kids to explore the culinary arts and learn an appreciation for all things baked, fried, mixed, chopped, flambéed, and grilled.



Numbers at Camp Weequahic

Kate and I have enjoyed leading Camp Weequahic since Summer 2009. Since taking over the torch, we’ve happily seen camp grow from 120 amazing campers to 450 amazing campers.

7Growing that much over a relatively small span of time comes from a couple of factors: great staff who are determined to create an amazing experience for everyone they interact with at camp, families who appreciate our GAC values and structured choice program, and campers who are excited to build memories and friendships during their time at CW.

The combination of those factors have created two important numbers for us – 85% and 195.3%. Let me explain….

We expect to have 85% of campers return from Summer 2014 to enjoy another incredible summer camp experience at CW. They loved camp, made new friends, had a blast with our staff and can’t wait for more. Our retention rate is an important number for lots of reasons but the biggest means that the kids and families actively choose to be a part of community.

11The second number is a little tongue in cheek (we were founded in 1953) but also pretty close to accurate. When we asked our Summer 2014 families and staff, almost everyone said they would recommend our camp to a friend. I’m pretty sure we had bad email addresses for those who did not respond…. And, when you look at where our new campers come from, more than half are from ‘word of mouth.’

We want say ‘Thank You!” to all of the campers, parents, and staff members who have been a part of our growing communituy. We could not have grown camp without your trust and support. We can’t wait for another great summer at CW!

Tennis at Camp Weequahic

Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 11.19.45 AMWhat do seeds, chips and double bagels have in common? No, they aren’t things you’ll find at the summer camp buffet. They are terms commonly used in one of the world’s most popular sport, and a sport enjoyed by hundreds of campers every year: Tennis.

Tennis is fast paced, competitive and fun. It is a great workout, as it keeps players constantly moving, running and swinging. For campers who prefer individual sports, tennis is one of the best options. It improves speed, agility and hand-eye coordination, skills that are great for kids in all kinds of different sports. Playing tennis helps with both physical and developmental growth, and kids who try tennis at camp can do so in a safe and encouraging environment where they feel safe to try something new without judgment or fear of embarrassment.

Tennis is a very physical sport. It improves leg strength, gross and fine motor skills, agility and flexibility, all while incorporating cardiovascular exercise. Because physical fitness is such an important part of tennis, campers are taught about general nutrition and the best ways to fuel their bodies in order to preform at their best on the court each day.

Tennis is also a great way to strengthen the character and physiological development of campers. Tennis requires practice and commitment, and helps campers develop a strong work ethic and discipline. When new tennis players stick with the sport, even when it’s tough, they gain valuable life lessons about never quitting and persistence. Tennis is a great way to strengthen social skills, and helps campers learn to be good sports.

The tennis courts at Camp Weequahic are surrounded by natural beauty, and serve as a safe, clean and professional style court for tennis lovers and rookies alike. Tennis is taught by certified and experience trainers, who will encourage the campers to do their best and make them feel confident and excited about picking up a racquet. Most importantly, they make sure tennis stays fun for the campers, and that everyone feels included and is having a good time.

Tennis is a large part of camp culture, and many first time tennis players go home asking their parents to continue playing when they get home. The benefits of tennis are endless, and campers who participate in the various tennis activities will walk off of the court with a sense of confidence and will understand why millions of people around the world love the game of tennis.