Month: June 2015

Tips for Surviving the Summer Without Your Child

Now that your child has left for Camp Weequahic your daily routine has come to halt. You might be thinking, “What now?” Well here are some tips for surviving the summer without your children.

1. Take time for yourself
Parents out there, thank you for the selfless time you devoDSC_0046te to your kids and family. Even though your child is away at camp, you are used to the normal routine of waking up and doing anything you need to do that day (with your kids by your side). Even though you may miss them or feel guilty for taking some time for yourself it is so important to relax and unwind. Go on a date with a significant other. Watch your favorite TV show without being interrupted by a “Mom, have you seen [the endless list of misplaced items]?” We all need a break every now and then.
2. Take a step back
It is such a unique experience to send your children away for camp. It’s a wonderful feeling knowing they are becoming more independent, but it can also be scary. We understand that this is your baby and you may be worried about strangers taking care of him/her. However, it is essential to take a step back from the computer and not fixate over how many pictures he/she is in or the lack there of.
3. Realize it takes time for the kids to adjust
Many kids won’t make friends or feel comfortable overnight. Don’t worry. It’s normal. It takes a little while to adjust to the new environment that is Camp Weequahic. Rest assured our entire staff is dedicated to making sure every camper feels included and comfortable here at camp.
4. Let them have this experience without you
It’s normal to want to know everything that goes on during your child’s time at camp. However, it is important to let your child have his/her own space and go through this experience on their own. It will help him/her grow and become more mature and blossom into the best version of him/her self.
5. Stay calm
When your children are out of your sight it can be very easy to imagine the worst or take your child’s displeasure with something as a sign that he/she is miserable here at camp. However, nine times out of ten your child is having a fantastic time so stay calm. Your child is in very good hands. We only employ the most qualified people to take care of your children. Cole, Kate, Sue, and the Wonder Twins (Alex and Dana) have spent countless hours searching for an adaptable and responsible team of counselors and staff to provide the best possible experience for your child.

I will leave you with these last few words. Camp Weequahic is an amazing place to send your child. We constantly practice gratitude, attitude and courage and leave at the end of the summer knowing that we have become better versions of ourselves. You can rest easy knowing that every staff member and counselor is devoted to making this the best experience for each and every camper.


Teachers Love Campers from Weequahic

Rd29wUWlVLOncri5TRj_kXmDD3jdrNwPFZsXdyKxTCoWhen we asked a teacher in Florida what his ideal student looks like, he said “Someone who is respectful, creative and focused.” When we asked a teacher in New Jersey she said “Someone who isn’t afraid to ask questions, who wants to learn and who tries their hardest,” and when we asked a teacher from Pennsylvania, she said “Someone who has great time management skills, is a leader and is responsible.” What we learned from talking to these teachers is that all across the country, teachers enjoy having responsible, respectful and creative students in their classrooms. And whattaya know… Camp Weequahic helps students develop all of these skills, and so much more. It is our theory, that when teachers ask students what they did over the summer, they’re not just asking because it’s the standard “welcome back to school question,” but because they are secretly trying to decipher which students spent their summer growing, learning and improving at summer camp, and how many spent all summer playing video games. The bottom line: Teachers love students who spend their summers at summer camp.

Spending the summer at camp turns followers into leaders, turns shyness into confidence, and turns laziness into responsibility. Summer camp teaches campers how to work well with others, how to think critically and how to solve problems. It allows students to try new things, ask questions and be vulnerable in order to improve themselves. It teaches time management, respect for peers and authority, and organization. The list goes on and on, but every single day campers are learning valuable life skills that easily transfer over to every aspect of their lives. They think they’re just playing football with their friends, but at the same time they are learning how to communicate with others, how to be a good sport and the importance of maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle. When they make real connections with people they’d usually never talk to, they are learning to ignore stereotypes and appreciate diversity. Summer camp is day after day of life lessons, disguised as swimming, playing, singing, dancing, biking, hiking and exploring.

Teachers look for leaders in the classroom, someone who can follow instructions and encourage their peers to do the same. It is with these students that teacher form trusting relationships, which can work in the students benefit all year long. These leaders are built at summer camp, and their skills aren’t just confined to the campground or the school campus, they become leaders in every aspect of their life.

Parents can be confident that their child will leave camp a better version of themselves. These students, who enter the new school year with a strong sense of identity, work ethic and high self-esteem, will be an important contributor to their teachers and classmates. This will also help them strive as individuals in the classroom and help them improve their academic performance.

If you were to ask a teacher what they REALLY wanted in an ideal student, most of them would say “Anyone who spent the summer at camp!”

Participating versus Competing

Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 11.42.31 AMMy son Austin lives and breathes soccer. He is captain of his school team, plays with the neighborhood kids on the weekends and plays in recreational leagues. He watches soccer on TV, researches player stats online and is even part of a soccer club. To say he is competitive is an understatement. His sister, Emma, will kick a ball around when it is required during PE, but other than that she has no interest in being the best soccer player, or even being a soccer player at all. He’s competitive; she doesn’t have a completive bone in her body. Both spent the summer at America’s Finest Summer Camps and both had the time of their lives. Emma was urged to participate in activities that she knew she was strong in (art, music, dance) but was also encouraged to try sports that required a more competitive edge. She quickly learned that practicing, setting goals and meeting them was a major confidence booster. Being competitive didn’t mean knocking people to the ground or acting in a rude or aggressive behavior. She slowly began to get excited for games and matches at camp, excited to test her skills and track her improvement. She learned a few things about herself as she was encouraged to compete against others.

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 9.43.08 AMShe told us on when she got home that a lot of the reason she didn’t feel comfortable truly putting herself out there and challenging others was because she felt scared to fail. At camp, she found the courage to try new things, compete against others, and in turn it helped her grow. She didn’t feel like she had to be great at soccer, but just go out and have fun with her friends. I remember her saying “Dad, I know everyone says this, but at camp I really didn’t care if I won or lost, I liked what I was playing and learned a lot in the process.” But then, to be honest, she added that winning was a lot better than losing.

Austin learned some valuable lessons too. He learned nobody likes a ball hog or a know-it- all, and team sports are a lot more fun when you utilize the strengths of the entire team. He also had the opportunity to teach younger and more inexperienced campers, which helped in his patience and teaching skills. He was in an environment where he wasn’t the best or the fastest, and it was a humbling experience for him. He also stepped out of his comfort zone and tried robotics (which he hated) cooking, (which he tolerated) and sailing (which surprisingly, he loved!) Participating in these new activities helped him learn new skills, meet new people, and helped him realize the importance of making a team sport or activity fun for everyone, and not always worrying about winning.

I’m thankful that Camp Weequahic offers a chance for kids to compete and participate. My kids learned a lot about themselves, and about the world around them, by learning about the importance of competing and participating.