Month: September 2016

Have a Good Laugh

I love to laugh. Anyone sitting near me during this summer’s production of Aladdin heard me laugh a lot and loudly. Sorry… I come by it honestly. As a 13-year-old, I spent an afternoon cringing in a movie theater while listening to my mother laugh at ‘The Princess Bride’ – from 15 rows away! (And, yes, it’s a hilarious movie.)ac9u0630

I have a lot of favorite things about camp – the amazing, hilarious campers, working alongside our talented and engaged staff, watching my own boys build lasting friendships. There is so much to love.
My favorite, though, is walking camp just after everyone heads back to their bunk following a fun EA. The sky is dimming quickly, the air is crisping up, and the sounds of laughter, joy, and community jump out of each bunk. It’s a magical time that makes one feel young and connected.

Laughter is a gift we give both to ourselves and to those around us. First of all, it brightens our own outlook, lightens our mood, and helps us see the positive. And, it’s contagious. There is a lot of research on this fact .dsc_0536

Want to grow closer to your friends? Laugh with them. It’s one of the most effective ways to opening the doors to a person’s friendship. Want to grow more comfortable with yourself? Cultivate the ability to laugh – at yourself!

We all make mistakes. We all stumble. All of these stumbles and mistakes are learning opportunities and most give us the opportunity to laugh at ourselves. When you treat your honest mistake or stumble with your own laughter, challenges begin to melt a bit. Time speeds up a bit. Your friends are more likely to join in (in kindness and support). And, most importantly, you grow.

Take some time this off-season to laugh. Find some friends to do it alongside or spend some time thinking about all those moments at Weequahic this past summer that still make you laugh. Was it Miss Weequahic? Seeing the counselors hypnotized? Goofing around at Carnival or just enjoying time with your buddies?ac9u9482

We are blessed to get to laugh. Practice it often. Have a great week!

The 8 Reasons You’re Already Excited About Summer 2017



Your dirty camp laundry might still be in a pile waiting to be washed, and you’re already counting down the days until next summer so you can get back to camp!

If you’re already planning and excited about next summer, you’re not alone. You’re one of the many campers who make going away to camp a part of their summer experience year after year. Here are 8 reasons why you’re already looking forward to summer 2017:


  1. You get to see old friends- When asked, most campers say seeing old friends is the #1 reason they are excited to get back to camp. Social media, texting, emails and phone calls throughout the year are great, but there is nothing like after a busy school year reconnecting with old friends!
  2. Campfires- there is something about the singing crickets, the crackling of the fire, good friends all around, S’mores on the fire, and those whacky, silly campfire songs that make summer camp so much fun.
  3. Outdoor Adventures- more than likely, you don’t live in a place where you can easily access an impressive ropes course or mountain biking trails, or the chance to go camping in the mountains. At camp, you have access to all of these adventures just steps from your cabin.
  4. Freedom- You’ve worked so hard all year to get good grades, contribute around the house, participate in sports and other afterschool activities, that summer camp is a nice break from all of those responsibilities. At camp, you’re free to relax!
  5. Special Events- from pool parties and talent shows, to laser tag and MTV night, campers are always excited about special events! You never really know what to expect with these special events, all you know is that it’s going to be awesome and it’ll be a night you won’t soon forget!
  6. Reconnecting with Nature- when you leave camp, it can feel kind of weird to spend the next few months sitting in a classroom, or coming home to sit and play video games. Camp gives you a new appreciation for the outdoors, and being outside all of the time becomes a part of who you are. Many campers are excited to breathe the fresh mountain air, cannonball into the refreshing lake, and experience quiet time with nature throughout camp.
  7. The Food- Even at the best schools, cafeteria food is still cafeteria food, and can get boring after a while. Thankfully, coming to camp means you have a wide variety of food options to choose from, and all of it is delicious! Remember the breakfast sandwiches? Remember the ice cream sundaes? Remember the cookouts? Healthy and delicious options are always available for bust, hungry campers!
  8. The Traditions- if next summer will be your first summer as a repeat camper, you have something really exciting waiting for you! Your time as the new camper is over, and now you’re a P-R-O! You already have a hang of the traditions, the rituals, the songs and customs that happen at camp. You now have the opportunity to teach the new campers! If this is your third or fourth summer returning to camp, you know that even though there are some things that stay the same, every camp experience is new and different and exciting!


It’s not too early to start counting down the days until summer 2017. It’ll be here before you know it, and you’ll be packing your bags and heading back to one of your favorite places on the planet. There is so much to look forward to, and these are just SOME of the many reasons kids are already so excited to get back to camp! Why are you pumped about getting back to camp?


The Importance of Stories

I love a good story. I’ve told a lot of them at Campfire. There are some favorite ones that we repeat like the Giving Tree but many are new each summer.

Stories are important to us as individuals and as a society. When well done, stories stir emotion, share values, and give us a chance consider our past, present, and future in different ways.


What are your favorite stories? Are they Greek myths? The stories you’ve learned about America’s founder fathers? Something from Dr. Seuss perhaps? There are so many choices and I hope you collect many.

But the stories we listen to are not the only ones that are important. I think the most important are those stories that we tell ourselves.

A great teacher of mine spoke a lot about self-talk and making sure that it was positive, uplifting and focusing all at the same time. Many of us struggle at times with this aspect of our lives and that’s ok. The important thing is to take some time and really evaluate what you are saying to yourself. Are building yourself up or tearing yourself down?

Our campers and staff are amazing. How do I know? Because I get to spend so much time with you each summer and then hear about your throughout the year. You have SO MUCH in your lives of which to be proud. Please make sure the stories you tell yourself are positive, uplifting and focusing.

Have a great weekend!

With GAC,