Month: January 2017

Choose Your Friends Wisely

There is saying you may hear from time to time: “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” It’s a quote that came from Jim Rohm, a very popular speaker and trainer of sales people back in the ‘80s.

The idea is simple: Whoever you spend the most time with, you take bits and pieces of them – their behavior, their phrases, their attitude – and add it to your own life.

You do this without even thinking about it; it’s a natural phenomenon. But, just because you aren’t thinking about it doesn’t make the effect any less real.

So, if this is the case, the question is, “With whom are you spending the most time?” While we can’t help you back home, at camp, we can be very influential.

At Camp….

You may be thinking, “I don’t get to choose our counselors at camp” or, if it’s your first summer at Weequahic, “I don’t get to choose who I bunk with.” And, you’d be right.
But, here’s the thing: you and your family chose Weequahic for very specific reasons. The ideas of practicing gratitude, choosing your attitude, and building courage are important to your family. You want to choose your activities but make sure you do your fun things with other kids your same age and gender. You want to make sure you are safe and have the time of your life!

The other campers with whom you’ll spend your time are looking for the same thing. Sure, their activities may differ somewhat but the base is the same: they are kind kids who want to make friends and have a blast.

The (amazing) young people we choose for our team at Weequahic feel strongly about GAC, keeping our campers safe and making sure everyone has a blast. In fact, we have three people who find, interview, and pick only the best people. By ‘best’, we mean those we feel will most successfully take up our vision and make it happen.

So, at camp, we got you covered.

Back Home….

Here’s the thing – you actually have more control over who you spend time with than you think. You can just roll through your days and not be intentional. Or, you can take some time to really think about the people you spend the most time with and decide whether they helping you be the person you want to be or not.

[A side note: You need to know what kind of person you want to become! To determine this, have a conversation with those who love you most and you trust. They’ll give you guidance in this very important part of your life.]

So, who do you want to be? Once you’ve got that decided, do your friends help you get there? I hope the answer is ‘heck yeah!’

If the answer is ‘no’, then you have a choice to make. Do you show the courage to change or do you keep things rolling as normal? Here’s the great news: just like Weequahic, you get to choose.

Have a great weekend!


Taking the Camp Weequahic Spirit Home with You

When camp comes to an end, you’ll pack up your trucks and head home to get ready for another busy school year. When you leave, you’ll leave with a lot more than you came with. Your journals will be full of memories, your phones will be full of new phone numbers for all of your new friends, and you, as an individual, will leave with a new sense of confidence and independence that you only get when you spend a summer at Camp Weequahic.


There are different ways different campers bring a little piece of camp spirit home with them. You may find yourself humming one of the whacky camp tunes as you clean your room, which will bring back memories of campfires and canoeing on the lake.


You may find yourself digging through your laundry basket to find your super comfortable camp t-shirt, the one that reminds you of scoring the winning soccer goal or laughing until you cry at one of the shows put on by some of your best friends. You may search your room for your beloved camp hat or sweatshirt, as the perfectly worn in feeling brings back warm memories of late night talks and adventures outside.


Your family members may notice that you come back with a new sense of confidence, a new passion for sports or the arts, or a brand new sense of independence. They may notice that you left for camp one way, and came home with the camp spirit still dancing inside of you. They may notice you are happier, more active, and more willing to try new things. A lot happens at camp that causes changes and shifts within you, and it is impossible not to take those experiences and lessons and apply them into your normal routine back home. Shy campers may find it easier to make new friends, outgoing campers may learn to find comfort in quiet time and connecting with Mother Nature. Camp has this special way of exposing campers to a side of themselves that they may not normally see. This is the spirit of camp that comes home with each and every camper.


And next summer, when you come back, you’ll be amazed at all of the new things you take home with you. Year after year, even after you think you’ve done and learned and experienced everything camp has to offer, you still come home with something new each summer. You may learn that you don’t need to be constantly connected to Wifi to feel connected. You may learn that there is something special about spending time in nature. Every summer, campers take a little something extra home with them that stays with them for the rest of their life.


Lucky for you, a lot of the camp spirit that you’ll take home with you, and carry with you for the rest of your life, won’t take up any extra space in your camp trunk.





Coming Together at Camp

I don’t know about you, but the big news in the US today makes me want to gather everyone around the campfire tonight. 

Wouldn’t that be great? We’d sit around a roaring fire, share some laughs, play some games under the stars, and think about the deeper things which unite us. Afterward, we’d enjoy some milk and cookies and head to bed with a full heart surrounded by friends.

If we were to sit by Sly Lake tonight, I believe I’d be talking about things that bind us as a camp community together.

The love of traditions such as Friday night campfire, singing the good night song arm in arm, dancing in the Dining Hall, and canteen raids really do bring us closer. Shared values such as gratitude, choosing your attitude and courage keep us grounded in what’s important. Practicing kindness and helpfulness with everyone really makes a difference.

Summer Lessons Lead to Lifetime Habits

One our great summer leaders, Amanda N., recently shared a story from her life as a high school teacher.

After seeing a young man drop some trash and start to walk away, she practiced courage by stopping his group, picking up the trash and saying, “Guys, this is your school. You should treat it with respect. Don’t throw trash on the ground. Be helpful.”

(And, yes, believe it or not, teachers have to show courage every day to help young people to learn both in and out of the classroom!)

A few weeks later, she found herself walking unnoticed behind the same group of young men. A young man in the group stopped, bent down, picked up a piece of paper on the ground, walked it to a trashcan, and threw it away.

One of his friends asked what he was doing and he just shrugged and said “Ms. Neary said to be helpful.”

That little change of outlook will make a big difference in that young man’s life if he continues to practice it. Way to go, Ms. Neary!


Just because we have a great deal that binds us together doesn’t mean we can’t disagree. In fact, if we don’t have some disagreements, then we can’t learn and grow. And, if we aren’t growing, well… we’d be going in a direction you don’t want to think about.

Of course we argue! But, as a community, we do it from the bedrock of a shared vision (to create an amazing experience for everyone we meet through…) and core values (gratitude, attitude and courage).

Because we agree on the big things, we can argue confidently about the smaller things. And, as long as we keep an open mind while talking through our different opinions and experiences, we’ll great results. That’s true at Camp Weequahic as much as it is true at your school, in your home, or in our country.

Make sure you know the ties that bind you together. Keep them safe and healthy. Once you are confident in those, practice courage and make sure you are heard. And then… enjoy a cookie and milk with your neighbor!

Have a great weekend,