Archive for April, 2018

Dividing to Multiply

Posted Friday, April 20th, 2018 by

Yes, I know – school imagery does not always make the best start to talking about camp. Please know, we are not ‘anti-school’… we just do things differently! And, math is very useful, even at camp.

Now, my math-learning days are way back in the past. However, this idea that you have to divide in order to multiply doesn’t make a lot of sense.

As one quick-witted, math-superstar camper once told me, the order of math functions move along the ‘Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally’ route: Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction.

Hm… yep, multiplication comes before division in this routine. (It’s true – I looked it up.) So, what am I talking about and why bring it up?

Because at camp, we divide in order to multiply.

Joy at Weequahic

One of the cranky ‘philosophizers’ I enjoy to read is a guy named Samuel Clements. He also goes by the moniker Mark Twain. Of the many sayings he wrote, this is one of my favorites:

“To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with.” 

This perfectly encapsulates camp. To examine why, let’s do a thought experiment.

Say you were at camp all by yourself in the middle of the summer. (Of course, this would never happen but it’s a useful fiction for our purposes here.) All the big bouncies are ready on the lake, the fields are perfectly mown, the theater stage is set for the grand production, and the canteen is stocked.

Could you have a good time in that environment? Sure! There would be a lot of fun things to do, enjoy, eat, etc. It could be fun.

But, sooner rather than later, you’d get a little lonely. There would be no one to hit the tennis ball back, argue about the best canteen treat, dress up like a twin, triplet or octuplet with for dinner, laugh along with your jokes, etc.

You need someone there to divide the joy with, to share it. You need someone and not just anyone will do. It requires a buddy who sees the world like you do, shares your interests and laughs, and supports you when need it.

The Good News

So where will that person come from? The good news is that you are going to have several tons of options! Our new campers are coming from 10 states and 9 countries. Our returning campers add three more states and two more countries. And, our 225 staff members are from an even wider number of places.

Do you know what each and every one of them want to do? They want to make a friend (or forty) and have a blast – together.

It’s true! So, what does that mean for you?

Pretty simple, really… if you really want to have a blast this summer, make a friend and divide the joy with them. The more people you share it with, the more joy you’ll experience. (See, I told you the math would be useful!)

I’ll make it even easier – you can start with me! Speaking for everyone at Weequahic, I can’t wait to get you to camp. It’s going to be an amazing summer!

See you soon,

Cole Kelly, Director

Making ‘It’ Happen

Posted Saturday, April 14th, 2018 by

Wayne Huizenga, a very successful businessman, passed away a few weeks ago. By starting two incredibly large businesses, owning several major league sporting teams and giving a lot of money to organizations who helped those in need, he did a lot with his time on Earth.

There is a lot to learn from Mr. Huizenga. And, while I did not know him, I have used one of his quotes for a long time:

Some people dream of success, while other people get up every morning and make it happen.

The greatest basketball player to ever live said something similar.

So, what does this have to do with camp, you ask? A lot.

Making Camp Amazing

First, let’s start by defining a successful summer. In my opinion, that means a few things: returning home safely having made friends, laughed a ton, learned more than you realize, and feeling Weequahic is your second home.

To me, that’s a successful summer. Does it sound good to you? If you said ‘yes’, well then… it’s time to go to work.

I bet I can tell what you are thinking: “Work?!?! Are you serious, Cole? We’ve just spent eight out of the last nine months working in school, on homework, and house chores. We just want to have fun at camp!”

I hear you! And, that’s not the type of work I’m talking about. It’s more about attitude, about intentional effort, about focusing on how to make ‘it’ successful. (‘It’ in this case, means your time at camp.)

So, how does one intentionally go about making the coming summer the best ever? Here are a few ideas:

  1. Spend some time thinking about what you most want to get out of your three or six weeks at Weequahic. Are there new activities you want to try, friends you want to make, or adventures you want to enjoy?

 

  1. At the same time, think about what you are going to give to those around you at camp? We all have a unique strength to offer. Maybe you’ll make someone laugh, be a consistent and faithful friend, or offer courage and encouragement to someone tentative about trying a new activity.

 

  1. Come up with a plan or two on how you are going to handle those down moments. It could be missing home (talk with your friends and your counselors), being bummed about the rain (start a campaign to go mud-sliding), or not loving an activity as much as you thought (change it!)

 

Begin with the End in Mind

A very smart lady told me once to begin everything you do with the end in mind… and to remain open-minded about the process. A lot of times we want to control everything around us. We think that if we could, the ‘perfect’ experience could be built from the ground up… just for you.

There are two problems with that point of view. First, there are WAY too many moving parts at camp (or anywhere) to fully control things. You’ll just be frustrated by the process.

Secondly, it’s a very limiting mindset. We have so many awesome people at Weequahic and I bet 99.9% of them are just like you: they want to have a total blast this summer. The cool thing is that, because they are different than you, your new-found friends can stretch your idea of what a great time is… and make it bigger!

So… start getting ready to make Summer 2018 a resounding success. WE CANNOT WAIT to get you to Weequahic!

Onward to Adventure!

Posted Friday, April 6th, 2018 by

“You must go on adventures to find out where you belong.”  – Sue Fitzmaurice

I love a good adventure story. There are ups and downs, moments when you don’t think it’s going to work out and others when it does. The whole experience keeps you guessing almost to the very end.

Think of the great adventure movies and stories you’ve enjoyed. One of mine is called Last of the Mohicans. It’s about an adopted son of Chingachgook, the last of the Mohican tribe, and the adventures they go through on the American frontier in the late 1700’s.

I also really like Harry Potter and all the adventures he goes through with his wide assortment of friends, watchers, and enemies. The creativity and the twists and turns — it’s so much fun!

Though you may not believe it, both of these stories are really similar in major ways.

First, they have a main character who, with the help of mentors and friends, successfully takes on challenges. Secondly, there are obstacles to overcome that seem insurmountable at first, but when tackled as a team they find themselves victorious!

Finally, the heroes return home safely though both have been changed in many positive ways. They have found new independence, maturity, and confidence. And, most importantly, they both know without a doubt where they belong.

A Summer of Adventure

Hmm… sound familiar?

Our campers this summer will embark on an adventure of their own. Surrounded by a cast of campers, they’ll build friendships, enjoy new activities, overcome challenges, and have a great time! It’s going to be amazing.

Of course, there will be difficult moments too. A bunkmate may say something hurtful.  A counselor may seem like they are  upset about something. The ‘missing home’ gnome may rear its head.

While we consider these possible challenges at camp, I have a question for you: what adventure comes without risks?

Our campers have an enormous and wonderful opportunity this summer. They get to broaden their world, make new friends, learn from new mentors, and grow like they never have before. The benefits of being an open, active, and engaged part of the adventure are so incredibly high.

To me, they easily swamp the challenges of being away from home for a few nights and the initial discomfort of making new friends. Because, at the end of this summer’s adventure, there is always a promise of something more — another trek that could be even better (especially if it starts back at Weequahic!)

So, set your compass towards adventure this summer. The story is about to begin!

This sentence makes a better transition when placed under “A summer of adventure” because that title is (to me) what sounded familiar to the stories you shared.

“Counselor” is singular and “they” is plural. You will want to use “he/she is” here. That way counselor and he/she is in agreement.

I changed the ending to “begin” because you had used the word “start” just one sentence before this.

*Photo by Hendrik Morkel on Unsplash