There are so many benefits of being a part of a summer camp community. At Camp Weequahic, we believe our campers have a number of important outcomes. Here are some of the most important outcomes from summer camp in our eyes:
Camp makes you…
We live in world awash in connection devices (social media, pocket computers, etc.) that actually inhibit the deep connections we so desperately need. We spend more time focused on ourselves, particularly in how we relate to people we see ‘onscreen,’ rather than attempting to get a sense of how others feel. The latter, also called empathy, represents one of the most powerful tools in human existence. And, thankfully, camp creates deeper feelings of empathy among everyone involved.
We are going way past ‘entertained’ or ‘amused.’ And, we are not talking about just ‘being happy’ as there is a lot more to it than that. ‘Joyful’ is a larger state of mind that encompasses confidence, mirth, attitude, and connection to something greater than yourself. Our kids lose a bit of themselves, the part that inhibits them from trying new things, building new friends, and truly connecting. The walls we build come down and the joy bubbles in.
Courage is all about fighting the fear you have by doing what is right. It’s about saying ‘yes’ when it may be scary, reaching out to a new kid who seems not connected to the group, asking for or being open to proffered help, sleeping away from home for the first time, and more. Each summer, our campers build a deeper vault of experiences from which to pull greater and greater amounts of the courage they need in the future.
We have enough demands on our time back ‘in the world’ and I’m not going mention any of those demands. You know what we demand at camp? It’s pretty simple: be kind to one another. That’s it! (Well… besides no boys in the girls’ bunks or girls in the boys’ bunks.) When you are kind to others, you are giving a carefree gift. When those around you reflect that kindness back, the effect mushrooms into a community in which people are joyful, more connected, more courageous, and more engaged.
We have been blessed to see young girls and boys grow into mature young woman and young men over the past decade at Weequahic. It’s a complete gift to be a part of their upbringing. Some show up at camp as old souls while others take a bit more time to grow into themselves. Regardless of the path, when our campers end their CIT summer, each one has shown tremendous growth in responsibility, leadership, empathy, independence, connection, and joy. These qualities grow each summer to their blossoming in the CIT experience. It’s hard to express how rewarding that is for us.
When all is said and done, a summer at Weequahic makes each camper and staff member a part of something larger than themselves. They become a part of a community that has seven decades of tradition, growth, joy, and wonder behind it and many, many more to come. We are so thankful to be a part of this thriving community of young people and are excited to see where it takes us next.
Have a great weekend!