Camp Traditions: Friday Night Campfire

Every Friday night at Camp Weequahic, we enjoy a tradition that has occurred since our founding in 1953 – Campfire.

After a great day at CW, campers and staff don a white shirt and walk with their bunkmates to the beach. Once there, everyone is offered the choice of two 10-minute services: a Shabbat or a non-denominational service. Normally, camp splits evenly between these two options and many will change which they visit each week.

At the end of these short services, everyone gets together around the campfire which Cole, our camp director, lights. As the fire begins to burn, Cole spends ten minutes talking about one of camp values: Gratitude, Attitude and Courage. He uses stories, quotes, and poems to make everyone think a bit more about the topic of the week and get them excited to practice that value more in their own lives.

Campers then enjoy the awards part of the evening. The kids who have stood out over the previous week are recognized by all of our Program Heads in front of the entire camp. Then, it’s the Division Heads’ turn to give our their own awards – Camper of the Week and Honor Bunk.

DSC In a new and already loved tradition, Honor Bunk (the cleanest bunk of the week for each division) gets to come forward and spin the Prize Wheel. While there are a number of fun prizes available, everyone seems to want “Walk the Plank” and the chance to make a senior staff member dive into the lake in front of the whole camp – with their cloths on!

At the end of Campfire, our photographers show a fun slideshow of all the best photos of the week for the entire camp. Kids get a chance to cheer for one another when their smiling face comes across the screen.
Once the slideshow is over and the only light is from the campfire and the stars and moon above, we joinarms and sing Taps and Alma Mater with our CITs leading the whole way. Then, as campers and staff are dismissed, everyone enjoys homemade chocolate chip cookies and milk before heading off to their bunks and bed.

Campfire is a fantastic tradition involving laughter, community, and a bit of learning in a beautiful and memorable setting. We are thrilled to continue this deep tradition at Camp Weequahic. Hope to see you around the campfire soon!

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