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A Farmer’s New Year Lesson

We are so grateful to enjoy such an amazing community of campers, parents, staff and friends at Camp Weequahic. The love, fun, and support of so many has been a highlight during a tough year.

While 2020 was filled with a number of challenges, it also taught us several of important lessons. As we move into ’21, a story told around the campfire came to mind. We couldn’t resist one last campfire of 2020 and thought it would be fun to hear from some of our campers and staff once more.

We hope you’ll enjoy this short video about “The Farmer and the Fruit Tree” as well as the fruits our community gathered from the past several months.

To all in our fantastic Camp Weequahic family, we wish y’all happy end to 2020 and wonderful start to ’21!

*If anyone needs help with video ideas or creation, Ben Marshall has done all of the short videos we’ve produced over the past few years – including this one.

Binary Opposition

The body is an amazing thing. To curl your arm from an extended position requires the contraction of one set of muscles and the lengthening of another. A push-pull, if you will.

It’s the same with any movement: throwing a ball, playing a piano, blazing and building in Fortnite or peeling off a sticker. Each movement requires a series of ‘push-pull’ systems in your body. When you sleep, you let these systems rest and find balance.

I raise this idea this to set you up for something bigger, something called ‘binary opposition.’ Simply put, two things exist are linked together but are at odds with one other. When one gets bigger, the other gets smaller. When the two are balanced, things are calm. When they are not, there is stress.

Yin and Yang

The classic visual symbol of ‘binary opposition’ is the yin-yang symbol. The idea is that two things are not only connected but also hold something of the other inside it. The koi pond in Avatar is a nice example of this. Here’s another:

In ‘The Dark Crystal’ there are two opposing groups: one that is thoughtful, wise, and gentle, while the other is angry, greedy, and violent. Between the two are the inhabitants of the land who suffer due to standoff between the two major groups.

(Spoiler alert!)

Turns out these warring factions were actually two parts of the same beings that had been magically splintered. When they are reunited by a selfless hero, the land returns its fruitful ways and peace reigns.

If you’ve been at camp long enough, you’ve heard story of the two wolves around the campfire. It’s a similar idea.  

Push & Pull for Heroes and Camp

Heroes are an interesting combination of binary oppositions: strength and gentleness, courage and fear, creativity and ‘the basics’, adventure and home, and many more. Yes – heroes experience fear all the time. Without it, they couldn’t develop their courage.

Life at camp has similar push-pull experiences. Take, for example, the combination of ‘community’ and ‘individual choice.’ The balance of the two is desperately important. In our opinion, too much structure and you wear each other out. Too much individual choice and you fail to develop connections. At Weequahic, we need to find the balance of this push-pull situation. Same with ‘fun / safety’, ‘new ideas / tradition’ or ‘fruit / chocolate chip cookies.’

There are several binary oppositions I’d like to explore with you over the coming weeks. Specifically, we’ll look at some of the big ones heroes wrestle with and apply them to our own lives. I hope you’ll come along for the ride. Don’t worry – there will be a lot of talk about camp, too!

Have a great week, Weequahic!

PS: I know I mentioned ‘stickers’ up above. If you are looking for a fun holiday gift, check out our favorite sticker maker​. They’ve been fantastic over the years. Their service is top notch and prices very reasonable. Enjoy!

Camp Weequahic Pennsylvania Sleep Away Camp

Let’s Do the Work Together

There is a valuable push in the camp industry to become more welcoming to people of color. We support this ideal and wanted to describe our approach.

At Camp Weequahic, we do the work – through our hiring, training and programming – so that every person feels as though they belong, that they are a valued part of something greater than themselves. This is the whole point of camp: to build a community that no one wants to leave at summer’s end. There are two important ingredients: a committed staff of diverse individuals and an engaged, excited group of campers.

For our staff, as long as you see the world through our lens of ‘gratitude, attitude and courage’ and have the potential of making our community and culture stronger, we are excited to work alongside you. We seek out team members that come from different places, backgrounds, and experiences. As long as we share the same mission, our diverse staff makes the Weequahic community better for each other and our campers.

For our campers, as long as you are excited to make new friendships, build new experiences, and approach each day and each person with open arms, we are excited to play alongside you. We are happy to have campers from a wide range of cultures and backgrounds with whom we enjoy the summer.

Certainly, we don’t get it right for every person who walks through our gates. And, we learn from our mistakes and work hard to get better each year. Like so many others, we celebrate how a diverse group of people can come form something amazing: a community of belonging.

Let’s Do the Work Together

Early this June, I spent some time with a handful of our past, present and future Black staff. Their honest conversation was wonderful and led to a blog post after the experience called Important, Uncomfortable & Necessary Growth. Having read the post again, I still feel strongly it represents who we are and how we’ll move forward.

If we all do our small parts, we’ll have a big effect. Weequahic will continue to do our part to ‘create amazing’ for our diverse and excited community. Our hope is that each Weequahic camper and staff member will take the lessons of gratitude, choosing your attitude, building courage, and being kind out into their own small pockets of the world.

That’s how lasting change happens: small, consistent, intentional moves. Keep doing your part Weequahic.