Posts Tagged ‘arts camps’

Catch Up with Division Head Alicia Willis

Posted Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 by

Name: Alicia Willis

Role at camp: Jinter Girls DH

Years at camp: 6

Our campers are having a safe and fun summer thanks to all our staff but especially to our Division Heads. Our DH’s are the cream of the crop; they are very experienced with kids and are well respected in their communities. Alicia Willis is no exception and returned to Camp Weequahic this year for her sixth summer with us. Five summers ago, she was a counselor for Jinter girls and a gymnastics coach at Camp Weequahic. Her energy, work ethic, and ability to connect with all the campers make her well known and beloved by everyone at Camp Weequahic. We decided to ask Alicia a few questions to see what makes her time at Camp Weequahic so special.

Camp Weequahic: Hi Alicia. We’ve been lucky to have you with us for six years. We’d love to ask you a few questions about your time at Camp Weequahic.  Tell us a little about your background.

Alicia: I am from Canada, born near the American border in the town of Sarnia, Ontario.  I recently graduated with a Masters of Social Work.  I have two siblings, one older brother and a younger sister.  We are extremely close.  In my free time I like to walk down to the beach with a good book or watch a movie with the family.

Camp Weequahic: What is your experience working with children?

Alicia: I have worked with children in multiple settings including my church, school, and other community centers in my neighborhood.  I have also worked at Camp Weequahic for 6 summers in many roles including bunk counselor for 4 years and coaching gymnastics.  I was a division head for Junior girls last summer. I’m excited to work with the Jinters this summer!

Camp Weequahic: We have loved having you for six summers. You have helped make Camp Weequahic the place it is today. What does camp mean to you?

Alicia: It is hard to put into words what Weequahic means to me.  Camp is a place where unlikely friendships become strong life long bonds.  Weequahic is a place where people can be their true self and all personalities are welcomed.  It has quickly become my home for the months of June, July, and August. My home away from home.

Camp Weequahic: Camp is definitely a place to make amazing memories. We have countless examples of lifelong friendships formed at Camp Weequahic, all possible because of staff members like you. What are some of your goals for the summer?

Alicia: I want to be a positive support for the counselors and campers to ensure that the summer will be memorable for all.  I am really excited for the new challenge spending time with 5th and 6th grade girls.  I started as a counselor for this division, and I am excited to be back with this age group.

Camp Weequahic: We are so excited to have you back with this group. We know you’re doing an amazing job. What is your favorite camp activity?

Alicia: Gymnastics, of course! My first 4 years at camp I was a gymnastics coach and loved every minute of being in the gym.  I believe it is the best place to be at camp.  If ever someone wants to learn how to fly, the gym is the place to start.

Camp Weequahic. Many of our campers love gymnastics, the gym is always full of campers learning new tricks and skills. Lastly, tell us a fun fact about you.

Alicia: My first language is English, but when I was younger, I learned how to read in French before I could read in English.

Camp Weequahic: Oh wow, that’s really interesting. We love learning the different backgrounds of our staff and campers. Thanks Alicia for talking with us today! We’re excited to see what this summer has in store for us!

Seven Summers

Posted Thursday, January 2nd, 2014 by

Most children step off the bus and get their first glance of summer camp as eager, excited, and slightly nervous seven or eight year olds. It’s their first time away from home and they’re not quite sure what to expect. Few register those first moments as the first of a seven year adventure. It’s just the first summer, after all. Even parents sometimes forget that summer camp isn’t just one summer and, in that regard, is much more than a campus. It is a place where children grow up, and it should be a place where campers are every bit as enthusiastic about stepping off the bus their seventh year as they are their first. It should be a place where they feel an integral part of something larger.

Relationships form early at camp. The friends campers make their first year are often their closest throughout their camp careers. The adrenaline filled first meeting is the beginning of several years in the making. But the accepting environment of camp that encourages children to try new things also facilitates the promise of new friendships each summer. What campers learn as they progress through summers is that at “their camp,” no two summers are quite the same.

There is always the element of the unexpected at camp. Anticipation throughout the winter to return to camp is driven by the mystery of how the next summer will be different than the last. The ability to envision the campus as pretty much the same way they left it (with maybe a few upgrades or improvements) eliminates the element of fear in change for children. The stability of the campus itself makes change something to which campers can look forward. Boating docks, dining halls and arts and crafts studios become favorite spots as the settings of memories from summer to summer. Although they are the same places they were the summer before, the memories campers associate with them make them slightly different.

That first exploratory summer, young campers are also able to observe and begin to anticipate the various rites that occur as they age. They look forward each summer to special trips and activities that are exclusive to their second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh summer. In the end, summer camp isn’t a singular experience. It’s the sum total of many summers and a culmination of friends, activities, traditions and memories that builds from that first welcome on the first day of camp that first summer.

20 Really Awesome Things You Can Do in One Summer at Camp Weequahic That You (Probably ) Can’t Do in One Summer at Home

Posted Wednesday, April 17th, 2013 by

1.) Jump on a Water Trampoline

2.) Ride a Zipline

3.) Paint Your Face a Different Color

4.) Make Something Cool in Arts & Crafts

5.) Take Part in an Apache Relay

6.) Learn a Balance Beam Routine

7.) Host a Radio Show

8.) Climb One of These

9.) Perform a Musical Number

10.) Perform in a Musical

11.) Have a Sleepover with Your Friends Every Night

11.) Sing Songs and Eat S'Mores around a Campfire

13.) Try a New Sport

14.) Go Fishing...

15.) And Horseback Riding...

16.) ...And Skateboarding in a Skatepark

17.) Learn to Waterski

18.) Climb a Wall

19.) Build a Rocket

20.) Build a Robot

Creating at Camp Weequahic

Posted Thursday, January 12th, 2012 by

In a summer at Camp Weequahic, campers get dusty, muddy, covered in paint, and clothed in wonder… and that is just in the creative arts programs!

We are thrilled to offer campers interested in exploring the creative side of life many great outlets for their imaginative inclinations. Whether building in the woodshop, shaping in our pottery barn, or painting, drawing, and crafting in our arts studio, our campers tap into the creative side of things on a daily basis.

And the creative programs at Weequahic don’t just end there! Campers use their heads and hands while building new motorized contraptions in Robotics, create and stylw rockets that blast off daily in Rocketry, perform on stage in Theater, produce a weekly NewsWeeq, and jam on guitar, keyboards, and drums in Music!

For Summer 2012, we’re excited about expanding all of these programs and we’ll be introducing something new to Weequahic as well: Fashion Design!

Many families ask, “How many kids are at Weequahic only for sports or only for the arts?” The answer is about one third of the campers only want athletics and the lake activities. Another third only want the creative side of things and the lake activities. The remaining third are just as likely to be in the Theater and Woodshop as they are on the soccer team and tennis courts. That said, many of our ‘sporty’ kids wind up choosing a creative arts activity because they are a ton of fun.

So, come to Weequahic to create. We promise you’ll get dirty and have fun while doing it!