Posts Tagged ‘benefits of camp’

Color War: A CIT’s Role

Posted Tuesday, August 4th, 2015 by

Olympic session’s Color War is, for many campers, the highlight of their time here at Weequahic. It is the craziest, most memorable week they will have at camp. Color War is something campers look forward to all summer and is truly a bonding experience for everyone. For our CIT’s, however, Color War is the pinnacle of their time at CW. It rounds out the many years they have spent here and is the finishing touch to their experience as campers.

Color War is led by all the CIT’s, with the help of two counselors, and really gives them all a chancAC9U6961e to show leadership, responsibility, team work, gratitude, attitude, and courage to our younger campers. Our CIT’s must show good sportsmanship and team spirit and really lift up their teammates and give them a reason to win.

During Color War, competitions include various sports, ceramics and woodworking and a CIT basketball game. Some camp favorites are tug of war, egg toss and bucket brigade. Apache, a similar competition to the Gitch (Tribal Wars), involves every team member in a giant relay race. Another fun event is marble call. Whenever a specific song is played over the intercom campers must run to the flag pole to put colored marbles in their buckets. This event is particularly funny because it can happen at any time.

On the final evening of Color War, we have sing night. Over the course of the week all the CIT’s practice for this event because it is a really special time when all of camp comes together to celebrate the summer we have all had together. Each team presents their plaque along with a skit. The CIT’s from each team then share their March, a song to celebrate their respective team, Memory, an Alma Mater from a previous summer, and Alma Mater, a song about their experience here at Weequahic.

Color War is a very special time at camp and is a wonderful chance for us to grow and become a closer community. It is a great opportunity for our CIT’s be true leaders and we know they will do a fantastic job. We want to wish everyone a fun and exciting Color War and cannot wait to see all our CIT’s in action!

Wee-Excel Day!

Posted Thursday, July 30th, 2015 by

Tomorrow is Wee-Excel Day; a special event day focusing on a camper’s program of choice. There are a wide range of activities for campers to choose from including Sports, the Arts, Adventure and “Olympic Prep.”

Some of our intensive sports camps include basketball, golf and roller hockey. Those campers wanting to play golf go to a local club where they get to play 9 holes on a challenging course. Our golfers love this opportunity because they really get to push themselves and see how much they have improved over the summer. AC9U3647

We also offer day long hikes for all age groups and our campers absolutely love the experience. Hikes are broken up by division and trails usually run for about 4 miles. The views are spectacular and campers get to cool down in falls that they pass along their route. After a long hike campers are treated to Jericho’s ice cream and feel refreshed upon their return to camp!

In preparation for our performance of Shrek, campers involved in the play have the entire day to practice their lines and songs, set designers can put their finishing touches on set pieces and the stage crew can work on lighting and cues. We also have a creative option for campers interested in activities such as scrapbooking, ceramics, photography, and painting. This gives campers a chance to paint any items they have made in ceramics or woodworking or make a book full of all the wonderful memories they have made here at camp.

In anticipation of Olympics, all our campers have been trying to guess when the breakout will happen. Olympics is a very exciting multi-day event that all our campers and counselors look forward to, so we have something called “Olympic Prep” for our older campers. These campers practice for certain events such as the hatchet hunt, grape tossing and counting to a minute (with a blindfold on). This gets all our campers super pumped up for Olympics breakout and is also a prime opportunity for our older campers to utilize their leadership skills on their respective team and help younger campers in their events when the time comes.

Wee-Excel Day is a wonderful opportunity for all our campers to dive into an activity they truly enjoy. Campers get to see the amount of improvement they’ve made over the course of the summer. It is also a time for them to use all the skills they have learned from counselors and fellow campers.

Sailing at Camp Weequahic

Posted Monday, March 16th, 2015 by

Screen Shot 2015-03-12 at 8.54.16 PMWhen you think about summer, most of the images that race through your mind include two things: sun and water. Whether it’s laying out by the pool, running through the sprinklers, or zipping through the waves on a boat or jet ski, or contemplating life’s mysteries while casting a line out to fish, the summer is meant to be spent heating up in the sun and cooling down in the water. This is why so many campers enjoy learning to sail when they spend the summer at Camp Weequahic.

Sailing is an exciting water activity that allows campers to work as a team to reach a common goal. It is a great way to spend the afternoon soaking up the sun, and creates a bond between sailors that can’t be created anywhere else.

Campers who learn to sail aren’t just learning how to maneuver a large vessel through the water (however that is a big accomplishment!) Everything about learning to sail is a learning opportunity. Math and science are weaved into the fun and challenging sport of sailing. Sailors will learn about the importance of aerodynamics when it comes to the position of the sale. They will learn to read a compass and become confident navigating their way to and from a destination without the help of the GPS on their smartphones. They will learn to solve problems quickly, to be observant of their surroundings, and will find a new appreciation for Mother Nature. Campers who try sailing leave with a “boat load” of useful skills and practical information that will help them for the rest of their lives.

Screen Shot 2015-03-12 at 8.54.26 PMEven if they never have to deal with air pressure or thinking about the curvature of a sail, they will learn to work as a team, follow directions and appreciate the quietness. Sometimes young kids and teenagers have a hard time dealing with quiet, or feel anxious when they don’t have something to entertain them at every second. Sailing is good practice for just sitting back and enjoying nature, and is a great way for campers to learn to be comfortable in their own silence. All of the sailing adventures are guided and supervised by certified instructors, so everyone is kept safe while they are having fun.

The beauty of the lake surrounding Camp Weequahic is a reason all on their own to take up sailing. The view from the sailboat can’t be put into words, and campers write home how much they loved spending their afternoons out on the lake.

Campers have hundreds of opportunities to try new things while they spend their summers at camp, and learning to sail is another great way to expose them to things they may never have a chance to try at home. It also gives them a sense of accomplishment that they can succeed at anything they put their mind to.

Things Which Are Quintessentially Summer Camp

Posted Monday, January 26th, 2015 by

Summer camp is a fun and exciting experience and time simply flies by. There are several things and activities to do, which makes it impossible not to miss some of them. However, it doesn’t matter how chaotic, busy, or crazy things get, there are a few things that will always remind you about camp:

1.    Arts & Crafts

Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 12.32.57 PMAccording to the American Camp Association (ACA), Arts and Crafts is amongst the five most popular activities at summer camp, and why wouldn’t it? Kids simply love spending a part of their day in a place filled with glitter, paint, scissors, beads, and other craft items. With arts and craft, the possibilities are endless, as the atmosphere not only gives campers the opportunity to relax, reflect, use their creative side and time to socialize with fellow campers and friends.

2.    Campfires

A campfire is a mainstay at every camp. The activities, songs and traditions differ from camp to camp. However, one thing remains consistent and that’s the sacred relevance the campfire holds. The fire symbolizes camp life, and the odor of burning wood serves as a reminder of picturesque settings where camps are situated.

3.    Sing Alongs

Karaoke may be a popular activity for a get-together, but, when it comes to summer camps, there is nothing more melodious than the whole camp singing tunes together. The sing-along are not just about singing songs together, it’s a way of bringing each and everyone together to celebrate the thing which has brought everybody together as one, and that thing is camp.

4.    S’mores

A summer is incomplete without s’mores. And besides, it’s quite hard to resist the pleasure of melted marshmallows and chocolate sandwiched between two crackers. Just one bite is enough to bring instant memories of camp.Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 12.33.38 PM

5.    Bunks

Now, you might get thinking that what’s so special about bunks. Well, they are much more than places where counselors and campers sleep. It’s where everyone becomes families, memories are made and friendships are nurtured.

6.    Bugle Calls

Bugle Calls guide campers through their day at camp. It doesn’t matter if they are bells or bugles only one sound is enough for campers to know what they have to do. Whether it’s showing up for waterskiing, tennis, or even closing the lights at nighttime, these sounds will let campers know about everything.

7.    Crazy Wardrobe Preferences

Camp is perhaps the only place where you will get complemented for wearing bright colors, body paint, hats, wigs and other funny clothing to a camp function. Funny isn’t it? But, it’s an experience that will always bring back good memories.

Can Camp Prepare Your Child For College?

Posted Monday, January 19th, 2015 by

1017751_10152804400071419_2791228752166886111_nAs your child grows, the time for college comes closer, and when the moment finally comes by, there are several questions that begin to pour through a parent’s mind. Questions like will they make friends? Will they work hard? And, where are they going to be heading after this? The thing is that it’s natural to worry as a parent. However, these fears and doubts can be lessened, and all you need to do is send your child to camp. Believe it or not, a good summer camp can really prepare your child for college. Not convinced? Read on as we further elaborate.

The Challenges of Going to College

There are several challenges that going to college presents to your child, but there are three which stand out:

  • Academic rigor increases.
  • There is considerable uncertainty (will I be able to fit in socially? Can I adjust with this roommate?)
  • Being away from home, friends, and family.

How Camp Prepares Children for College?

Kids Learn New Skills

Undoubtedly, camp covers a little when it comes to the first challenge, but it does quite a lot in preparing your child for it. How? Well, your child learns a lot in camp. They develop different skills in the process, as it pushes them out of their comfort zone, so that they can try things they haven’t before. The scenario is pretty much the same in college. Coping up with the difficult studies, working hard to maintain it, can be difficult, but if your child has already been to camp, they will work hard and out of their comfort zone to achieve the results they desire.

10563215_10152928320496419_2590873399911414988_nKids Learn Who They Really Are at Camp

Camp allows kids to try new and exciting activities, as well as meet new people. This can prove to be quite conductive for the growth of your child. They are given the opportunity to be comfortable in their own skin, which is essential in college.

Kids Learn to Face Competition

Competition is everywhere and same is the case when it comes to college. Kids learn to both succeed and fail at camp, which is a crucial part of their growth process. There is a lot at stake in college and fearing the competition can be harmful for the progress of your child. Sending your child to a good camp can help them to learn a healthy level of competition.

Kids Learn to Take Care of Themselves

In camp, there are no parents or family around to do stuff for them, and kids have more time to do things for themselves. They take care of their own things, make their own bed, and so on. This along the way helps them to learn to take care of themselves, and that too, in an extremely fun way. Since your child will be spending more time in college than at home, this is something that will certainly help them in college.

So, find a good camp and send your child to it now, as it would help them to develop the essential shock-absorbers for the bumps of college life.

Leap Of Faith

Posted Thursday, January 1st, 2015 by

She wasn’t sure what was going to happen first: either her heart was going to beat itself right out of her chest, or the butterflies, no, eagles that were soaring around in her stomach were going to somehow find their way out.

Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 11.29.20 AMNervous didn’t even begin to explain how she was feeling as she looked up the gigantic rock wall. She knew all she had to do was put her feet, which were now firmly planted on the ground, on one of those colorful rocks, reach up with one hand and grab another one, and she would be officially off the ground. As her sweaty palms met the first rock, her counselor spoke quietly right behind her, whispering words of encouragement and support. As she took the next step and inched her way up the rock wall, she had to remind herself to breathe. Then she heard her friends, encouraging her and cheering her on. Left foot, right hand, right foot, left hand, she said to herself. The further she got from the ground, the louder the cheers became. She was actually doing it! She was climbing the rock wall that she said from the moment she stepped foot onto camp that she would never do. She wanted to look down to see the crowd of people cheering her on, but she decided she’d just focus on getting to the top.

As she stopped to take a breath, she looked around and marveled at the sheer beauty the camp was enclosed in. The tall trees, the blue waters, the sprawling green lawns; she had never seen camp from this viewpoint before. She knew she was halfway there because her friends’ chants told her so, and she suddenly got a boost of energy and continued her trek up the rock wall. Just a few more rocks to climb and she will be at the top. She wasn’t sure when her nervousness turned to excitement, but as she reached for the top of the wall, she felt a power and a confidence she had never felt before. The entire camp erupted in applause and she screamed “I DID IT!” at the top. As she propelled down to the crowd of supporters, she walked away with a new sense of self-confidence and accomplishment.

The rock wall symbolized everything she was afraid of, and she had conquered it. She grew closer to her friends and counselors because of their unwavering support, and she went home with a fresh perspective on obstacles and challenges. “Now, when something is hard or scary, I say to myself ‘I climbed the rock wall at camp. I got this.”Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 11.29.32 AM

The rock wall, ropes courses, rope swing and zip line are all vital parts of the Adventure Program at Camp Weequahic. These thrilling activities push campers out of their comfort zone, and they emerge a little different than they were when they started. Whether they are climbing the rock wall on their own, or working as a team to maneuver through the high or low ropes courses, these adventures help campers excel in areas such as teamwork, leadership, goal setting, cooperation, positive risk taking and trust. These vital characteristics are taken from camp and built upon in the outside world, creating well rounded, brave individuals who work well in group settings, set goals and meet them, and can trust others as well as themselves. Who would have thought soaring down a zip line or flying through the air on a giant swing could be so important for a child’s emotional well-being?

Inner strength, confidence and accomplishment aren’t only gained through climbing great heights. Overnight camping trips are available for older campers via the Adventures Program, and offer a wide range of benefits for those to take part in it. The survival skills the campers will learn will give them a peace of mind that they have the tools they need to make it should they ever get lost in the woods. This also teaches them self-sufficiency, trusting their instincts and being in touch with their surroundings. The over night camping experience helps campers develop a strong sense of teamwork, as they work together to set up tents, build fires, and explore the woods.

What some campers accomplish on two feet, others can accomplish on two wheels! Mountain biking is another popular feature of Adventures Camp, and is an exhilarating way for campers to experience the outdoors. They will learn bike safety, get a great workout and experience the thrill of positive risk taking.

As campers climb, camp and cycle their way through camp, they are creating lasting memories and experience adventure in a safe and supervised environment.

Campers often write home about taking the “Leap of Faith” a favorite camp tradition that involves climbing to the top of the star jump taking a deep breath and jumping off, placing all of your trust in the ropes and harnesses that are attached to you. The scariest part is making your feet leave the platform, but once you do, you’re in the air and everything that was scary and impossible about making the jump is far behind.

Campers will come home from camp different than from when they arrived. They will come home more self assure, confident, brave and strong; thanks to all of the amazing activities like the Adventure Program that Camp Weequahic has to offer.

A Parental View on Summer Camp

Posted Thursday, December 25th, 2014 by

Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 11.25.12 AMAttending Camp Weequahic can be a wonderful experience for a child. Apart from being a fun place, camp teaches some important lessons of life. A child learns to do things on his own without realizing it. However, parents note healthy changes in the child as he/she learns to polish shoes, making their bed, and pack their school bag among others.

Summer Camp: An Experience of a Lifetime

It may sound over the top but children remember their summer camp experience for life. There are camps where senior alumni members come and share their camping experience. These occasions are nostalgic as senior members who attended the camp once or twice remember the virtues of life they learned there.

Photo Nov 11, 4 56 30 PMChildren attending summer camp enjoy the unique, pleasant environment for multiple reasons. Making new friends is one benefit. It is not an understatement that children make friends at a camp, but since they share similar experiences and activities, they are likely to remain friends. There are cases where children from different schools and locations became friends, joined activities and shared routines throughout the camp. After the camp, they share contacts and remain in touch.

Don’t Over Caution Your Children

Worrying occurs naturally when your child is away for a day, let alone for three or six weeks. What parents must not do is to over-caution children. Parents must keep faith in the camp administration that they will take care of their child. Parents must not restrict the child neither must they emphasize them to follow the school schedule. It has been observed some parents also restrict their children to stay within the community or schoolmates. In some cases, acts of racism are also observed. It should be noted a summer camp is run by experienced professionals who know how to deal with children with odd behavior. Set the overcautious attitude aside and let your child enjoy the experience.

No Harm in Maintaining a Healthy Routine

It is all right to remind the child of his daily routine, such as brushing their teeth twice, washing hands before eating, and getting proper hydration. To protect skin, use sunscreens or lotions/creams to keep sunburns away. To keep bugs away, use skin lotion or spray insecticides, particularly when outside the camp at nighttime. Being away from home doesn’t mean children are free to do as they please. Ask them to sleep early as they do at home during school days. Maintaining a healthy routine is never a bad thing,

Summer camp can be a lasting experience for children and parents alike. Children overcome shyness and gain a great deal of self-confidence when they are away at a summer camp. Not to forget the happiness and the pleasant memories they are likely to cherish for life.

4 Tips For The Perfect Cannonball

Posted Thursday, December 11th, 2014 by

Things every camper should bring to camp to ensure an amazing summer:

  1. Extra underwear
  2. Bathing suit
  3. This classified, top secret, limited edition guide to doing the perfect cannonball.

Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 11.17.18 AMAs the summer temperatures peak, most campers find themselves lounging around the beautiful swimming pool at Camp Weequahic, or splashing the day away in the lake. Hanging out in the water is a great way to beat the heat, while hanging out with new friends and making memories that will last forever. When it is time to make things a little more exciting, initiate a camp wide Cannonball contest! Equipped with these researched, tested and proven tips, you can leave camp as this year’s Cannonball Champion.

First, it is important to remember that safety is always of the utmost importance. Remember to always check the depth of the water where you are going to jump. Jumping into water that is too shallow could cause serious injury. If the cannonball contest is taking place on the pool deck, remember not to run. You could slip and fall, and then you’d never get to show off your cannonball skills. You can achieve a perfect 10 cannonball without running and jeopardizing your safety.

Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 10.23.28 AMGet Some Height: If there is a diving board, use that bad boy to get some extra height and land with a splash. The simple logic behind the perfect cannonball is that the higher you go, the more gravity you have to pull you back into the water with a splash.

Loosen Up: Many believe that the perfect cannonball is created when you fold yourself into a tight, round ball. This is actually not the case. The more area you take up when you hit the water, the bigger the splash. To accomplish this, wrap your arms around your legs, but keep your elbows out to the side, don’t pin them tightly to your body. Remember to keep your form loose and focus on taking up as much space when you land as possible.

The Landing: You loose a lot of splash potential when the bottom of your feet are the first thing to hit the water. If you angle backwards a little bit, your bottom should be the first thing to touch the water. To avoid a knee vs. head accident, keep your knees slightly apart so the force of the impact doesn’t cause your knees to come up and hit you in the nose. Remember to keep your head up so you can see the faces of everyone who is in awe of your perfect cannonball style. Don’t be surprised if there is a line of campers waiting for you when you emerge from the water who want to learn a thing or two from the cannonball master.

In Search of the Perfect Gift

Posted Friday, November 7th, 2014 by

The leaves are falling, the days are shorter, and there is definitely a nip in the air. That can only mean one thing – the time has come to think about a wonderful holiday gift for the kids or the grandkids. This can also be the time for an “ah ha” moment. The perfect holiday giftRCMkaoGaGbzR0eKF7D4RoYT4KKMMwK8XUaVVUIfbE9g just might be a magical sleepaway camp experience for your loved one.

lM7ydpdpUJjkMr__hc2JUJCssj-okW9yKd5jdjF8218If you are like most people, you want your gift to stand out from all the others. You want it to be unique. And you want it to be memorable. These days, many youngsters have an excessive number of toys, and they probably own all the latest electronics, too. In your heart, you know that in the long run people relate best to the experiences they’ve had and the friends that they’ve made, and not so much the material things they have acquired.

Sending a youngster to camp can offer a supremely enriching experience. Under the guidance of a caring staff, youngsters participate in team activities like roller hockey and gaga, and they can improve their ability in individual sports like tennis, golf and gymnastics. Campers dance to a hip hop beat, try their hand at magic and experience the thrill of rocketry. For the adventurous – and for those who never knew they had it in them – there are zip lines, mountain biking and camping in the wilderness. Children can become American Red Cross swimmers and learn kayaking, water skiing and tubing in a spring-fed lake.

At Camp Weequahic, campers benefit from a strong 60-year tradition of providing a caring environment for a three or six-week camping experience. Campers are encouraged to try new activities, sharpen their skills and build friendships that can last a lifetime. Summer camp allows a child to reap the joys of spending time in a naturally beautiful environment and builds self-esteem for a job well done. Camp also provides the opportunity to learn essential lifeskills like cooperation, teamwork and problem-solving that will serve them well at home, in schoolwe7TFmjIjZmishZD3OsgMaO4hCQJLLC6f6BcoZtqFCY and eventually in the workplace.

Can any other gift really compare?

If you would like to learn more about giving the gift of Camp this holiday season, email our office at info@weequahic.com

Bringing Away Life Skills

Posted Tuesday, August 12th, 2014 by

For most campers, when the summer of 2014 draws to a close, there is always next summer to which they can look forward. For the oldest campers, however, farewell this summer means farewell forever to their years as campers. Even though a significant number of former campers choose to return to summer camp as staff members later, the experiences they gained as campers are unique to those years. Although it is difficult to say goodbye at the conclusion of their final summer, it is also a time when older campers reflect upon their camp years and truly take inventory of what camp has meant to them and will continue to mean as they proceed in life.

Older campers come away from camp having attained life skills that give them adistinct advantage as they move through their high school years and college becomes a focus. There is, for instance, respect for tradition. College campuses, like resident camps, are built on traditions that help define them.  Former campers understand the importance of their role in these traditions by creating experiences that are both memorable and worthwhile.

Former campers know how to show spirit and to live in the moment as well. At camp, campers are sensitive to the fact that their time at camp each summer is limited and they embrace each minute. Having already learned to comprehend that their camp years are limited to a specific timeline in their lives, former campers arrive on college campuses already understanding that their college years are much the same.

There is also an emphasis on total involvement at camp. Summer camp is about creating an environment in which campers feel encouraged to try new things and to push their level of comfort each summer. In the safety of a setting that emphasizes inclusion, campers learn to understand that diversity is key to success. It takes many types of people and talents coming together to make camp the beloved place that it is in the hearts of the campers. With such an understanding, campers tend to get to know and befriend individuals who they might not otherwise have taken the time to get to know in a setting that does not facilitate similar ideals.  Having been submerged in such a culture for several summers, campers are well equipped for the transition from home to college life after several summers at camp. They also tend to be somewhat open- minded when it comes to new things and experiences.

Older campers come away from camp as leaders. Whether they have led fellow campers in an activity or helped mentor and lead younger campers in their later camp years, leadership is another quality that is rigorously promoted and embraced at sleepaway camp.

Campers also learn everyday life skills at sleepaway camp as they spend several weeks away from home each summer and make decisions for themselves. Making healthy eating decisions, for instance, is an important skill that children learn at camp. Campers also learn how to juggle multiple commitments at once, such as having a role in a camp show while simultaneously playing on a sports team. They co-habitate daily with several other campers and learn how to maximize their living space.

Clearly, those campers who will say goodbye to camp at the conclusion of the summer are bringing away far more than fun memories of a place where they spent their childhood summers. They’re bringing away experiences that translate into life far beyond camp.