Posts Tagged ‘camp events’

The Close of Another Best Summer Ever

Posted Friday, August 15th, 2014 by

It seems that just yesterday the blog subject at hand was the anticipation of the campers’ arrival at camp. As usual, though, we blinked and now it’s August. Another summer is coming to a close over the next couple of weeks. This is the time of year when campers and staff alike begin reflecting over their summer. They mentally check off their bucket lists for this summer and already begin composing new ones for next summer. They begin making those final efforts to do those camp things they love most at least one more time. They take stock of those special moments—the ones that will forever define the summer of 2014. At the end of the day, there are always a million reasons why this summer was better than any other. Something was always bigger or better or even brand new. Your circle of friends has always grown just a little bit larger. You finally had the chance to go on that camp trip or participate in that camp activity to which you’ve been looking forward to for years. Even though the summer never seems long enough, it’s always mind-blowing to realize just how much was accomplished in such a short span of time. Perhaps it’s the sheer volume of activities that take place at sleepaway camp that makes every summer seem like the best summer ever.

When one weighs the summer as a whole, the good memories are prevalent and the word “amazing” comes to mind far more than the words “didn’t love it.” Upon considering everything that you accomplished, it’s impossible to be disappointed, even if you can’t check all your pre-summer goals off your list. At camp, especially at the end of the summer, it’s much easier to focus on everything you’ve done more than everything you’ve not.. The feeling of accomplishment is inevitably satisfying in a way that reminds you just why you come to camp anyway. There’s no other place in the world where you have the opportunity to accomplish so much in such a short period of time. Sure, you also come to relax, enjoy the rural setting, and spend time with your camp friends. But you also come with an agenda—specifically, a camp agenda of things that cannot be accomplished anywhere – or with anyone – else. These lists are often lengthy and filled with many more aspirations than can reasonably be achieved during a single summer. But the comforting thought that almost everyone brings home from camp is that there’s always next summer…and the promise of another best summer ever.

Special Events at Camp Weequahic

Posted Wednesday, August 6th, 2014 by

Once a week we take a break from our scheduled activities for a special event day. Special event days are highly anticipated by both campers and counselors at Camp Weequahic. The day begins with a late wakeup and donuts for breakfast. For the rest of the day we have a relaxed schedule and lots of fun activities planned for our campers. Below we have highlighted some of the event days from Summer 2014.

Wild and Crazy Day

Wild and Crazy Day was a messy and silly event planned for our juniors. The campers dressed up their counselors’ hair with spaghetti, had shaving cream fights, played water games, and decorated t-shirts. At the end of the day, each bunk lined up at the ice cream trough, a long gutter designed for eating ice cream sundaes without hands.

Amazing Race

The jinters’ special day was the Amazing Race. After a morning of t-shirt decorating and bunk bonding, the teams prepped for the big race! They coordinated their outfits and selected a mascot and team name. After lunch all jinters met at the flagpole to start the race! The clues directed them to specific places on camp where they completed a task at each area. The tasks were mental tests, physical tests, and silly activities. Each team finished at the ice cream trough and ate the frozen treats with their hands behind their back.

Cruise Day

The inters and seniors’ special event was Cruise Day. Each bunk rotated through their chosen stations: Top Chef, tennis, the water slide, beauty parlor, and soccer. In the afternoon the inters and seniors walked to the waterfront for a beach party with music by DJ Dennis. The campers went tubing, paddle boarding, and bounced on the waterfront trampoline and inflatables. The party ended with all campers and counselors eating ice cream from the trough.

World Cup Carnival

All our campers participated in World Cup Carnival Day. Each bunk chose a country to represent and decorated their porch with the corresponding colors. In addition to the decorations, each porch was set up as a carnival booth. Some of the booths included a nail salon, cupcake decorating, Pop A Shot, and mini-golf. After the booths the campers bounced around on giant inflatables on main camp. The carnival was concluded with snow cones, popcorn, cotton candy and a dance party in the Activity Center.

Summer Camp: Otherwise Known as Mission Combat Boredom

Posted Thursday, April 4th, 2013 by

Memorial Day is just around the corner and, soon after that, schools will be letting out for the summer.  If you and your significant other are already taking bets on how many days into summer vacation your child will get before proclaiming ‘I’m bored!’ don’t fret.   It may not be too late to combat summer vacation boredom with camp.

First, run–don’t walk–to your computer and submit that summer camp application that you’ve been meaning to submit since October. Although many camps are at capacity for this summer, some camps still have limited space or can place your child on a waiting list in the event of a last minute cancellation.  But time is definitely of the essence now so don’t dilly dally anymore!  If you’re still on the fence and wondering what summer camp do to fight off summer boredom that you, the local pool, or the latest videogame system can’t do, consider this:

For starters, does your local pool have a water trampoline or a rockit? How about a climbing wall or a rope swing? Does it offer tubing or paddleboarding?  And can your child choose between a sailboat, canoe, or kayak?  Does the park offer waterskiing?  Didn’t think so.

But it’s not just the waterfront that makes summer camp “camp.”  That’s a couple of hours of each day, of course, but there are ball fields and courts, too—baseball, basketball, soccer, tennis, lacrosse, football, hockey…All in one campus!  On any given day at summer camp, campers visit several of them.  They don’t just play intramural games either.  They receive instruction from knowledgeable professionals who work with children year round either as coaches or teachers or college students with significant playing experience a sport who hope to work with children when they graduate.  Campers are challenged to improve their foul shot, learn a new swing, and maintain more control of balls while dribbling.  Traditional summer camps are a virtual sports paradise.  You’ll probably read about that when you receive your first letter from camp in which your child tells you that he or she is so NOT bored!

Away from the fields, there are some pretty sweet crafts, ceramics, and woodworking projects for campers who have a passion for all things that have a high potential to be messy.  They’ll spend an hour or two everyday making a collection of new masterpieces to bring home to you and, when they do, you WILL find a special place to show it off, even if you’re not immediately sure what it is.   It’s a pretty good bet that your child will spend at least two minutes of a phone call home telling you how much FUN it is to nail pieces of wood together or spin clay on a pottery wheel.

But even sports and crafts aren’t enough to fill up a day at camp.  There are climbing walls, ropes courses, zip lines, mountain bikes, fitness, weights, cooking, nature, fishing, gymnastics, dance, theater, magic, equestrian, skate parks…and that’s just what campers do during the day.

Without electronics, iPods, and videogames to retreat to after dinner, evenings can get kind of crazy.  There are sing alongs, dance competitions, spirit competitions, talent competitions, and stage shows.  If you’re having a hard time imagining your child taking the stage and liking it, don’t worry.  We take photos.  You can spend the entire summer hitting the refresh button on your computer screen while looking at photos of your child not being bored.

There is also square dancing, sports leagues, scavenger hunts, carnivals, cookouts, dances, outside entertainment, and campfires.  We haven’t even mentioned out of camp trips to take in sporting events, catch a movie, or visit a local amusement park.

If you’re out of breath just reading this, so are we.  And we haven’t even mentioned everything.  In fact, there is so much to do at camp that on some days the hardest decision for many campers is what not to do.  So make this summer the first of your child’s ‘funnest summers ever!’ by sending him or her to camp, where there is no such thing as “bored.”

Do You Know the History of Camping?

Posted Thursday, March 3rd, 2011 by

Do you know the history of camping? Most people don’t and it is too bad. It’s an interesting story and I’m happy to give you my take on it.

Back in the early 1900’s, several individuals and families, seeing the swelling slums in the northeastern cities, began to think of ways to get kids back to nature. Striking out from New York and Boston, these camp pioneers found pieces of land with lakes, trees, clean air, and a lot of space on which to build the first ‘residential camps’ in the US.

Mostly school teachers and coaches, these early camp leaders built relationships with families who chose to send their children to camp. The founding purpose of camp was to provide an environment of wholesome activity in which the values of independence, teamwork, gratitude, and community were transmitted, both overtly and subtly, to children.

Looking back at over 100 years of organized camping, I think these early professionals were on to something. Camping is nolonger just for children from the northeastern major metro areas, though they still make up a large proportion of campers. Camp has spread across the country and world and now is a big part of lots of peoples’ lives.

There are a lot of reasons why camping has thrived over the years. The main reasons, at least in my opinion, are the relationships built between campers and the staff at camp, being a part of something special, and the skills (physical, psychological, and emotional) that are developed. When you combine value-driven adults who are eager to lead with campers excited to learn, grow, and build new friendships, you’ve got an incredible start for creating a remarkable camp experience.

Can’t wait for camp!

Cole Kelly

Director, Camp Weequahic

Competition at Camp Weequahic

Posted Thursday, February 17th, 2011 by


You may have heard the Weequahic directors and year round staff were college athletes. It’s true. Well, Cole played golf at Virginia, so he was almost an athlete! Between the four of us, we’ve coached baseball, soccer, and golf at the NCAA Division 1 level for more than 20 years.

So, Weequahic must be a pretty competitive place, right?

Wrong.

Our focus is activity and skill development, rather than outcome. Competition is a wonderful tool for developing teamwork, community, and communication. It also helps determine areas for improvement. In essence, when done correctly, a little competition can really help a camper.

Weequahic is a part of the Wayne County Camp Association. Among its other duties, the WCCA organizes tournaments throughout the summer for our 31 associated camps in almost all of our activities. From swim and track meets to flag football, basketball, baseball, hockey, and lax games, we have just about anything a camper could want. We will even take campers to local USTA tennis tournaments so they can compete with kids from all over our region. While we have fun with a little competition, we are BIGGER believers in fun, skill development, and play.

If a camper wants to play on one of our teams, he or she simply needs to raise a hand and say ‘I want to be on the team.’ Once campers commit, they are good to go, regardless of their skill level. And, as long as they are supportive of their teammates and putting forth their best effort, they’ll play!

With one exception, we do not have tryouts at Weequahic. We require tryouts for tennis only because league rules restrict tennis rosters to eight players. If more than eight campers want to play, we hold a ladder tournament to determine the roster.

That said, sports competition is not for everyone. That is why we have incredible aquatics, adventure, and arts programs including things like Magic, Skate Park, Robotics, Radio, Music and more.

Not all of our camp competition, however, is relegated to WCCA events. What summer would be complete without a Color War type of competition?

Campers in our first session enjoy Tribals, a four team multi-day spirit competition. Vying for the “Deed of the Land”, campers play, sing, cheer, and laugh as they compete in spirit competitions in which everyone adds value to their Tribe. Campers in the second session enjoy Olympics, a five day competition between Army and Navy teams that dates back to our founding in 1953.

So, whether you are an athlete who wants to improve or an artist that is thrilled to explore the creative side of camp, Weequahic has something fun to offer. See you at camp!

Cole

Project Runway and Survivor come to Camp Weequahic!

Posted Wednesday, July 7th, 2010 by

Each week campers gather for Special Event days centered on certain themes. Providing a break in the day-to-day activities, these events are designed to foster camp spirit and unity. On these days campers bond in a positive way using important skills such as teamwork, creativity, organization, and leadership. Laughter and cheer can be heard across camp, capturing the fun involved as well.

The first happening for the boys featured Weequahic Survivor, led by our proud CIT leaders. Demonstrating their competitive edge, the boys of all ages swam, climbed, trekked and solved riddles, striving throughout the day. They had a ball.

Meanwhile, on the other side of camp the girls were putting their imagination and originality to work in preparation for Weequahic’s Project Runway. Each bunk received a box that included an amalgamation of fabrics and decorations in which to create an evening gown and a “green” themed dress. One counselor from each bunk modeled the finished products that were judged by our fashionable leaders, Kate, Sue, Judy and Brie. The dresses were quite impressive and the girls enjoyed the collaboration in constructing them.

The following snippets highlight the thrill and excitement of the two Special Events:

On Survivor:

Alex S. loved the teamwork aspect of the day and Alex B. thought the obstacle course in the gym was the most exciting part.

Max enjoyed every aspect of the day and the culminating relay race was his favorite of all. He especially appreciated the change in scheduling.

Lucas raved about the competition and likened the event to a mini color war.

On Project Runway:

Lauren enjoyed the freedom and independence of creating designs, while Carly had fun selecting the music to accompany their final presentation.

Demi and Claire had fun dressing their counselors and seeing the other bunk’s creations.

Maren liked how it brought out everyone’s creative side.

Upcoming events to look forward to include a carnival and of course, the three day Tribal War. Campers eagerly anticipate creating lasting memories together while carrying on the traditions of Camp Weequahic.