Tag: camp friends

In Search of the Perfect Gift

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 [email protected]

The Close of Another Best Summer Ever

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.

Bringing Away Life Skills

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.