Tag: camp siblings

Siblings at Summer Camp

We are blessed to have a number of families at Camp Weequahic who entrust us with not only one but many (if not all) of their children. In fact, we have so many sets of siblings that we have had to expand to three photographers just to handle our annual Sibling Photo Shoot!

As parents of three very different boys ourselves, we know that finding the right camp for each can be a challenge both from both ‘right fit’ and ‘siblings getting along’ points of view. Thankfully, Camp Weequahic offers a great solution to both concerns.

Campers get to build their summer by choosing from over 60 different activities. As a coed camp, we thoughtfully plan our offerings so that it they are evenly split between activities girls and boys will find appealing.

During the program day, boys and girls do activities with other kids of the same gender and age group. In other words, when 5th grade girls are playing tennis, making a dress in fashion design or climbing our 50’ climbing tower, the 5th grade boys are at woodshop, basketball, or the waterfront. In our case, the competitive older and middle brothers play against other boys the same size and level which makes for a much more enjoyable experience for each.

With our activity schedule, most siblings will see very little of each other. However, there are ample opportunities for siblings to visit (or avoid) one another during the rest of our very full day at Weequahic,

First, we eat every meal together as a camp. While bunks sit together at each meal, siblings often get up to visit one another throughout the meals. Second, we have a camp wide free play time (supervised and unstructured) each evening before flag pole. This is another great time for siblings to check in with one another. And, finally, we have several evening activities and special events which involve the entire camp.

Parents love the fact that each of their children can build the perfect summer for their unique interests at Weequahic. Having the children taken care of in one spot while also providing the space each needs to grow and gain independence is a wonderful feeling.

Going to Camp with Your Siblings

They may fight like cats and dogs at home, but attending camp together is special for siblings.  Parents may be surprised to learn that at camp, they don’t accuse each of being the one to lose the television remote.  Instead, they wave and smile when they pass each other on campus.  They don’t fight about taking up each other’s space in the car either.  Instead, they make special meeting places to talk about camp—everything they’ve done, new things they’ve tried, new friends they’ve made, and how their sports teams are doing how they got a bullsyeye in archery or are going to be singing a song in the show.  Siblings don’t taunt each other when they do something silly at camp.  They cheer for them.  And, parents, you may be surprised to learn that siblings don’t pretend that each other has an infectious disease that prevents them from ever touching at camp.  They readily hug.

As you can see, summer camp may as well be Hogwarts for its ability to transform sibling rivalry into a special relationship.  Camp is a distinct set of memories they share apart from their parents.  Those camp experiences will always be just theirs, which creates a bond that helps them grow as brothers and sisters as well as individuals.  It’s an opportunity that many children who do not attend sleepaway camp don’t get to experience until adulthood.  By being able to share a special set of traditions and values, siblings are able to appreciate their relationships at a much earlier age.   The thrill of seeing each other experience camp firsts and pass camp milestones also helps them learn to appreciate each other as individuals.

And, let’s face it, we know that seeing your children smiling together in a camp photo after hitting the refresh button a thousand times each day makes it all worthwhile for you.  Those smiles are why you put them on the bus or plane each year.  They’re why you post the photos to your on Facebook pages and pass them around, accumulating likes.  You  love hearing them asking each if they remember a certain time at camp or singing the same songs and doing the same cheers.  In that respect, being able to send your children to summer camp together is special for you too.