Posts Tagged ‘Camp Weeqhuahic’

Friendship Without Borders: A Day in the Life at International Camp

Posted Tuesday, September 13th, 2016 by

usaweequahic

Life at camp centers around the core values of friendship, family, and tradition — and the international camp experience is no exception.

 

Whether campers come from abroad to experience American culture or come from local areas to experience the international camp lifestyle, summer camp has something to offer to everyone when it comes to experiencing a new culture. (And having a blast playing sports, singing around the campfire, and playing around on the lake of course!)

Values in common

International campers may come from countries as diverse as England, France, Spain, Italy, China, Korea and many more, but they all come to camp for the same thing: a traditional American experience that they’ll never forget.

 

International camp counselors place an emphasis on learning to appreciate the things that are different about the various cultures that arrive at camp, but they also place an emphasis on the things we all have in common.

 

We all love family. We all love to laugh. And the first time singing around the campfire is magical for everybody — no matter whether they’ve seen a campfire, marshmallows, or fireflies before.

Fun: the universal language

While English is the common ground for international campers, it’s always fun when campers are able to experience a new language, or even find someone who shares their mother tongue to joke around with. “Oh, you speak Spanish too!”

 

American experiences

Something that draws many international campers all the way to North America is the promise of a traditional American experience… but of course once they’re here, the cultural exchange goes both ways!

 

When it comes to American traditions, it’s hard to find something more quintessential and unique than summer camp. From raising the flag in the morning to singing goofy songs around the dining hall at dinner, what seems normal and routine to returning American campers is exotic and fascinating to campers from Europe and Asia!

 

Thanks to the amazing community of counselors and decades of tradition, no international camper returns home without a few amazing stories to tell.

Campers with culture!

Friendship knows no borders. As connected as the modern world is, it’s surprisingly easy to remain out of touch with peers from other cultures.

 

International camp gives young people the chance to reach out and make contact with new friends from places they might not otherwise even think about — expanding the horizons of every single camper that participates in an international camp.

Passport to fun times

Whether you make new friends overseas, have a fun time guessing each other’s accents, or just learn a word or two in Spanish of Italian, international camp makes incredible memories for everyone that comes out to partake in the camp lifestyle.

 

…You may not need a passport to get here, but you’re guaranteed to have an international experience!

More Than Just A Lake

Posted Monday, June 6th, 2016 by

There are many things campers notice when they arrive at camp the first day. They notice the cabins, all of the new faces, the baseball fields, ropes course, tennis courts and acres and acres of open space to run in, play in and explore in. But one of the most breathtaking and exciting parts of camp is the lake. With “so-clear-you-can see-right-to-the-bottom” waters, the lake and sandy shoreline is a popular place for campers to spend the majority of their summers.

 

When it comes to watersports, campers can try a variety of different options while at Camp Weequahic. Campers can relax and learn the art of fishing, or work their muscles on a standup paddle board, or they can get their heart rate up as they experience the speed and thrill of wakeboarding and water skiing. The lake doesn’t just offer a location to try new sports; it serves as the backdrop for the time in their lives when kids will remember they tried something new. It will be the place they fondly remember as the spot where they faced their fears, tried something new, and had the time of their lives.

 

The lake also serves as a great place for reflection and peace. A quiet stroll along the shoreline can be a great place for a confidential conversation between friends, a quiet place for journaling or writing letters back home, or simply a place to connect with nature.  Warm, sunny days heat the water to a comfortable 80 degrees during the day, making it easy to run, splash and play in the crystal clear waters all day long. (Don’t worry, sunscreen is readily available and lifeguards and other professionals are always around!)

 

The lake is a central part of camp, and it brings campers together in a variety of ways.  Camp Weequahic would feel incomplete without all of the activities, events and life lessons that are centered on the lake. Self-confidence, friendships and trust are all built on the lake. Campers who come from a part of the country where they don’t have access to such a beautiful part of nature really connect and enjoy everything the lake has to offer.

 

The lake is so much more than just a body of water in the middle of camp. The lake is a place that campers really connect with, and where lifelong memories are made.

 

 

Living in the moment at Camp Weequahic

Posted Monday, June 6th, 2016 by

AC9U8628

 

It was midway through the fifth week of summer camp that I suddenly realized I didn’t know what day it was.

 

…Or what week it was.

 

And you know what the craziest part is? That didn’t make me feel stressed at all! On the contrary, I hadn’t been so happy for months.

 

After all, who has time to balance a calendar when you’re spending all day and night away from the computer, playing games in the sun and making new friends?

 

Summer camp has a way of making you “live in the moment” — so much so that losing track of time is totally normal. In fact, it’s pretty much expected by campers and counselors alike.

 

After a long school year of classes and homework and tests, let me tell you: it’s an incredible feeling to just let it all go.

 

“Live in the moment” may be a common piece of advice, but truth be told it’s a difficult nugget of wisdom to follow without practice. Back home, the phone was always ringing, the deadlines were always looming, and the stakes always felt high. It wasn’t until I started spending my summers at camp that I started to understand what “living in the moment” really meant.

 

…It didn’t mean throwing my phone in the lake, or not worrying about grades. It meant simply being okay with my best try — and to keep my mind on the task at hand, rather than always worrying about the next one.

 

Camp is the perfect place to practice living in the moment, because there is simply less to worry about. In fact, living in the moment is pretty much the default at camp. There simply isn’t much to worry about, and it’s hard to think about the past or future when the present is packed with activities, sports, campfires, and all the rest.

 

So you see, losing track of time at summer camp is pretty understandable!

 

However, that isn’t to say that anybody is disorganized. Far from it; if anything, camp will improve your time management skills and help you get used to staying on schedule. The big difference is that everybody is in it together, and it’s not the end of the world if somebody is late once in awhile. Nothing encourages being on time quite like the thing you’re rushing to get to being a ton of fun!

 

There were many days that I spent on my feet running around for 12-15 hours straight, and yet it always felt like there just wasn’t enough time in the day. The saying that “time is relative” is definitely accurate at summer camp. If time is crawling during an SAT prep test, then it’s flying when you’re at camp, taking a first shot at wakeboarding!

 

Honestly, the only calendar any of us worried about was the end of camp, when we’d all have to pack up our things and embark on our journeys back home. Leaving camp is always bittersweet, but we all left with a profound new outlook on life. We had learned what it truly meant to “live in the moment,” and it’s a lesson I’ll never forget. Thank you camp!

The Importance of Fitness at Camp

Posted Monday, May 30th, 2016 by

AC9U0214

There are quite a few things that have seen rapid growth over the last several years, including Justin Bieber’s popularity,  SnapChat and Disney’s Frozen. However, there is something that is taking over America’s youth at a frightening speed, and it’s not as light and fluffy as Elsa or The Biebs; it’s childhood obesity. Childhood obesity has seen a dramatic increase over the last 30 years, and more and more children are struggling with health issues because of their weight. Excessive weight gain in kids and teenagers can be blamed on hormones or genetics, but a major reason kids are overweight is because they are sitting in front of TV screens and laptops instead of getting outside to play. At Camp Weequahic, kids spend all day on the go, and many have seen a dramatic change in their weight and overall health because of it.

 

Many campers spend their days out on the water. Swimming, water skiing and water aerobics are just a few of the ways that campers stay busy and moving throughout the summer. A lot of the favorite waterfront activities require using muscles that kids aren’t used to using, and helps them tone muscles and lose weight, without even knowing they’re working on it. These activities are great for kids who don’t naturally gravitate towards traditional sports and fitness activities, and for those who have a natural attraction to the water.

 

For those who do love sports, Camp Weequahic has plenty of options. Natural born runners will love participating in running and triathlon sports, kids who like being part of a team will feel right at home playing flag football, soccer, lacrosse and softball. Regardless of which sport they try, they will be surrounded by counselors who have a heart for the sport, who are focused on fitness, and can motivate and inspire campers to make healthy choices.

 

Tennis is another camp favorite, and burns more calories than cycling, skating or aerobics! It is a sport that requires speed, flexibility and agility, and is a fun and easy way to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

 

And when campers aren’t participating in organized sports or activities, counselors put together games that combine team building, socialization and physical activity. Campers are always on the move, working up a sweat and burning calories, and it’s all disguised as good ol’ fashioned fun.

 

The food served at camp is both delicious and nutritious, and is carefully planned to fit in with the camper’s high activity levels. Salad bars, soups, healthy sandwiches, fresh veggies, and vegetarian options give kids the opportunity to eat foods that taste great, and help them achieve their fitness goals.

 

Kids who spend a summer at camp come home with a few more things than they left with. They come home with more friends, a deeper appreciation for their own health and wellness, and the confidence to make healthy choice and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

How to Turn Summer Camp into College Credit

Posted Monday, May 23rd, 2016 by

AC9U4782

Being a summer camp counselor has well-known benefits for college students. From building leadership skills to practicing time management, working as a counselor is guaranteed to improve on the personal qualities that make a great student.

 

That being said, being able to point to a summer of camp counseling on your resume has some other lesser-known collegiate benefits that you should definitely check out if you’re considering diving into camp life. Depending on your school and major, you might even be able to get credits on your transcript! If all this sounds awesome, read on…

Proven leadership skills to highlight in program admission essays

Getting accepted at your top-choice school is only half the battle. Many specific major programs require you to apply from within the school, and they won’t just be looking at your grades; just like college applications, they want to see unique experiences that set you apart from the pack.

 

If you’re considering a major in outdoor rec, education, psychology, or any other field related to working with groups and/or children, having real work experience will set you far above applicants with only academic experience. Camp counseling isn’t just a job; it’s a key selling point on your resume!

A leg-up for qualifying for work-study positions

Work study can make or break the college experience. If you get a good position that’s aligned with your interests and declared major, it can give you a serious bonus when you enter the job market after graduation.

 

Unfortunately, work-study is highly competitive, and sometimes there are only a limited number of positions available. Priority goes to students who can demonstrate that they have the commitment to do the job well, and the time management skills to balance it with their course load.

 

So, who do you think is going to get the job? The student with zero work experience, or the student with glowing employer recommendations from their summer of full-time employment at Camp Weequahic? You do the math!

Internship credits for special programs

If you’re looking at a track that requires extracurricular engagement, be sure to check if they accept camp counseling experience for credit. It could be that your summer at Camp Weequahic has already earned you a bonus on your transcript without even realizing it!

 

Internship and work experience requirements vary depending on your school and program, but even if your school doesn’t have a policy about internship or work experience credits, sometimes all it takes is asking nicely at the advisor’s office to get a special exception. And if they do have a program for summer experience credits, be sure to explain to them why your time at camp is a good fit. I guarantee they’ll love hearing about it and be very impressed.

 

Meeting with academic advisors can be intimidating, but trust me — they want to help you. You just have to show them how!

What I Learned at Camp Weequahic

Posted Tuesday, January 28th, 2014 by

The following was written by Noah S., an 8 year camper at Camp Weequahic who finished his last summer as a camper in 2013.

Camp Weequahic has been my home away from home for the past seven years. It was a place where I could escape the stresses of everyday life and relax with those whom had become my summer family. Though my time as a camper ended this past summer, the lessons and values I took away from my camp experience are ones that have molded me into the person I am today and will stay with me for the rest of my life.

Weequahic has taught me that staying true to oneself will always lead to friendship. Living in a bunk with other kids my age for the first time was a daunting task. However, because I was myself and did not pretend to be anyone I was not, I formed inseparable bonds with my bunkmates, all of whom I am now proud to call my best friends.

Having made these friendships also taught me how to maintain friendships across a large geographic area. I am one of the campers who does not hail from the Tri-State area. The distance between us during the winter encouraged me to keep in contact and maintain the friendships, so that when we returned to camp, it was like we had never left.

Weequahic has also taught me leadership skills that apply to everyday life, such as how to take different people and make them work together in a cohesive unit. When leading my color war team, I had to make sure that each and every kid was engaged and having fun; otherwise, the mere thought of him or her respecting me and color war in general would be long gone. This is where I learned how to make everyone come together, to lead the way in having fun while working together to achieve a common purpose: winning.

In doing so, I learned possibly my most valuable life-lesson. Here is a quote from Maya Angelou that epitomizes my new mantra: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Staying true to this belief has not only furthered my relationships with those around me, but it will enable me to easily form relationships in the future.

If it were not for camp, I would have never understood this quote to its full capacity. The lessons I learned at Camp Weequahic are ones that will follow me for the rest of my life, guiding my choices and experiences. If it were not for Weequahic, I would be a completely different person than I am today.

Noah S.