Tag: sleepaway camps

Environmentally Friendly Noise

Whether you’re a new or returning staff member who is preparing to work at camp this summer, the decibel level of those first few days at camp are always a bit above what you anticipate. Of course, we hear noise every day.  But camp noise is different than other noise. A camp staff member once relayed a memory of her first summer at camp. She recalled the shock of the day the campers arrived. ‘It was suddenly very loud,’ she said. ‘They don’t prepare you for that at orientation. Then again, there is probably no way they could.’ She is right. There is no way to describe what several hundred excited children who have been waiting for a moment for ten months sounds like. It’s certainly not noise pollution, though. It much more closely resembles environmentally friendly noise. It’s the noise of excitement, happiness and anticipation.

A strange phenomenon happens with environmentally friendly noise. You not only expect it, but anticipate hearing it every day. You don’t even realize how much you look forward to camp noise until the end of camp. When the buses pull away on the last day of camp, the quietness that settles over the campus is one of the saddest moments of the summer. You realize the kids are gone, and the summer really is over. Even after you return home, you find yourself wishing to hear the sounds that defined your summer–bugle calls to signal daily activities, constant cheering and laughter, mealtimes with hundreds of other people. Everyday noise just seems like noise pollution.

Traditions at Camp Weequahic

We look forward to celebrating our 62nd summer at Camp Weequahic starting this June. Founded in 1953 by an incredible family of educators, CW was built to be an amazing community in which children can learn, laugh, and grow. And, while CW has changed a little over time, we continue to focus on one thing: caring for our campers. We would like to tell you about a great tradition that helps us accomplish that goal.

Following dinner and our 45-minute ‘Free Play’ time, all of our campers and counselors gather at the Flagpole in the middle of Main Campus. Lined up from youngest to oldest, our campers and staff learn about the upcoming evening activities and get a quick preview of the following day’s fun. Before we move to EA, however, we open the floor to Nominations.

Nominations are made by staff members to recognize campers who have done something that was gracious, helped someone else, and/or was courageous. Maybe someone got a cheer going for a friend trying to successfully climb the 50’ climbing tower for the first time. Maybe a camper was found cleaning up a program area at the end of an activity without being asked. Perhaps a bunk created a colorful thank you note and left it for the cleaning staff.

Whoever is nominated gets to come forward to help lower the flag that evening. We normally have 8 to 12 kids, and the older campers help the youngest to lower the flag while the camp stands quietly.

We are excited to end the day as a whole camp celebrating campers who have done something remarkable. We love ‘catching’ our kids doing something great and pointing this out to everyone at camp!


Time can sometimes be the biggest paradox.  Take the distance between the beginning and end of camp, for instance.  Even though it still seems like just yesterday we were welcoming the buses for the start of Summer 2012, it also seems like it has taken forever for this coming weekend to get here.  We’ve been counting the days since we said goodbye last summer and have spent the winter putting together the biggest and best Camp Weequahic summer ever!  And speaking of that time paradox…

Even though we’ve been here for a few weeks now, making a few tweaks to the campus as well as meeting and getting to know our staff while preparing them to meet our campers, the time has flown…until now.  Now that we’re down to those last TWO DAYS before the start of camp, it seems like the clock has stopped again.  We’re ready.  The staff is ready.  The campus is ready.  Now all we need is our campers!  And so we wait…We wish we had a magic button that we could  press that would speed up time to Saturday and then press it again to slow the summer down once all of our campers have arrived.