Posts Tagged ‘summer camp experience’

Staff Training

Posted Monday, May 15th, 2017 by

Each summer, over two hundred men and women arrive at Camp Weequahic to prepare for an incredible experience. Hailing from literally around the world (17 countries and 22 US states at last count), these mostly college aged adults have chosen to spend their summer doing something different differently.

 

Let me explain….

 

What we do is pretty simple to explain: we run a residential summer camp for girls and boys ages 7 to 16.

 

How do we do it? That’s an easy but more involved conversation. The answer involves our structured-choice program for the kids, the way we interview, hire, and train our team, the great traditions and Evening Activities, the Dining Hall experience, what to do on trips off camp, and so much more.

 

We have a team of eight people who work for 10 months planning a 2 month party and then take another 10 days to get everyone else up to speed. It’s not rocket science but it’s pretty involved.

 

Why do we do it? Well… that’s the special answer. And, it’s the answer we delve into from the first moment of our 10-day staff orientation. It’s also the answer we finish with the night before the kids arrive. It’s the most important thing to clarify and embrace as it is at the core of everything we do.

 

What’s the answer, you ask? You’ll have to be a staff member to find out. But, I’ll give you a hint: it has a lot to do with creating an amazing experience for everyone we meet through gratitude, attitude and courage….

 

Getting Ready for Orientation

Team members should arrive with an ‘open for anything’ type attitude ready to be challenged and engaged. We put our newest team members into odd situations, fun situations, hard situations and everything in between.

 

We focus on the ‘why’, teach our expectations and policies, practice those in real world situations, and laugh a lot together. We help each staff member ‘sharpen their own saw’ and then work with everyone to create a community that is supportive, friendly, fun, safe, and adventurous.

 

What we are preparing for?

The kids! (And, frankly, each other!)

 

We have 450 campers from all over the US and larger world arriving at camp on June 24th. Two thirds will be heading home on July 15th and the next awesome batch of 250 kids arriving on July 17th.

We want our campers to be surrounded by people who will, first off, keep them safe both physically and emotionally and secondly, who are excited to show them how much fun can be enjoyed in our community.

 

The better a community we create with one another as a team, the better an experience we can provide to our campers, their families back home, and our team at camp.

 

Sure, it’s fun and it’s usually the most challenging job anyone has ever had. The more we work together and support one another, the easier and more fulfilling it becomes.

 

The End Result

Remember when I said our staff arrive ready to do something different differently? Spending your summer caring for, teaching, and leading young people changes our team members. It requires selfless action and that’s not something that gets celebrated a lot any more. That’s why it’s different.

 

Camp impacts our staff just as much as our kids. It opens up their world, shows them the enormous influence they can provide, and reinforces the notion that happiness comes from serving others.

 

What does ‘differently’ mean? That’s the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ that we’ll teach you at Weequahic. We can’t wait to show you!
Let me be the first to welcome our Summer Staff of 2017. Travel safely to camp and get ready for AMAZING!

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!

A Memorable Camp Experience Starts with the Staff

Posted Thursday, August 6th, 2015 by

counselors

So what makes a great summer camp experience for your child? Awesome friends, a ton of fun activities and great memories, but most of all an amazing group of staff members. The counselors we hand pick to join our staff are really what makes the camp experience that much better for campers. But what draws counselors in to the Weequahic family? Let’s ask some of our new and returning staff members to find out!

Camp: “Sidney, this is your second summer. It’s great to have you back! What brought you back to CW?”

Sidney (Junior Girls): “I had an incredible all around experience last summer, so I had to come back for another. I was also really excited to see returning staff who have become some of my best friends. And, of course, I can’t forget the awesome campers here!”

Camp: “We are so happy to hear that you had such a great time. Tell us what your favorite part of this experience has been?”

Sidney: “I would have to say watching and getting to know the kids and staff has been an incredible experience. Forming the awesome relationships that make up the Weequahic family has been great too.”

Camp: “And what have you learned this summer?”

Sidney: “I’ve learned a lot being here; especially patience, how to work well with many different types of people, leadership, and how much the little things truly matter.”

Camp: “I would have to agree completely with that statement. One last question for you. What will you miss the most when you leave?”

Sidney: “I will miss waking up every morning and being here at camp with this Weequahic family. This camp truly is a home away from home and it’s because of all of the wonderful people here.”

Camp: “Thank you so much Sidney! Jeremy, same questions for you. What brought you to camp?”

Jeremy (Senior Division): “Well this is my first summer here and what brought me to Weequahic was the fact that I really wanted to do something new, but also fun over the summer. After my first interview I knew this was where I wanted to be.”

Camp: “That’s great! And what has been your favorite part of this experience?”

Jeremy: “I would have to say interacting with all the campers. No two kids are alike, even siblings! You have to approach each one differently which I believe allowed me to grow as a person.”

Camp: “Wow, that’s amazing Jeremy. What have you learned from being here?”

Jeremy: “I’ve learned that attitude is everything. I came into this with an open mind and a positive attitude and it has been the best summer I’ve had in a long time.”

Camp: “We are so happy to hear that you have enjoyed your time here! Tell us what you will miss most when you leave?”

Jeremy: “I’ll definitely miss the campers and my fellow counselors. They are irreplaceable. I’ll miss my co-co’s because they have gone through this camp experience with me from start to finish and I wouldn’t trade a single one. I’ve built so many great relationships with the campers and their genuine happiness and joy for life gives me energy each day. The first few days without seeing their smiles or hearing their laughs will be pretty tough.”

Camp: “Thank you so much for sharing that with us!”

On behalf of all the counselors and staff members here at Weequahic, we would like to say thank you. Thank you for sending your kids have one of the best experiences of their lives here with us. Thank you for giving all of us a chance to be mentors to your children. We have all learned so much from every camper hear and have truly grown to admire the wonderful people they are growing up to be. It has been an amazing and memorable summer that we will always remember and we wish only the very best to each and every member of the Weequahic family this upcoming year.

A Camper’s Experience by Baily B.

Posted Tuesday, July 31st, 2012 by

I’m 14 years old, and I’ve been at Camp Weequahic for two summers.  My first year,I signed up for three weeks, but I fell in love with the camp and, at the end of the first session, decided to stay six weeks.  I spent some time with my parents, but when I came back I felt as if I was coming home.  All the people in my first session bunk only stayed three weeks, so for the second session I moved into a bunk of kids who had been here for years.  I was kind of nervous about moving into a bunk of people who’d known each other for so long, but by the end of the summer I grew close with my bunk.  This year, I’ve come back to great friends and my home away from home.