Posts Tagged ‘summer camp friends’

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!

Traditions

Posted Monday, February 27th, 2012 by

The following blog was contributed by camper Leah C., New York:

Silence.

Everyone gathered around the flagpole slowly, shoulders drooping, feet dragging in the grass, arms draped tightly around their friends’ shoulders. The traditional wooden “W” stood sturdily on main campus, waiting to be burned, waiting to wordlessly proclaim the end to our summer. Long, erie shadows, created by the glow of the moon, stretched out in front of us as we approached the flagpole. I sat down on the wet grass with my friends surrounding me and lifted my head to look at the black, clear, starry sky. Out of the corner of my eyes, I could see my friends doing the same, drinking in the sight of our last night at camp.

The flames engulfed the “W” quickly and within minutes, it was burning so brightly, it was hard to look at it. Yet it was hard to take our eyes off of it. Realization slammed into me, and suddenly it hit me that I wouldn’t see my summer family for another ten months. We would say our good byes, depart on our buses and planes the next morning, and talk to each other all year… but it wouldn’t be the same. With tears in my eyes I glanced away from the W and faced my friends. Looking at each other, and knowing from the expression on their faces, the same realization had struck them too. Tears streamed down our faces and we clung to each other, not wanting to say good bye to our best friends.

The W burned fiercely now, as if determined to end our summer. Everyone stood up and huddled in a group as we watched the “W” collapse. Sparks flew up from the pile of burning wood as it hit the ground with a heart breaking sound. Smoke billowed in the air, stationary above the ruin before drifting up into the night sky.

It was time to say good bye

Thank you, Leah!