Tag: summer camp program

Learning to Lose at Camp

Whether it’s a school spelling bee or a soccer game, as parents we want to see our children win not just to experience the joy of seeing them excel but because we know that they want to win.  Being raised in a competitive culture naturally makes us all want to be number one.  Children equate being number one with being the best.  However, as grownups we know that it’s impossible to win all of the time and that winning doesn’t necessarily mean being the best so much as being the best on that particular day.  The idea that losing, in reality, is closer to not winning in that it’s possible to “lose” yet gain something valuable from a contest or competition is one of the most difficult concepts for children to embrace.  Camp is a place where not only is this point driven home daily, but it’s a lesson learned at camp in a fun, constructive environment.

The pressure of anxious parents and coaches on the sidelines of sports competitions combined with the knowledge that school performance affects everything from what kind of classes they can take, extracurricular activities in which they can participate, and what colleges they will be  attend place a great deal of emphasis on children’s performance.  The ability for children to be able to process that good can come from not winning is clouded because the end goal is the emphasis.  The underlying message that children sometimes inadvertently receive as a result is that they will be valued or loved less if they lose.  Camp, on the other hand, emphasizes process and embraces novice.  One of the primary messages conveyed to campers is that winning is a great thing at camp, but it’s not everything.   Improving skills, finding activities one really loves, having fun and making friends are valuable attributes at camp.  In such an environment, winning takes on less prominence.  Children are less likely to feel less valuable as campers for losing.

Camp leaders and staff work very hard throughout the summer to make sure this atmosphere is maintained. Children are encouraged for performance, accomplishment, and attitude regardless of being winners or losers in a contest.  Many special camp  games or competitions are also structured in a way that encourages children to work together in order to win and provide excellent opportunities for those children who may not be excellent athletes or extreme intellectuals to have their moments to shine.

Learning how to “not win” at camp makes it much easier for children to put “not winning” at home into proper perspective!

Things You Can Only Do at Camp

Things You Can Only Do At Camp

As I sit looking over the pictures of Summer 2012, I was struck by how many things you only do at camp. The list is long and full of things that make you laugh and things that make you think. Campers, if I leave anything out, please let me know!

Only at Weequahic…

•             Is racing with a bed in hand a serious sport.

•             MAKING the bed, hands clasped with a ‘sister’ a timed and valued activity.

•             Is Bench ball played, and played well!

•             Does anyone know what BBG means but also knows how to play it!

•             Do you find a Camp Mom without any ‘real’ children as campers at camp

•             Do you play underneath an American flag so old that it has only 48 stars.

•             Are you a part of  Tribe or Team at the end of the session where you add value, regardless of your strengths and challenges

•             Do you spend a Friday night thinking about gratitude, attitude, and courage

•             Can you hear cows mooing every day at 2:55pm

•             Can you launch a rocket, play in the lake, compete in a soccer game, enjoy canteen, and STILL have time to goof off with your friends.

•             Do you get to enjoy Free Play on Main Campus

•             You listen to nominations from staff of campers who have done awesome things that day before lowering the flag

•             Do you sing Taps and Alma Mater while facing the lake, regardless of where you are on camp

•             Are 13-16 year old guys clamoring for a handball team tournament under the lights

•             Where you get to hang out with friends 50 feet off the ground

There are so many wonderful things you get to do only at Weequahic, and the above list is just a start. Campers and staff, let us hear from you about what we are missing from this list.

Can’t wait to add more to it in Summer 2013!