Memorial Day is just around the corner and, soon after that, schools will be letting out for the summer. If you and your significant other are already taking bets on how many days into summer vacation your child will get before proclaiming ‘I’m bored!’ don’t fret. It may not be too late to combat summer vacation boredom with camp.
First, run–don’t walk–to your computer and submit that summer camp application that you’ve been meaning to submit since October. Although many camps are at capacity for this summer, some camps still have limited space or can place your child on a waiting list in the event of a last minute cancellation. But time is definitely of the essence now so don’t dilly dally anymore! If you’re still on the fence and wondering what summer camp do to fight off summer boredom that you, the local pool, or the latest videogame system can’t do, consider this:
For starters, does your local pool have a water trampoline or a rockit? How about a climbing wall or a rope swing? Does it offer tubing or paddleboarding? And can your child choose between a sailboat, canoe, or kayak? Does the park offer waterskiing? Didn’t think so.
But it’s not just the waterfront that makes summer camp “camp.” That’s a couple of hours of each day, of course, but there are ball fields and courts, too—baseball, basketball, soccer, tennis, lacrosse, football, hockey…All in one campus! On any given day at summer camp, campers visit several of them. They don’t just play intramural games either. They receive instruction from knowledgeable professionals who work with children year round either as coaches or teachers or college students with significant playing experience a sport who hope to work with children when they graduate. Campers are challenged to improve their foul shot, learn a new swing, and maintain more control of balls while dribbling. Traditional summer camps are a virtual sports paradise. You’ll probably read about that when you receive your first letter from camp in which your child tells you that he or she is so NOT bored!
Away from the fields, there are some pretty sweet crafts, ceramics, and woodworking projects for campers who have a passion for all things that have a high potential to be messy. They’ll spend an hour or two everyday making a collection of new masterpieces to bring home to you and, when they do, you WILL find a special place to show it off, even if you’re not immediately sure what it is. It’s a pretty good bet that your child will spend at least two minutes of a phone call home telling you how much FUN it is to nail pieces of wood together or spin clay on a pottery wheel.
But even sports and crafts aren’t enough to fill up a day at camp. There are climbing walls, ropes courses, zip lines, mountain bikes, fitness, weights, cooking, nature, fishing, gymnastics, dance, theater, magic, equestrian, skate parks…and that’s just what campers do during the day.
Without electronics, iPods, and videogames to retreat to after dinner, evenings can get kind of crazy. There are sing alongs, dance competitions, spirit competitions, talent competitions, and stage shows. If you’re having a hard time imagining your child taking the stage and liking it, don’t worry. We take photos. You can spend the entire summer hitting the refresh button on your computer screen while looking at photos of your child not being bored.
There is also square dancing, sports leagues, scavenger hunts, carnivals, cookouts, dances, outside entertainment, and campfires. We haven’t even mentioned out of camp trips to take in sporting events, catch a movie, or visit a local amusement park.
If you’re out of breath just reading this, so are we. And we haven’t even mentioned everything. In fact, there is so much to do at camp that on some days the hardest decision for many campers is what not to do. So make this summer the first of your child’s ‘funnest summers ever!’ by sending him or her to camp, where there is no such thing as “bored.”
During our conversations with families, we often hear “My child loves to play sports but is not terribly competitive. How will they fit in at Camp Weequahic?” We also hear, “My kid ONLY wants to play team sports” or “My child does not like any team sports. Are they going to like camp?” They are great questions because they allow us to explain the type of camper who thrives at Weequahic.
In a word, children who get the most out of Weequahic are ‘zestful.’ (We used to use the term ‘engaged’ but, having read Paul Tough’s great book on children, we think ‘zestful’ is a much better descriptor!) This describes boys and girls who are into lots of different activities, excited to build friendships, and who love to play.
Most of our girls select a wide range of activities from fashion design and cooking to team sports to waterskiing. Similarly, our boys will choose a wide variety of activities – team sports, woodshop, rocketry, skate park, climbing, cartooning, tennis, and more. (Just about everyone enjoys tubing and jumping in the lake!)
Some campers choose to focus on a specific area, such as gymnastics, the arts, adventure and nature, or competitive team sports. While we have a large offering of competitive sports and events within the Wayne County Camp Association, being on a team is completely voluntary and open to everyone interested.
We do allow some specialization, we want to make sure our campers try a few things they don’t get to experience much at home (maybe a hike or building something in woodshop or getting up on water skies for the first time).
We are excited to offer our campers the opportunity to build their perfect summer in a setting that encourages a zestful approach to life!