Tag: summer camp values

The Reward a Child Experiences When Having a “Big Sister/Brother”



Imagine being 7 years old and coming to camp for the first time. You’re one of the youngest and newest campers on campus, and you may feel a little lost, intimidated and overwhelmed. You may begin to think that coming to camp may have been a mistake, and start wondering if it is too late to call your parents back to come and get you. And then an older, taller, more experienced camper walks right up to you, knows your name, and makes you feel like you belong. They are your big brother/big sister, and for the entire duration of camp, they’ve got your back. You can breathe a big sigh of relief because you’re not alone anymore and someone is there for you. Young campers benefit immensely from the Big Brother/Big Sister program because they can transition quickly from “nervous and new” to “confident and included.” They bond quickly to their camp sibling and rest easy in the fact that if they have questions, need someone to sit with at lunch, or just need someone to talk to, they have their big brother/big sister.


Each year, an older, more experienced camper is paired with a younger newer camper. The new camper benefits for all of the reasons listed above, but the big brother/big sister benefits too. It is a big responsibility to be a big brother/sister, and they take it very seriously. By proving that they are trustworthy, reliable, friendly, patient and kind, they are given the opportunity to make a difference for a new camper. This boosts their confidence, improves their leadership skills, and gives them something to look forward to. They get the chance to be a mentor to someone, to be a teacher and a friend, which helps them immensely when they are back at school and in the “real world.”


Entering a new place can be nerve-wracking, especially when you’re surrounded by tons of new people who seem to know what they’re doing, where they are going, and already have their pack of friends to do things with. When a new camper is matched with a Big Brother/Sister, they can get through that awkward newness quickly and move on to getting settled in. With someone to answer their questions, introduce them to new friends and give them a tour of the campus, they begin to feel comfortable with their new surroundings and can begin to experience camp as it is meant to be experienced. Young campers can also look forward to the day when they too will be a big brother/sister for someone else, and pass what they’ve learned down to someone new.


There are so many benefits of having a big brother/big sister during your first time at camp. It makes camp seem a little smaller when at first it feels so big, and it can make it feel a little less daunting and whole lot more fun.

Building Courage at Camp

We were thrilled to recently host a Weequahic Northeast Reunion. Seeing our campers and their families during the year is certainly a treat for us. It was also a great reminder of Courage, one the Weequahic Core Values, we teach. Let me explain….

At camp, we define courage not as the absence of fear but rather as acting even though the fear is present. Our campers practice this often by climbing further up the rock wall than they thought they could, learning to waterski for the first time, getting up on stage in the play, or being on a team they’ve never tried before.

It’s not just on the fields of play where courage is developed but in the bunks as well. Most of our campers arrive without knowing anyone at camp. It takes guts to go into a bunk of all new campers and build friendships. Thankfully, by the end of three or six weeks, these friendships are not only built but cemented into place!

Back to the reunion… many of our campers return the reunion without having seen their camp friends for some time. “Will they remember me? Who will be there that I know? These are questions we all struggle with at times, especially when we are young.

Thankfully, with camp friends, this brief moment of anxiousness was overcome by an outpouring of courage and mirth – campers jumped and hugged and laughed there way around the bowling alley, even those who started nervous of how the day would go.

Weequahic campers hold the value of courage highly. They understand it is a muscle needed to be used and trained in order to be strong and available when truly needed. Thankfully, we have so many wonderful ways in which to practice at camp. Whether in the bunks, on the fields, in the lake, or Activity Center, Weequahic campers are courageous!

Camp Weequahic: Preparing Children for a Global Life

The world is shrinking. It’s a line you hear over and over because it’s true. First, steamboats and railroads made it possible to ‘easily’ travel distances once thought unimaginable. Then airlines made it possible to get anywhere within 24 hours. Now, the internet and our smartphones allow us to connect with anyone, anywhere in the world, instantly.

The benefits of this newfound ability to connect immediately will be most fully realized by our young people who are interested in building connections and have some experience in doing so. A summer at Weequahic could hardly be a better place to start.

Children and staff come to Camp Weequahic from twenty eight States and thirteen countries. In fact, our community represented all but one of the continents this summer. (Hopefully, we can find an intrepid penguin to help us round out all seven continents next summer!)

Our campers had the summer of their lives laughing, growing, and learning alongside children with whom they’d never connect and from staff they’d never meet unless at camp. Young people immersed in a wonderfully fun environment are more willing and interested in reaching out to others. In doing so, they begin to build the habits of independence, curiosity, and openness. These are the same skills necessary to be successful in the larger but shrinking world of adults.

If you want your child to learn to connect with others, you’d be hard pressed to find a safer, more inviting place than Camp Weequahic. Our diverse and professional staff help prepare our campers for the larger world in so many fun and exciting ways. Whether through arts, athletics, aquatics or adventure or simply sitting around the campfire, we’ve something for all to enjoy.

Come spend a summer with us and learn to build those much needed real world connections!