Coming Together at Camp

I don’t know about you, but the big news in the US today makes me want to gather everyone around the campfire tonight. 

Wouldn’t that be great? We’d sit around a roaring fire, share some laughs, play some games under the stars, and think about the deeper things which unite us. Afterward, we’d enjoy some milk and cookies and head to bed with a full heart surrounded by friends.

If we were to sit by Sly Lake tonight, I believe I’d be talking about things that bind us as a camp community together.

The love of traditions such as Friday night campfire, singing the good night song arm in arm, dancing in the Dining Hall, and canteen raids really do bring us closer. Shared values such as gratitude, choosing your attitude and courage keep us grounded in what’s important. Practicing kindness and helpfulness with everyone really makes a difference.

Summer Lessons Lead to Lifetime Habits

One our great summer leaders, Amanda N., recently shared a story from her life as a high school teacher.

After seeing a young man drop some trash and start to walk away, she practiced courage by stopping his group, picking up the trash and saying, “Guys, this is your school. You should treat it with respect. Don’t throw trash on the ground. Be helpful.”

(And, yes, believe it or not, teachers have to show courage every day to help young people to learn both in and out of the classroom!)

A few weeks later, she found herself walking unnoticed behind the same group of young men. A young man in the group stopped, bent down, picked up a piece of paper on the ground, walked it to a trashcan, and threw it away.

One of his friends asked what he was doing and he just shrugged and said “Ms. Neary said to be helpful.”

That little change of outlook will make a big difference in that young man’s life if he continues to practice it. Way to go, Ms. Neary!


Just because we have a great deal that binds us together doesn’t mean we can’t disagree. In fact, if we don’t have some disagreements, then we can’t learn and grow. And, if we aren’t growing, well… we’d be going in a direction you don’t want to think about.

Of course we argue! But, as a community, we do it from the bedrock of a shared vision (to create an amazing experience for everyone we meet through…) and core values (gratitude, attitude and courage).

Because we agree on the big things, we can argue confidently about the smaller things. And, as long as we keep an open mind while talking through our different opinions and experiences, we’ll great results. That’s true at Camp Weequahic as much as it is true at your school, in your home, or in our country.

Make sure you know the ties that bind you together. Keep them safe and healthy. Once you are confident in those, practice courage and make sure you are heard. And then… enjoy a cookie and milk with your neighbor!

Have a great weekend,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.