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The Warmest Time of the Year- Happy Holidays from Camp Wekeela!

Is the holiday season the warmest time of the year? Temperature-wise, here in the Northeast, not really. We prefer summer time for the warmth, but when it comes to family, friends, giving, love, and food, the holiday season definitely heats up. “The most wonderful time of the year” makes people happy, and as camp people we also like to think ahead to our time spent at camp.

One of the main reasons I love this time of the year can be explained by the family holiday card. We all get them from our relatives, our neighbors, etc. But the ones that truly make me feel special are from my camper’s families, and our staff. These cards welcome us into their lives giving us a glimpse at what makes them happy during the holiday season- family, their dog, their kids. That is what camp is all about; it is an extended family, one that expands across the world.

The lessons that camp teaches are universal; the power ofkindness, of creativity, of laughter, of joy, of silliness. Camp gives campers and staff the experiences and memories that will be with them forever. Yet in between these moments and memories, we learn the power of resiliency and the power of having real face-time, something that is often missing in today’s world.

At camp, our counselors know and teach the importance of family. Our family will cheer, embrace, accept, and love others. At camp, you are loved unconditionally even with our flaws. In this wonderful time of the year, let us to remember this- to reach our arms out to our camp family and recall those who stood up and cheered us on at trying something new, embraced us when we failed, and pushed us to succeed. Camp offers all those things- strangers from every background, different cultures, coming together to celebrate the one thing that our campers truly want and we all need-friends.

Each summer, our campers and staff create or expand their second family, their camp family, on the shores of Little Bear Pond. When our campers get off the bus to step onto the Wekeela campus, the warmth of the Maine air along with many hugs and smiling faces from old friends and new faces greet them. At Camp Wekeela, family is the core that binds our relationships together. There is a reason our slogan is “Camp Wekeela Where Friends Become Family.” As Bug Juice and Wekeela shirts mimic some cozy hot chocolate and ‘ugly sweaters’ of the holiday season, we hope the fond memories of the summer time bring warmth to our campers and families this holiday season. Summertime may seem far away, but the opportunity to reminisce about the memories that you made at Wekeela makes this holiday season so much more special. We are all so thankful for the gift of camp in our lives. Wishing everyone a healthy, peaceful and joyful holiday!

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Jonathan Caflun in Camp News December 8, 2017

Why residential Summer Camp is important

Sleep under the stars. Catch a fish. Learn how to play guitar. Paddle a canoe. Go watersking. Play ball. Make friends. Build a fire. Climb a mountain. Roast a marshmallow. These are just some of the things a child can do at a residential (sleep-away) summer camp. Summer camp builds character. Summer camp breeds affinity with nature. Summer camp forges bonds between children that last a life time. A parent that sends their child to sleep away camp is giving them a gift that will last a lifetime. The child who goes to sleep-away camp makes real connections. At camp, children do not have access to electronics or technology. It gives today’s child an important opportunity to “unplug.” These days, sleep-away summer camp may be the last environment where a child can unplug and have quality face time. Camp teaches a child about responsibility and the importance of meaningful relationships. Sleep-away camp, in particular, is an intense experience because it is 24/7. The sleepaway camp experience has always provided children the opportunity to go outside and play. For the current generation of parents who want to raise self-reliant, compassionate, and ethical children. Summer camp is the best decision. As parents we want our children to become successful adults.… Read More

Camp Wekeela in Camp News November 9, 2017

Homesickness Prevention

This summer, millions of children will get their first taste of independence at a summer resident camp. For many, it will also be their first experience with homesickness. But parents don’t have to feel helpless when homesickness strikes. The prescription for camper homesickness is a simple solution of preparation and patience.

Phillips Exeter Academy psychologist Dr. Christopher Thurber studied homesickness in 329 boys between the ages of 8 and 16 at resident camp. According to his results, homesickness is the norm rather than the exception. A whopping 83 percent of the campers studied reported homesickness on at least one day of camp. Thurber and the American Camp Association (ACA) suggest the following tips for parents to help… Read More

Camp Wekeela in Camp News November 7, 2017

Preparing Children for Adulthood – 21st Century Skills

Camp is a particularly effective way to teach critical skills; these include character skills (grit, self control and optimism) and “21st Century Skills” (communication, collaboration, creativity, critical thinking and leadership). Regardless if a child attends private or public school the institution’s challenge is to become a leader in innovation. Are these schools fostering innovation? Some education systems put too much focus on testing thus creating a group of children who become disciplined manufacturers, but not entrepreneurs or innovators.

At the inaugural China Camp Education Conference on the 10th of April, 2015, it was revealed that some of the Chinese leadership is looking at new ways to create long term advantage for their population. The Chinese government has reduced homework until the 4th grade and mandated non-academic afterschool programs. The following is important to know …… Read More

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