The Camp Weequahic blog is where the guest blog for this week originated. It was first published on that site on January 28, 2014 and was written by a former camper who very eloquently explains what 8 summers at camp meant to him.
Camp Weequahic has been my home away from home for the past seven years. It was a place where I could escape the stresses of everyday life and relax with those whom had become my summer family. Though my time as a camper ended this past summer, the lessons and values I took away from my camp experience are ones that have molded me into the person I am today and will stay with me for the rest of my life.
Weequahic has taught me that staying true to oneself will always lead to friendship. Living in a bunk with other kids my age for the first time was a daunting task. However, because I was myself and did not pretend to be anyone I was not, I formed inseparable bonds with my bunkmates, all of whom I am now proud to call my best friends.
Having made these friendships also taught me how to maintain friendships across a large geographic area. I am one of the campers who does not hail from the Tri-State area. The distance between us during the winter encouraged me to keep in contact and maintain the friendships, so that when we returned to camp, it was like we had never left.
Weequahic has also taught me leadership skills that apply to everyday life, such ashow to take different people and make them work together in a cohesive unit. When leading my color war team, I had to make sure that each and every kid was engaged and having fun; otherwise, the mere thought of him or her respecting me and color war in general would be long gone. This is where I learned how to make everyone come together, to lead the way in having fun while working together to achieve a common purpose: winning.
In doing so, I learned possibly my most valuable life-lesson. Here is a quote from Maya Angelou that epitomizes my new mantra: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Staying true to this belief has not only furthered my relationships with those around me, but it will enable me to easily form relationships in the future.
If it were not for camp, I would have never understood this quote to its full capacity. The lessons I learned at Camp Weequahic are ones that will follow me for the rest of my life, guiding my choices and experiences. If it were not for Weequahic, I would be a completely different person than I am today.