It is often stated that if you love your job then you’re never really working. A smile is usually accompanied with this statement if you realize that you are one of these lucky people fortunate to earn a living by doing what they are passionate about. At, every single staff member feels this way, they all believe they have the best job at campus, trusting that their specific duty is the most fun to do. To put this to the test, a series of interviews will be held all summer asking staff from different specialties why they believe their job is the best at Camp.
Starting at the most iconic point of Camp, waterfront staff member Beth offered insight into why she has one of the best jobs on campus.
“Being on the waterfront staff is the best because I get to be on the water all day. What is not to like about the waterfront? I go find frogs some days with my campers and on others paddle board on the lake,” said Beth.
Clearly enjoying the flexibility of the waterfront program, Beth notes that every single day at the waterfront can be different but it’s always fun.
“Nothing is more rewarding than when the kids have never done a certain skill before and then when they learn to use the right techniques they say “WOW! I did it!” said Beth.
As a waterfront staff member, Beth is able to help campers achieve personal goals every day, whether it’s successfully teaching a camper how to swim, water ski or paddleboard.
“You can tell that these kids really want to be here when they are here at the waterfront, and that’s why I always want to be at the waterfront,” said Beth.
Throughout a normal day at Camp, campers will be often asked what they learned that day. Did they master a new serving technique in tennis? Did they learn how to overcome stage fright for the play on Saturday night? There are many lessons a camper can learn from their counselors, but there are also many lessons campers can teach to counselors. The most valuable lesson counselors are taught by their campers is that of patience. It is not a fast lesson or something learned in one period of the day, patience is taught over a long time. Patience teaches counselors how to reword or rephrase directions so that campers can better understand them, patience bridges a language barrier. Patience shows counselors to be straight to the point with directions and to be kind at all times, even if the day is not going as smoothly as desired, learning not to sweat the small stuff and that there is a way around every obstacle. Patience is how hard work is completed and positive results are made, slacking in energy will only hinder the progress and yourself. It is amazing to see that even though counselors are doing most of the teaching in terms of technique, skill and instruction, campers are the one that do most of the life changing in the counselor. Campers are full of surprises in terms of what they have learned and what they can create, but they consistently teach counselors the same lesson of patience every summer and the lesson isn’t fully taught until the last day of summer. When the counselor sees their campers accomplished in their sport or activity on the last day, this is when the lesson of patience is learned and mastered by the counselor.
Down at Outdoor Adventure, survival skills and the rush of adrenaline fill my day. With the ropes courses, zip line, rockwall and woods, everyday I help campers achieve new goals and help them face their fears which is why I believe I have the best job on campus. Every day I interact with campers who have never tried climbing a rock wall or building a fire and it is my job to teach them these survival skills and coach them through difficult tasks. I especially love teaching kids how to build fire because I get to see them create something out of nothing, sharing my knowledge with the campers and seeing the end result is a magical moment for me. A very unique thing about Outdoor Adventure is that all the goals we hope campers achieve are personal ones, something only they can accomplish on their own and for themselves. When campers complete a task, big or small, they exclaim “Look at this! Look I did it!” and it is one of the most rewarding aspects of my job. Even though I am covered in dirt from the very start and end of my day, helping these campers achieve goals of reaching new heights or mastering a survival skill makes all the dirty work more than worth it. I feel very proud to watch my returning campers advance in skill levels or even when I notice the change in one day from a new camper. I absolutely love how these campers always want to learn more and put in the effort to achieve goals, and the satisfaction I feel when I know I’ve helped these campers grow in more ways than just one is why I know I have the best job at Camp.
In the summer of 2012, my daughter Reilly was 11 years old. She had always been an adventurous sort, but when the subject of sleep away camp came up, she wasn’t having any of it. She couldn’t imagine leaving her home and her friends for over a month, and the thought of trying to fall asleep in the middle of the woods with strangers and without her parents was far from appealing.
Throughout that Spring we spoke to Rachel Kerchman, the Director of Brant Lake Dance Camp, no less than five times. She even made time to visit our home when she was in Washington DC. Kerch was patient and warm, open and respectful of my daughter’s feelings. Reilly agreed to try BLDC, and we started packing.
As the bus pulled away from Lincoln Center that first summer, Reilly never looked back. (I cried my eyes out, however!) During every weekly phone call, Reilly’s happy voice and excited stories made us sure she was in the right place.
It is now five years later, and Reilly is getting ready for her last summer as a camper at BLDC. She is dying to get back to her friends and Brant Lake’s beautiful setting, but the thought that her time as a camper is coming to an end is bittersweet. She knows the years that follow will hold new adventures and challenges, but if she had her choice, she would ask for five more summers.
It is bittersweet for us as well. During these last five years, we have watched Reilly grow into a graceful, poised, self-assured, independent and outgoing woman, in no small part because of her experience at BLDC. Her friends and counselors have seen her through happy and hard times, from the exhilaration of her first Enchoreo to the heartbreak of a chronic injury which took her off the professional track she was aiming for. Reilly’s Dad and I are grateful for the love, friendship and endless summer days she has experienced at Brant Lake. While I still cry every time she leaves, we now know that camp, after being eagerly anticipated for ten months, will be the highlight of her year. And who knows? Maybe we will be back if we have a grandchild that loves to dance as well.
Every day at camp is packed with fun, adventure, socialization, physical activities and character building, which can really wear a kid out! For many campers, falling into bed each night is a welcome rest from their busy day, and most campers are so exhausted from a fun and busy day that they are practically asleep before their head hits the pillow.
Bedtime at camp, like everything else, comes with its own set of traditions. It’s so much more than “lights out,” it is a final time during the day for campers to connect with each other, to reflect on their day and to make memories. When everyone is in their pajamas and calming down for the night, campers enjoy hearing their counselors read stories, singing songs, and sharing their favorite moments about the day. As the lights go out, flashlight time allows campers to bond with cabin buddies. This quiet time also gives counselors one extra opportunity to check in with each camper individually and ask about their day and address any specific needs they may have.
Campers love bedtime because it’s like having a sleepover with your best friends, every single night of the summer! There are so many lifelong memories created around the silliness and fun of bedtime at camp. Campers have alone time to read, journal, or just have some quiet time before they go to sleep. Campers get excited about the “down time,” and some are so tired from a fun-packed day that they’re asleep as soon as their heads hit the pillow. Veteran campers will attest that bedtime is a bonding time and that many deep, important conversations happen during this time that serves to strengthen relationships between them.
If anyone can get kids and teenagers excited about bedtime, it’s America’s Finest Summer Camps. Campers get a good night’s sleep and are well rested and in the morning, are ready for another day of swimming, biking, climbing, dancing, laughing, playing and experiencing the best summer of their lives.
I cannot feel a single part of my body for I have been standing outside in negative five-degree weather for the past two hours. I have on thermals, wind pants, Under Armour, a sweatshirt a hat and a pair of gloves. Oh, and let’s not forget my kilt and practice jersey. It has been snowing for a while now, but for the past ten minutes, it seems as if the snow is coming up from the turf rather than down from the sky; if that is at all conceivably possible. My coach has blown the whistle and the ball has miraculously fallen into my stick. As I begin to run down the field, I can feel the wind trying to stop me, biting my nose, forcing me to question my trek forward. Faking one way, then dodging the other, I gently place the ball into the top right corner of the net. As the whistle blows to indicate a goal has been scored, I run back to the center of the circle, slapping my teammates high-five with smiles all around. At the moment, I take a second to look at my surroundings and remember the reasons why I play.
It’s not about winning or losing, championship trophies, or who’s better than whom. It’s not about receiving a scholarship, earning post-season honors or making captain. It’s not about the athletic endorsements, the free clothing or being drafted. It’s about pride, teamwork, passion and determination. It’s about the blood, the sweat, the tears and the effort put forth during each game. It’s about that feeling of exhaustion and exhilaration knowing you have just given it your all.
I am an athlete because I portray these characteristics both on and off of the field. Before I am a woman, a friend or a student, I am an athlete and a teammate. My life would be completely unfulfilled had I not been involved in athletics for it has been my source of motivation. My passion for sports has only grown with age. I know that I will never be a professional athlete who plays prime time on ESPN, signs Nike contracts or is featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated. But I do know that I will take each and every practice, game and high five with me throughout the rest of my life, for I have cherished every moment I have stepped out onto that field.
Written 15 years ago by Rachel Millim, Director of Brant Lake Sports Academy. Rachel earned her BS in Sociology from Cornell where she was an All-American Lacrosse player. She was also an All-American Lacrosse player in high school and an All-County basketball player. Post-college, Rachel worked as a NASM Certified Personal Trainer. Her competitive edge has never left as she recently has completed marathons, triathlons and century rides.
Para muchas familias de otros países, hacer un viaje a los Estados Unidos es prioridad enla lista de las cosas que siempre soñaron hacer. Muchos padres quieren proporcionar a sus hijos el regalo de viajar y exponerlos a diferentes lugares y culturas y ayudar a modelar su entendimiento del mundo. Planear un viaje a un país distinto puede ser irresistible. ¡Hay tanto por ver y hacer! Y puede ser difícil hallar actividades para que todos los miembros de la familia disfruten juntos. Sin importar lo que hacen o hacia dónde van, las familias que viajan a los Estados Unidos desde otros países sólo quieren pasar un momento estando todos juntos mientras experimentan la cultura y el estilo de vida de un nuevo lugar. Esta es la razón por la cual muchas familias de otros países se enamoran de Family Camp, ya que es una manera de que todos se integren a la experiencia de un campamento de verano estadounidense en un lugar seguro y orientado a la familia.
Las familias que participan de Family Camp tienen la oportunidad de asistir a juegos tradicionales de un campamento de verano y actividades grupales e individuales. Las actividades se dividen por grupos de edad para que todos los miembros de la familia puedan hacer alguna actividad que les guste relacionada con su edad, así también los adultos. Al tener un tiempo equilibrado tanto en familia como de manera individual, cada miembro puede descubrir sus fortalezas y pasiones al tiempo que alienta e inspira al otro y se conecta con él. Cuando toda la familia viene al campamento, se convierte en un recuerdo para toda la vida. Este tiempo precioso libre de distracciones como teléfonos celulares y portátiles permite a los mmbros de la familia unirse y reconectarse entre sí para reir, compartir historias, tener conversaciones íntimas y experimentar juntos cosas nuevas. Family Camp abre ventanas de discusión y conversación añoradas por padres e hijos y establece una línea de comunicación vital para el crecimiento de cada miembro.
Todos los días, los miembros de la familia pueden participar en actividades como natación, cursos de habilidades, manualidades, sófbol, fotografía, yoga y caminatas. Al final de un día lleno de diversión, tenemos programas nocturnos como fogatas, shows, búsquedas del tesoro y eventos especiales como La guerra del color. Seguramente se crearán recuerdos imborrables para toda la familia. Por día se sirven tres comidas deliciosas y saludables, y esto constituye una gran oportunidad para que toda la familia se reúna y las disfrute al tiempo que tienen conversaciones valiosas.
Las familias de otros países pueden experimentar un campamento de verano tradicional de los EE. UU. y conocer a otras familias de todo el mundo. Es una manera increíble de enseñar a los niños temas como diversidad, aceptación, y cultura durante las mejores vacaciones de verano que hayan tenido.
Otro motivo por el cual las familias de otros países adoran Family Camp es por su ubicación. Después de una experiencia de 3, 4 o 6 noches en Family Camp, las familias pueden viajar para visitar algunos de los lugares más famosos del país como la ciudad de Nueva York y las Cataratas del Niágara. El campamento se encuentra a 3 horas del Aeropuerto LaGuardia, lo cual facilita a las familias tomar un vuelo y continuar su viaje privilegiado de vacaciones familiares en los EE. UU.
Para pasar unas vacaciones memorables en familia, Family Camp es una oportunidad única que toda la familia adorará.
Something amazing is happening on August 26th-27th, an event that combines the adventure and experience of summer camp with the delicacy of gourmet food from around the region. Farm to Camp is an adults-only summer camp experience packed into one amazing weekend. From a waterfront cocktail hour and a five-star meal under the stars to a wide variety of indoor and outdoor summer camp themed activities, this is an experience you won’t want to miss.
Farm to Camp starts off with a sunset cocktail party, where campers can mingle with new friends and taste local wines before dinner. After cocktails, an eight-course meal is served at a long table under the stars, surrounded by soft lighting and the gorgeous surroundings of Camp Starlight. Prepared by culinary geniuses, an extensive dinner menu featuring local and organic options will leave taste buds in a state of bliss. Fresh produce from farmers in the Pennsylvania and NY area, and guests all come together for a meal to remember. Even the tableware and serving dishes are environmentally friendly, adding another organic element to this incredible meal. Each plate is handcrafted not only for exceptional taste but for beauty as well. This is sure to be a meal to remember. In the morning, enjoy another exceptional, farm-fresh meal for brunch before you head home.
Before the sunset cocktail hour, guests can spend the day feeling like a kid again by participating in many traditional summer camp activities. From tennis and softball to fitness classes and volleyball, guests can experience some of their favorite childhood activities, or branch out and try something new. When was the last time you let your guard down and had some good, clean fun? If it’s been too long, Farm to Camp will be a breath of fresh air. After dinner, guests can explore the grounds, socialize around the campfire, make S’mores, or dance the night away to the beats of a late night DJ.
There’s only one thing to do after a day of fun and good food: Sleep. Guests can shower, unwind and relax in one of the camp cabins, complete with electricity and hot water. Campers can meet new friends by being assigned to a cabin with other guests, or choose in advance to stay with people they know. Private rooms are also available at an extra charge.
Farm To Camp allows guests to relive the summer camp of their childhood with a grown up twist. It allows campers to enjoy healthy, gorgeous, organic meals with good friends and good wine in a weekend that will make them feel like a kid again.
For a first time summer camp experience to remember, there’s no better place to spend your summer than Camp Weequahic. Specializing in first time campers, this exiting sleep away camp gives campers a unique camp experience based on a flexible program where their parents can choose from a wide range of options and choices to customize their summer to best suit the camper’s interests, strengths and passions. From high-energy sports like soccer and basketball, to creative outlets like theatre and robotics, Camp Weequahic’s focus on choice, spirit, adventure, tradition and family creates a safe, welcoming and exciting camp experience for those who are new to the summer camp experience. With two three week sessions or the option to stay for all six weeks, families have a lot of flexibility in planning their children’s summer.
The gorgeous waterfront location of Camp Weequahic makes it a picturesque place to experience fun and excitement on the water. The sparkling, spring-fed lake is where campers can try kayaking, water skiing and fishing for the first time, and the lighted and heated waterfront pool offers a refreshing place for a swim. For a more extreme summer camp adventure, campers can step out of their comfort zone and try the ropes course, rock climbing wall, mountain biking or zoom down a 400’ zip line. First time campers become forever campers after spending their summer at Weequahic, and it is easy to see why. The safe, positive and welcoming environment makes first time campers feel right at home, and builds a love and appreciation for the summer camp experience that they will cherish forever.