Sunday Snippet: From a Camper’s Perspective
One long held Camp WeHaKee tradition has been the Council Fire. It is an opportunity for the camp community to come together and learn about the history of WeHaKee and develop an appreciation of the legacy throughout the camp. And we take time to honor the committment and loyalty to WeHaKee by recognizing the number of years each camper has attended camp. There is also a time for some of our older Leadership Academy girls to share what Camp WeHaKee has meant to them. Here is what a few of them had to see this past session:
“I’ve been coming to WeHaKee for two summers. Last year I decided that I wanted to leave home and do something new and exciting. I went to a few camps before WeHaKee, but I wasn’t really impressed and didn’t want to go back. But I knew that I wanted to find a camp that was a good fit before I was too old to be a camper. Finally, my mom suggested that we Google camps. I picked a few camps and contacted them. WeHaKee was the first who responded; I’m really glad that they did. When the time came to leave for camp, I was nervous about leaving my friends and family and traveling half way across the country. I spent a whole day traveling and suddenly found myself stepping off of the bus-more scared than ever. I felt like a deer in the headlights-frozen. I knew absolutely no one, and it seemed like everyone else was connected in some way. By the next morning, I already felt completely welcome. It was a great summer, and I knew that I wanted to come back this summer. Camp WeHaKee has taught me so much about interacting with others and about myself. I’ve had so many great memories here and cant wait for the future. I feel 100% confident in recommending WeHaKee to anyone. It’s one of a kind and truly irreplaceable.” (2 year camper from Albany, NY)
“I have been coming to camp for 6 years. I have been to other camps and none of them can ever compare to WeHaKee. There is so much to do and learn. It is in a great environment to grown as an individual. I know personally camp has helped me come out of my shell and find myself and learn to express my true person. Thank you Camp WeHaKee!” (6 year camper from Lemont, IL)
“Leaving for a wonderful place,
Packed every bag and every suit case,
Flying or driving for hours on end,
Finally arriving, surrounded by friends.
Some may be new, others a bit old,
Recent stories shard, memories retold.
So much to do, so many games to play,
2, 4, even 6 weeks we will stay.
Relationships here are made to last,
Even though time goes by so fast.
Singing, talking, running together,
Having fun despite bad weather.
Almost done with my journey, just a bit longer,
These years I’ve spent here made me stronger.
This place helped me learn so much and grow,
It goes by in a blink, I never want to go.
I’m proud to be apart of this camp’s 90 years,
It’s been worth all the homesickness and tears.
I’ll come back again, but as a camper no more,
I’ll come back will all that I’ve learned from before.
Thank you to this family I’ve had for so long,
Leaving this place always feels so wrong.
But I know that I’ve been loved and always cared for,
This place is all I could want and more.
Thank you all for making my time here count every day,
And not I have but one thing left to say.
Don’t ever forget Camp WeHaKee, because I never will.”
(A poem by an 8 year camper from Island Lake, IL)
As directors, we spend a lot of time describing the camp experience and explaining all of the benefits that camp provides. From an adult’s perspective it is quite easy to see the positively impact that WeHaKee has on the lives of all of the girls. But it is even more wonderful to hear from the campers themselves as they describe all of the fun and excitement they enjoy. And it is remarkable to hear how clearly they articulate the beneficial ways the camp experience has impacted their lives in beyond WeHaKee. Thanks for sharing ladies!