“Wawenock is a loyal and loving community that values, respects, and cares for every person involved. Wawenock and the Wawenock family will be my home and my family for life.”
An intentional Camp Community:
Camp Wawenock has been continuously directed by professional educators who have created and maintained an intentional camp experience. From the very beginning, campers have been encouraged to become an active and caring member of a welcoming community, to build both activity and social skills, and to connect with this beautiful, natural setting.
Finding the joy in the simple things:
Today, campers and parents tell us that summers at Wawenock provide a much-needed escape from many of the negative pressures of the outside world, including the frantic demands of busy schedules and glowing screens. At Camp, girls find themselves in a relaxed, supportive environment – one in which they can find time to connect, on a deeper level, with special friends and pursue existing passions while developing new friendships, skills and interests. Girls learn to appreciate living in the moment, communicating face to face, and the simple joys of relaxing by the lake or searching for shooting stars.
“Something that I’ve learned from camp is to always live in the moment, to never take anything for granted, and to always live every day with a new attitude and an open mind.”
A welcoming camp family:
We are fortunate to have girls from different backgrounds, from across the country and around the globe in our camp family, allowing campers to become more culturally agile and aware of the world. Girls are always excited to welcome new-comers to the community. In addition, we purposefully mix cabin groups each year to help facilitate the introduction of first time campers at all ages and to encourage campers to develop close relationships over time with everyone in their age group. Camp family traditions such as mealtime, tribes, and big & little sisters facilitate the development of close relationships across the age groups.
“Our camp family always welcomes newcomers with a big grin.”
A program built on values:
Over Camp’s early decades, 10 Wawenock Spirit values were defined and began to be highlighted and recognized within the Camp Family. Honesty, Thoughtfulness, Respect for Others, Cooperation, Effort and Initiative, Loyalty, Friendliness, Sportsmanship, Love of the Natural World and Tolerance are still celebrated in individuals at Camp today! Generations of campers and staff have embraced and perpetuated these simple ideals while having fun and making incredible friendships along the way!
Building skills for life:
Through opportunities at Camp, young women develop a range of skills and the confidence to apply them in their lives outside of Camp. The transference of these skills over time is the ‘outcome’ of Camp Wawenock’s intentional and consistent philosophy. Some of the concepts and structure used to achieve this at Wawenock are listed below:
It takes time to develop meaningful relationships and make tangible progress in skills. Research has shown that traditional length, full-season camp sessions are more successful in developing the whole child (activity, social and leadership skills) than specialty or short season camps.
“Seven weeks is critical because it takes a while to ease into the social experience and bond with new friends. If all you’re doing is going to play the same sport that you play every day at home, that’s fine, you can hone your skills in a week, maybe you even meet a few people. But, to really dive down and get the full camp experience, the richness to open yourself up to something new, you’re going to need that seven weeks. To me, any parent that has the opportunity to send their child for seven weeks should seize it, because it takes time when you’re not just teaching technical skills, and the benefits are so much greater than anything else.”
Eric, Camp Parent
A Uniform Camp:
Wawenock’s simple, comfortable daily uniform takes away all of the stress and potential competitive issues surrounding clothing at camp, allowing girls to focus on getting to know each other in less superficial ways. It also levels the playing field for girls of different socio-economic backgrounds. Girls do personalize the area around their bed, with artwork and pictures of friends and family, while Camp provides blankets and sheets as ‘uniform’ for all beds, supporting the effects of the camper and staff clothing uniforms.
Stewardship, Leadership and Service:
A responsibility to care for the land and water at Camp, the surrounding environment and the broader world is interwoven into many aspects of camp life. All campers sign up for at least one camp service project – most of which benefit the local or global environment in some way. A ‘Green Team’ meets to work on ways in which campers can live and Camp can operate more sustainably. Learn more about Camp Service and Leadership.
At Wawenock, one very important distinction we make is that FUN is not WHY we are here; it is a wonderful bi-product of a happy, creative and secure group of people – all sharing a summer of discovery, growth and friendship together! The confidence and security we each need to learn, laugh and love with others is only possible here because of the structure and supportive environment that is created by community members. Without community agreement on the clearly defined set of values that we aspire to uphold together, the FUN we have would be more sporadic and less likely to be universal or inclusive!