Tuesday, March 15, 2022

In The Words of 2021 LIT, Nate Fever: Companionship

I am typically someone who will spend most of my time by myself rather than with other people, not because I'm anti-social but more because I don't feel like I relate to others in many ways. This camp has always been the one place where I’ve felt like I can be a part of a community that I care about. I remember way back during my 2nd or 3rd year of coming to this camp after I finally got used to the idea of being away from home for periods at a time, that I finally started to indulge in actually getting to know those that I was spending a lot of my time around. Up until that point I had gotten comfortable just being by myself but when I began using my time with people I liked instead of being alone, it changed my experience entirely. My perspective on camp quickly went from one where I spent a few weeks during the summer essentially being a lone wolf to one where I had a lot of fun in the company of others.

Making new friends gave me a desire to come back to camp just to see and spend time with the people I met and have a good time. I started by using all of my hours doing activities that I tried to make all about myself but having companions helped me indulge more in the activities that I enjoyed. Now instead of just spending my time alone in the riflery or archery range, I brought my friends down to host small competitions with them, going down to bounce on the water trampoline at the waterfront, climbing at the challenge course, and more activities that were made so much better with other people. The good memories I make with the people I meet at this camp became the main reason that I come back year after year, always anticipating the moment when I get to see them again and spend another amazing summer here. To me, companionship is the most important thing to have here at camp and makes the experience worth it. It's now my 9th year being here and my view is still strong as ever.


Tuesday, February 15, 2022

In The Words of 2021 LIT, Matt Geraghty: Becoming Outgoing

 


You should always be open to trying new things and meeting new people when faced with an unfamiliar situation. When I first came to William Lawrence, I was shy and kept to myself. Because of this, I hated my first year of camp. I thought I wasn’t making friends because no one liked me, but it was really because no one had really met me yet. I did not want to come back to camp for a second year, but I ended up coming back because of my older brother, whom enticed me to. This time when I came to camp, I decided to force myself out of my shell. I was loud and forced myself to meet people that I never would have otherwise met. During my second year at William Lawrence, I tried new things, met new people, and had a lot of fun. Because I forced myself to become outgoing, I had a lot more fun in an unfamiliar situation and I got to try many new and exciting activities. The lesson here is that no one is going to force you to have fun in life, you have to actively get out of your own way to search for it. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

In The Words of 2021 LIT, Drew Hohenstein: Enhancing Family Bonds

 


Having my brother at camp is an interesting and enjoyable activity to say the least. At home I am the oldest sibling and he is constantly annoying me with people and subjects I know nothing about. At camp there are more things to do and people to talk to then just me. This means when he talks to me about camp I actually know the people and activities he is talking about. Having my little brother at camp is also fun because I get to see what I was like when I was a camper and especially what I was like as a Middler.

The only difference is my brother is much more outgoing than me and he is able to make friends much easier than me. Unfortunately, he also gets homesick so having me here and even being in the same unit as him (I was an LIT of the Middler unit) was very helpful to him. 

This was my brother’s second year as a camper and he was very excited to come to camp due to the risk of COVID in 2020. My brother really enjoyed his first and second year and I know there will be nothing to dampen his spirit in the future. 

I love my brother and how camp enhances our bond!

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

In The Words of 2021 LIT, Connor Mercer: Take Advantage of New Opportunities

 


During my time at William Lawrence Camp, I’ve always made a point to do something at camp that I can’t do at home. In my case, this thing was pretty much anything except for archery. When not at camp, I spend any time I can get practicing for my next competition whether it be after a long day at school or on the weekends after I finish my homework. You, like most people, are probably thinking to yourself that camp would be the golden opportunity to spend as much time as possible doing what I so deeply enjoy. However, I see camp as a chance to take a break from the normal routine. Starting with my first summer here at WLC, my activities consistently excluded archery. Instead, I signed up for things such as Challenge Course, Wilderness Skills, Woodworking, and many more. These activities inspired new interests in me and carried over into the outside world. Now, I spend time taking short walks in the woods enjoying nature and building things with my grandfather in our workshop. These new activities also taught me important lessons such as problem solving, patience, and resilience. The skills I learned and the interests I discovered have enabled me to be a better person both socially and academically. None of this would have been possible if I had just stuck to the same old routine. Yeah, sure, I would be better at archery, but I would have just been practicing the same old thing and probably wouldn’t have learned anything new. Instead, I learned skills that I will utilize throughout my life no matter where I am or what I am doing. I hope that by reading this I have inspired you to take a break from your normal routine and take advantage of new opportunities.

Monday, October 18, 2021

In The Words of 2021 LIT, Noah Beston: We Need to Appreciate What We Have

My LIT year at William Lawrence Camp has really shown me that we have to appreciate what we have. Throughout my years between camp, I have taken for granted all of the good times I’ve had here. All of the dining hall chants, the really fun evening programs, like Nitro (a camp favorite), Goldrush, and all the daily activities that I would never get to experience at any other camp. These are all things I’m now realizing how much I’ll miss, now that I’m moving to another country. Through my year as an LIT, I’ve gotten to see all of the happy times we provide for campers. I was assigned to riflery, and I saw kids grow to love the sport and really improve upon it, but most importantly the smiles on their faces when they hit a good target, or when they entered the riflery range. And with the campers in my cabin, I loved to hear them talk about the activities they had done that I wasn’t there for and how they were all great friends with each other. They all talked about what they did with their friends and cabin mates. William Lawrence Camp has always been a great place for me to explore new interests, make new friends, and get to experience things that you couldn’t experience anywhere else in the whole world! And through all these things that I’ve had the pleasure of doing, William Lawrence has taught me to really appreciate everything I have in life, and has encouraged me to look for more.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

In The Words of 2021 LIT, Jake Burgess: Stay in Contact


Camp has brought many new friends into my life. Whether it was meeting new people or greeting old friends that I haven’t seen in nearly a year, camp has shown me the importance of keeping in contact with friends. Some of my favorite memories of camp are trading contact and social media information with friends on the last day of the session. I remember my first year, writing my phone number on little slips of paper and passing them around to my cabin mates in hopes that we could all stay in contact throughout the year and be able to see each other next summer. Getting a random text from someone during the year and instantly remembering all of the fun moments from camp always made me eager and excited for the next chance to see them. Being able to talk to friends that I see only during camp is one of the many reasons that I return each year.

Friday, June 11, 2021

Tips from a Seasoned Camp Family

Our whole family has been excitedly awaiting the return of summer camp. The anticipation has been a bright spot in an otherwise dim year. Now, seemingly all of the sudden, opening day is almost upon us. June 27th will be here before you know it!

 

The realization has, honestly, snuck up on us as we work to finish out the school year and spring sports strong. The hot weather reminds us that it is time to shift gears and start thinking about gathering up our supplies, pulling out our trunks and duffels and strategically packing for camp. As a seasoned camp family (this will be our 8th summer sending a child off to camp), we’ve got our systems, and we thought we’d share a few pointers with the WLC community and invite any additional ideas, too.

 

THE PACKING LIST:

The packing list provided by camp is definitely comprehensive but we have a few suggestions:       

  • Our TOP recommendation: Include a foam egg crate mattress topper with the bedding; a comfy bed is a happy bed.
  • Pack additional socks and underwear factoring in multiple changes on any given day.
  • Sneakers will get beaten up so send old sneakers if you have them and hold off on buying new ones for school in the Fall.
  • A toiletry tote makes getting to and from the wayside easier.
  • Siesta is a great time to get summer reading (or pleasure reading) done; consider sending an old school (not back lit) Kindle fully loaded and fully charged so your son doesn’t have to lug heavy books in his luggage or write home for you to send him more. Just make sure it can’t connect to internet and has no games on it!
    • Also consider dropping off some books for the camp library that are appropriate for campers and counselors to give the shelves some fresh inventory.
  • A small clip-on battery powered reading light makes for hands-free reading.
  • Swim goggles that your son is comfortable wearing.
  • To keep cool on those hot days on the Knoll, a small, battery-powered fan that can clip on to the bunk or hang from a nail on the wall or a water bottle with misting fan like an O2Cool.

 

PACKING TIPS:

Whether your son brings a trunk or large duffel to camp, starting out organized will help him find what he needs every day. A few suggestions:

  • Pack items that will be unpacked upon arrival (bedding, laundry bag, towels, shoes) in a separate bag that can be folded up and stored away.
  • For trunk packing, pack most used items (socks, underwear, shorts and t-shirts) on the top for easy access. If your trunk has a tray, pack those items in the tray so it can be lifted out to access other items used less regularly.
  • For duffel bag or trunk packing, look into using packing cubes and pack each cube with one type of clothing for easy access. 

 

ITEMS TO MAKE HIS CABIN MORE HOMEY:

The first few days at camp might be met with some homesickness. Know that his counselors and the senior staff are ready to help him settle in, but a few thoughtful items from home may help too. A few pictures of your family, pets, or friends that he can look at may make him feel better, and a steady stream of upbeat, enthusiastic letters from home are always exciting to receive. Think about packing a few encouraging notes in his bag that he may be surprised to find or label them for “night 1”, “night 2” opening. Also, share his address with friends and family so they can send him letters, too.

 

Now that we’ve dusted off our packing pointers, it is time to pull it all together. Please post any suggestions you may have, and see you on the Knoll soon!

 

The Crellin Family

 

PS – Send additional suggestions for posting on the WLC Blog to knoll@wlcamp.org.