At Camp W in Melville, we definitely love our special events. We put a tremendous amount of time and effort into planning some truly spectacular things that kids will likely remember for many years to come. I can honestly say that we may be the most creative day camp in Suffolk County in this regard, and maybe the most energetic of all day camps on Long Island.
Special events are scheduled for every Tuesday and Thursday, but sometimes we have to add another one during the week because there’s a fun idea we just can’t pass up. There’s Disco Day, Pajama Day, camper sleepovers for grades 5 and up, the Camper vs. Counselor Challenge, Color War, the Camper Talent Show, our Jedi Training Camp, Dancing with the Stars, the majestic Winter Wonderland we set up in the gym, Water Carnival, the hilarious Camp W Oscars, and much, much more. And don’t worry, parents: we get you in on some of the fun too with our Parent Night – no campers allowed, some truly excellent barbecue, and plenty of games for everyone.
These events aren’t just great fun; they’re also a great way of bringing everyone together. We want camp to be like a shared adventure, with surprises around every turn and memories constantly being formed. When kids compete in our Crazy Olympics or join together during a scavenger or treasure hunt, they’re discovering the best part of camp: each other. They’re simultaneously being challenged and appreciated, and, moreover, experiencing that exhilarating feeling of being part of something. As with all people, when kids laugh together, they bond together. And when I walk around during some of our special events and see those beaming faces, I know that friendships are being cemented.
Special events also allow kids the chance to demonstrate their different skills, and teach them how to work together as a unit. If camp was just about who could score the most goals or baskets, it wouldn’t be much fun. And while surely there are other day camps on Long Island that are like that, Camp W of Melville prides itself on being different. We want all kids to participate and we think that the kid who can write a terrific poem or song or design a beautiful banner for their team is just as valuable as the kid who can hit a homerun or win a foot race. We want kids going home not just talking about the intense hockey game they played, but also about the video they made with their group or how funny it was when they got to hit their counselor in the face with a pie at the end of the Poem Walk of Shame.
And that’s why we never stop coming up with stuff.
Right now we’re already busy planning special events for Summer, 2021, and we’re very excited about them. They’ll be some old favorites (kids will still be able to show off their crazy hats in our giant camp circle for Crazy Hat Day, for one). And they’ll be some new ones as well.
Here’s a short list of some of the other events I haven’t mentioned yet that you’ll be able to look forward to:
- Camper Appreciation Day
- Counselor Makeover Day
- The Double Dare Contest
- Let’s Make a Deal
- The Counselor Dating Game (one of my favorites)
- Breakfast at Camp
- Camper-Counselor Switch Day
- Our Lights-Out Lunch
- Our Moving Up Ceremony
- Siblings Lunch
This list, though, is hardly exhaustive and we’ll also be adding to it over the year. We’re going to have a lot of catching up to do next summer, and we plan to make the most of every minute!
Every Tuesday is a Spirit Day
Crazy Hair, Dress Like Your Counselor Day, Crazy Hat Day, Disco Day, Pajama Day, Candy DaThere’s a little parade; big circle on the soccer field with singing and clapping, kids get to show off what they wore by going into the circle.
The purpose of special events is to bring everyone together; activities that are not on the schedule; kids really look forward to them; we change it up every year; we plan all during the winter; have been extensively planning for 2021.
Camper Appreciation Day, Counselor-Camper Switch Day, Lights-Out Lunch (neon lights, but mostly black), Counselor Dating Game, Let’s Make a Deal, Double-Dare Contest (faces in pies, et cetera), Parent Night (no campers allowed, parents compete against staff in volleyball, egg toss, BBQ), Crazy Olympics (climb through cardboard boxes, blindfolded crawling with tinfoil and Saran Wrap), color run (kids get messy as colors are tossed at them), Camper Sleepover (5th grade and up), Staff vs. Camper Challenge (volleyball, whiffleball, soccer), Dancing with the Stars, Camp W Oscars (each group makes a video and the videos are voted on – most creative, funniest, et cetera), Water Carnival, Moving Up Ceremony (campers go from division to division – names are announced and trophies given out), Counselor Makeover (wigs, makeup, dresses – vote on wildest looking counselor), Poem Walk of Shame (campers write poems about staff members – winning poem forces staff member to walk and get hit with a pie), Six-Year Camper Lunch (with Evan), Color War (Blue and Red, two and a half days), Breakfast at Camp, Winter Wonderland (converted gymnasium, kids make ice sculptures, et cetera), Camper Talent Show, Jedi Training Day (grades 2-4), Siblings Lunch (take pictures as well), scavenger hunts, treasure hunts, other surprises
By Evan Wofsy