By Evan Wofsy
Summer camps on Long Island have a long and proud history. Long Island has been known for its summer camp tradition since the late 1800s, and today that tradition continues, as parents who want their kids to learn swimming, arts and crafts, and how to make friends and connect with others continue to send their kids to Long Island day camps.
What is it that makes Long Island such a great place to have a day camp?
To begin with, Long Island has all the resources of a city, yet still plenty of nature all around us. That means that Long Island camp owners like myself are able to take advantage of not just the woods and the trails and the beautiful landscapes that are here, but also the bowling alleys, movie theaters, adventure parks, and more. Being one of the top camps on Long Island means using all of these great resources to provide kids with an amazing experience.
But summer camps on Long Island have another great advantage as well: because Long Island is so diverse and has such excellent schools, we get some of the best staff members in the world right here. We get people from all walks of life who believe in learning and in teaching kids. Since Long Island is rife with opportunities, the people who choose to work at summer camps are the ones who really want to be there. They’re the ones who enjoy working with kids and passing on their knowledge of sports, games, and life in general.
Starting with such workers helps make it possible for Long Island camps like Camp W in Melville to have a tremendous amount of camp spirit, and that’s the key to our success. The best way for someone to do well at a job is for them to love what they’re doing. When we look for staff, what we’re looking for is “camp people” – people who don’t just want to here at Camp W, but love to be here. And since Long Island has such a rich tradition of summer camps, we’re able to find such people and choose the best among them. And then they usually stay with us – we get 70% of our staff returning because they fall in love with the place and want to keep helping kids. Undoubtedly some of this is because of what I call “the Long Island effect” – these are people who grew up going to summer camps on Long Island and so they want to pass on their experiences.
Being a summer camp on Long Island also means, of course, that there’s going to be some competition. But this is a good thing; it’s something I as a camp owner welcome. It means that we have to do more, go farther, and provide more value to our camp families. Competition helps drive our creativity: we think constantly about the new and interesting things that we can do for our campers; how we can turn every day into a remarkable one and make memories they won’t soon forget. It’s what makes us tick, and what makes us (in my humble view) the best camp on Long Island. And being a top camp on Long Island means being one of the top camps in the entire world.
Long Island is also a great place for summer camps for one more reason: we have access to a ton of businesses ready and able to provide us with unique games, inventions, and entertainers. At Camp W, we’re constantly introducing new things to our campers every year, and we’re able to hire some of the funniest and best performers around to entertain our kids every single week. If we weren’t on Long Island, we wouldn’t have access to such an impressive pool of talent.
At Camp W we’re continuing to follow in the fantastic tradition of Long Island summer camps, and leaving our own stamp on it as well, giving our all each and every day to make sure parents get the value they deserve and kids get the summer they deserve.