Camp DeWolfe Blog
Working as a counselor here at Camp DeWolfe has been a truly unforgettable experience. I loved the opportunity to experience the American way of life and to explore the culture. Any slight difference between the cultures always amazed me! I have met so many new people and made new friends from all over the world, from as far away as Australia and from as close as the UK.
During the five weeks of camp there have been uncountable highlights but I have particularly enjoyed watching the campers grow and build friendships with one another. Many of them come to camp feeling shy and overwhelmed but when they leave they are brimming with confidence and have huge smiles on their faces. Its a great feeling when you challenge a camper to try something new and at the end of the day they tell you that they have succeeded in your challenge. All the kids have so much potential, they sometimes just need someone to believe in them to help them take that first step.
The sense of community here at Camp DeWolfe is phenomenal. I have witnessed God through this amazing community, in the way that everyone interacts, looks out for and welcomes one another. Our daily Christian formation programme became a highlight for the campers, they especially enjoyed the opportunity to worship God. The joy experienced by all whilst worshipping God was immense. Finally, I loved the camp emphasis on appreciating nature. We spent everyday outdoors, rain or shine. There is no better way to see how awesome God is than to spend your days outdoors in his breath taking creation.
My summer here at Camp DeWolfe has been a real adventure and I have loved every minute of it! I have grown so much simply by being here. Thank you so much Camp DeWolfe!
-By Rachael McSparron
This month at Camp DeWolfe, our Summer Unit Leaders, Mike and Megan Tuleja chose to stay on and serve into the early fall retreat season, before they begin their new roles in a residential care ministry in Texas. This hard-working and dedicated couple have given their all to serving campers and staff in the summer camp season, and also have served faithfully in giving Camp DeWolfe a fall make-over!
The Tuleja’s have painted the Davis Dining Hall, the Arts and Crafts Room, the Female Cabins, the Male Cabins, and a variety of other facilities and locations across Camp! They have power-washed, deep-cleaned, painted, varnished, stained and brush-cleared a range of facilities, grounds and buildings at Camp – ready for the retreat season and in preparation for next summer camp 2014!
We are thankful for the faithfulness and enthusiasm this couple have given to the Camp DeWolfe ministry! Keep them in your prayers as they transition to their next chapter in Texas!
It’s the first day of school, 31 children in my class and lots of shy faces. Throughout the day I asked them, “How was your summer? What did you do?” I can only imagine how our campers will respond to this question.
Our campers had so many opportunities to bond with each other and bond with God through the pure beauty found on the grounds of Camp DeWolfe. Each day at camp I woke feeling fresh. I knew each day was a new day to bring smiles and happiness to the campers and my co counselors.
I was known at camp for my singing (which isn’t good, at all, in any way). I sang loud in the morning to wake my cabin up, I sang loud at Christian formation to motivate the campers during worship, and I even sang loud with my co-counselors just for fun. Those small snippets of bliss found in singing even when we didn’t know the words are my most treasured memories while at camp. Singing was my go-to icebreaker; singing was my way to turn a home sick camper into a pop star in less than a minute. Prior to this camp season, I never realized how something so simple could really make a difference.
I experience God this summer during devotional circles in our cabins. During this time, we established a sense of family and trust within the cabin. During each session our campers shared with us how their faith impacts their lives. They shared their obstacles, their achievements and their goals. Here is where I saw God’s most precious creations, these children, become empowered and confident.
Camp was like a bubble for this kids; a bubble filled with s’mores, new friends, and fun. These kids look forward to the next camp season all year long, as do I. I cannot wait for the next camp season, until then I will be practicing my singing!
-By Stephany Turcios
Camp Counselor/Arts and Crafts Leader
The Fall Season began at Camp DeWolfe this weekend with the first of several Service Saturdays. Volunteers from Christ Church Oyster Bay and St John’s Church joined Camp DeWolfe’s fabulous Unit Leaders Megan and Mike Tuleja, in painting the Davis Dining Hall and the Cabins! What a wonderful fresh new look for meal times for the summer camp season and the retreat season!
Also, our regular volunteer and professional carpenter Scott Evans joined us this weekend and worked on various carpentry projects across Camp! We thank God for each volunteer and dedicated staff, who give many hours of hard work and energy into this ministry!
This is YOUR camp and we are thankful for you!!
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only!” (James 1:22)
Hello! I’m Peter and I have flown all the way from London to be at Camp DeWolfe this year! The last 8 weeks have been packed with new challenges, new friends and lots of fun!
From the very beginning of Camp I have been amazed by the beautiful and unique surroundings of Camp, from the woods of the challenge course to the glorious ocean views. I have sailed into the sunset, traversed a 40ft high ropes course and hit many a bulls-eye at Camp – what more could you want as a counsellor? Although the highlight for me has to be the colour wars at Adventure Camp: a weekend of intense competition, fun and thrills from gaga tournaments and sail boat regattas, to making flags and screaming out songs!
Camp DeWolfe sees the development of spirituality through natural setting and a community who express Christ outwardly and this is evident in every aspect of Camp: working, interacting and overcoming obstacles with one another has produced a lot of friends who I’ll never forget! I love how our campers come from many different backgrounds, speak different languages and hold different values but embrace the vision of Camp DeWolfe.
And none of this can be done without the amazing network of staff at Camp DeWolfe who love God and love working with children – who will do anything to make their summer the best experience of their life!
Camp Counselor/Climbing Instructor/Camp America Staff
I experienced God’s spirit numerous times whilst at Camp DeWolfe. I found that the spirit created by the Camp DeWolfe community continuously made me feel like I belonged and I was bought to camp for a reason. During chapel, we would all sing together and listen to readings from the bible and it really enlightened me and made me feel close to God.
Constantly being surrounded by nature really impacted my spiritual experience also as I felt myself continually thanking God for all that has been created in our world. Walking down the beach trail always gave me butterflies because the scenery was so breathtaking. Also, having so much fun outdoors reminded me of being a young child myself and made me feel youthful, active and naive all over again which was a really refreshing experience compared to working and studying at home.
One of the highlights of the summer has to be meeting so many amazing people- staff and children. I’ve definitely made friendships that I never intend to loose and I can’t wait to be able to see them again. Another highlight has to be physically seeing the children learn and grow spiritually; there’s nothing more rewarding than seeing a child who may be suffering from various problems at home or school laugh, learn and be made thankful for everything they have been given.
Although at first I was reluctant to be separated from my phone and the outside world, I have to say it had a massive impact on my experience at camp because I was fully focused on having fun and living in the beautiful place and moment I was in: Camp life is amazing and being involved in it fully was an epic experience and adventure for me. I feel like I’m going to go home a new person who never wants to sit inside and go on facebook, but who instead wants to go have fun outside in the beautiful nature that is around us: just like how I was as a child.
Camp has been an unbelievable experience that I’m never going to forget and I just hope everyone has the opportunity to experience a summer like the one I’ve had!
-By Katie Bennett
Camp Counselor/Lifeguard/Volleyball Coach/Camp America Staff
Spending time as a counselor at Camp DeWolfe this past summer has been a truly wonderful experience. I enjoyed the area, the natural setting and most importantly the people and the spiritual formation. I came to Camp DeWolfe unsure of whether travelling to the USA to work at a camp once again was a good idea, but I am perfectly candid when I say it was thoroughly worth it.
I had hoped to work at a Christian camp, as I did so last year and immensely enjoyed it. I was brought up in a Christian home and was greatly looking forward to learning more about sharing my faith with others. Throughout the summer, I witnessed God working in and around Camp DeWolfe: they got very involved with our morning and evening Christian Formation while belting out the praise songs from the bottom of their hearts and they would come to me looking for answers that only God would know. We, the counselors, also performed ‘The Everything Skit’ by Lifehouse nearer the end of the summer and found it to be very powerful in relation to the kids and their faith. I saw God working in all of the children’s hearts as well as the staff; I know that I have become closer to God after camp and am hugely thankful to Camp DeWolfe for that.
As the archery instructor for 2013, I found it truly encouraging when I saw the kids progress from just hitting air to shooting the arrow for a perfect bullseye; they learned something new and managed to develop the skills over the course of one or two weeks, which made me absolutely delighted. Of course, I will not forget how amazing the summer staff were! The kitchen staff were unbelievably generous, the senior staff continued to be incredibly supportive and encouraging, Ray would fix anything and Nurse Carolyn was extremely kind. But I have to say I loved my co-counselors! They were wonderful friends throughout and made the hard things light and fun. We encouraged each other in our faith and our struggles and for that I thank them greatly. I had a truly fantastic summer here at Camp DeWolfe and I hope to see everyone again soon!
-By Hannah Donald
Archery Instructor and Camp Counselor
I really enjoyed my summer as a counselor at Camp DeWolfe, mainly because of the community and friendships that were formed, the fun we all had and the ways in which I saw God work in other people and myself.
One of the ways in which I saw God was through the campers, particularly in our evening devos, as they were so interested and open to exploring their faith and asking questions. It was so good to see us all grow as individuals and as a cabin, through sharing stories and praying with each other. During Christian Formation we learned that God makes all things new, including ourselves, and that it is never too late to turn to God as he is always there with open arms, searching for us, which is something that I hope the campers took home with them, as well as all the fun memories.
My highs of camp were definitely working with groups on the challenge course and seeing campers achieve their goals and even go beyond their own expectations of themselves, particularly those who were afraid of heights. Spending time on the beach was also amazing, the Long Island Sound is a great place to spend an evening relaxing with friends or having a sand sculpture competition! We’re so blessed that the natural setting at camp is so beautiful, which allows the children to see God in creation everyday.
I am so thankful to God for bringing me to camp this summer, especially for all the new friendships that I’ve made and memories we’ve shared, I couldn’t imagine a better American summer camp experience!
By Bethan Rowsby,
Camp Counselor/Climbing Instructor/Camp America Staff
As I now walk through a cabin to check that it is clean, each bunk has a memory attached to it – of a counselor, camper, project, conversation, laughter. I now know what Godly conversations, blessed fun, and realistic learning is capable of being facilitated by these cabins.
Previously, when Matt and Emma walked me through, I could sense their excitement about the new renovations, but didn’t quite grasp the anticipation of what these new floors could hold. To me, it was just empty, and pretty, space. But now that space means that a cabin group can do devotions in a circle, a counselor can discuss God with a confused camper, or a group of girls can squeeze on a top bunk to do n art project.
I am so blessed to have been able to witness these things this summer at Camp DeWolfe; to now know and remember the good work that God does through this camp that is focused on bringing ordinary people together in ordinary daily camp life to create space and community for encountering Him. Thank you Camp DeWolfe!
By Karen Bartos,
Summer Program Coordinator
The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) held their first Long Island camp at Camp DeWolfe this summer! Over 60 campers from across New York State attended the week-long MDA camp, between Sunday 11th August and Friday 16th August. Each camper was accompanied by a volunteer, with 1:1 ratio, in addition to support staff and medical staff! Activities included swimming in the pool, arts and crafts, nature time, sports and games, and evening programs including a dance, movie and games! Each day was a different holiday, from St Patrick’s Day to New Year’s Eve! What a blessing to have campers of all ages enjoy camp activities in the outdoor setting, in a safe community!
What’s a highlight of volunteering for MDA Camp?…
“The smiles – the campers never have this opportunity any other time of the year: swimming, meeting other kids, doing arts and crafts with a special counselor in nature.” -Gwen
“What’s your favorite part of being at the pool? – Having fun!” – Eli
“The diversity of activities is superb.” – Megan
Sports and games:
Swimming in the Pool: