Camp News Blog

Camp DeWolfe Blog

New Fall Camp

Posted on Dec 6, 2015

This Thanksgiving break, campers traveled out east to Wading River for Camp DeWolfe’s first Fall Camp Reunion! Youth from the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau and Suffolk counties made new memories together in the fall leaves and sunshine on November 28th 2015. Volunteers who were former staff, alumni and board members facilitated camp activities including archery, climbing, ga-ga ball and an arts project making ornament gifts for the Christmas season.

The theme this year was “Be Thankful to God” and Christian formation was a time of prayer and activities focused on the message that: God has made everyone and sees everyone as special – so we are not to be concerned what others think of us. So in response, we can thank GOD all year long for how much he loves us and therefore, how we can love others freely! Campers enjoyed sharing their HOW-POW-WOWs over a special treat of pizza, salad, garlic knots and fun drinks, followed by a camp fire with s’mores where people shared smiles and energy over camp songs!

The Fall Camp Reunion was a wonderful opportunity for campers to reconnect with their camp friends, and process their school year so far, recall highlights from the summer, and look forward to what God has in store for 2016, both at camp and in each other’s lives! Both campers and volunteers shared that the new program ‘was a blast’ but ‘simply wasn’t long enough’! It was exciting how the camp’s core values of community, christian formation, leadership development and the outdoors were experienced even in this new Fall Camp Reunion! Join us in thanking God today for the wonderful new opportunities He provides for youth to engage in community and the outdoors. Please pray for campers who are planning to attend Winter Camp in January 2016 or click here to register campers today!

Click here to view the Fall Camp Photos!

Fall Campers Climbing

Fall Campers Climbing

When my heart smiles

Posted on Nov 29, 2015

While working at Camp DeWolfe this summer, I have witnessed God in many campers and in some of the staff I worked closely with or became close to. They all have helped me to become more confident in myself, to come out of my shell and to be more outspoken. This helps me because I can take this with me throughout life.

Not only did everyone help me but I helped them also. With campers who came to camp shy from day one, as day four approached they were a new person. I realized I set an example for them to follow. I enjoyed being someone the campers looked up to.

Camp DeWolfe is a place for children to come to every summer and feel welcomed by everyone and to enjoy their childhood as some do not get the chance to do so. I enjoyed hearing campers say “this is the best camp ever” with a huge smile on their face! Hearing this made my heart smile.

I hope for the summer sessions to grow bigger and bigger as the years go on.

-By Shamila Dixon

Camp Counselor 2014 and 2015

Shamila and camper

Shamila and camper

Camp Family

Posted on Nov 11, 2015

Since I hopped off the plane in JFK in late June and returned to Camp DeWolfe and I had an immediate feeling of coming home to a family that I haven’t seen in a year. As staff, we immediately clicked and formed a bond that I am sure will last beyond the summer.

The kids were awesome too! Their smiles were infectious and if I ever needed a reminder about why I work with kids, then I will glance at the some of the photos of the summer.

As the end of the summer drew near, I had mixed emotions. I felt sad that our time together is coming to an end, but I took solace in knowing that the memories we shared as a staff will always remain with us. That is something that we be vital to me as I embark on the next chapter of my life.

-By René Leonce
Returning Camp Counselor

Rene and campers

Rene and campers

Meet the Summer Staff 2016 – Part 2

Posted on Nov 8, 2015

1. What’s your name?
Bradley, but everyone calls me Brad, I go with Brad.

2. Where are you from?
I live in a small borough in the city of Liverpool, Merseyside, United Kingdom.

3. What university/school do you attend? What major?
I attend Edge Hill University in Lancashire and I am in first year of study, where I study Public Relations as my major with Politics as my minor. I am hoping to get into journalism once I have graduated.

4. What’s your favorite country/state?
U.S. by far, is my favorite country. State wise, there is too many !! I’m currently ticking of them my list, one bye one. Last year however, I had the privilege of traveling through 13 different states, highlights include, NY, TN, MA and NV.

5. What’s your favorite camp activity and why?
Having attended a summer camp last year as a general camp counselor and taking part in all activities from water, art, sport and drama, I am generally looking forward to again, getting involved with all activities, but I believe I’ll be life-guarding next year so I am very looking much looking forward to specializing in that.

6. What are you most looking forward to about next summer and why?
Generally, everything. I am looking forward to helping create a fun, loving and memorable summer with my co-counselors for the children that are attending camp next year and watching them grow in skill and confidence and having a summer of a life-time.

7. What’s your favorite camp core value (Community, Christian, Formation, Developing Leaders or Natural Setting) and why?
I love all of Camp DeWolfe’s core values however, to go with a favorite I’d have to say Developing Leaders. I am very much looking forward to seeing the children reach their full potential and assisting them with this. I think it’s important that everyone, is treated equally and and has the opportunity to develop and be encouraged to reach their full potential to the best of their ability. Camp is a great community and environment to allow the campers and also staff, to do this.

8. What’s your dream job/vocation/calling for life?
Honestly, right now I believe it’s journalism but my degree is so open that it could lead me anywhere. Right now I am just enjoying the achievement of getting into university to study a degree which I am highly enjoying and which will hopefully get me to my dream career. I am always used to having a plan but right now, I don’t have a plan, so we will see what happens. As long as my career involves traveling, I will be happy.

Brad Grant

Brad Grant

Did we live out our core values?

Posted on Nov 4, 2015

I personally believe that Camp DeWolfe successfully touched all of the camp’s core values in 2015:

Christian Formation- It was enjoyable exploring all of the good “fruits”in our lives such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control HEY! (part of the song we sang as well !) We learned about the Body of Christ, that the Church is not just a building for mass, but is made up of everyone of us.

Empowering Leaders- I saw growth in the campers, whether they were ready to help set up for meals, or volunteer to offer and say a prayer, they got right to it, and for that I am proud and impressed that these campers have chosen to take initiative and get out of their comfort zone! The individuals that I have seen grown the most are the LIT’s. They learned skills that will help them as potential counselors and ever growing leaders. They have done several service projects such as painting the cabins to preserve the camp, and built two new benches to help improve the camp.

Natural Setting- We have demonstrated good use of this value this year at Camp DeWolfe. In the Adventure Camp session, we took a hike down the beach to Wildwood State Park to set up and camp out for the night. It was pleasure to see the campers enjoy how fun they can have living God’s creation.

Purposeful Community- Through the games we played, songs we sang, and creative grace prayers, we grew closer together to share the special memories that we can cherish and bring home to tell to our families and friends My faith life has grown by choosing to live in a christian community for this summer being that I go to Catholic University. I am content that I have gratefully made the right choice.

I have enjoyed my time here at Camp DeWolfe which has brought nothing but well blessed memories; with not only the staff that I have been with all 8 weeks, but as well as the campers. That I have witnessed their joyful moments, to the heart-breaking feeling of waiting until next year.

-By Nicholas Lande
Summer Camp Counselor

Nick in the Sand

Nick in the Sand

Discerning Growth

Posted on Oct 27, 2015

During the last day or two of a session, the word “growth” is thrown around a lot. This growth we talk about isn’t always referring to the physical growth, such as being able to swim a lap in the pool, but spiritual and mental growth. We ask the campers to look inward to determine if their faith, values, sense of self has changed from move in day, to the closing ceremony. During our closing ceremony as counselors for summer 2015, it was time for us to think about our own growth, something we as counselors have not had to do yet.

How do you really know if you have grown? There isn’t always the “aha!” moment of clarity in which you can apply a lesson you “learned the hard way” at camp to another situation. There isn’t always a supervisor to sit down with you and mention a few points in which they saw growth. Instead, you just have to have faith. Faith that even though there isn’t always a tangible change, or a moment to analyze, God has given you the gift of personal growth, and it will all reveal itself in good time.

This fall, I will be entering my 2nd year of university, which will be filled with applications for semester programs abroad, and pitches that I will be sending to various Buzzfeed knockoffs in the hopes I can publish a piece or two on their website for no pay. Hopefully, I have grown in my patience, my understanding of various communities, and understanding of God. I may not enter this year knowing how I have grown, but God loves me, and I know that my growth will be proven one way, or another.

-By Nick Augustine

Camp Counselor and WSI Instructor

A Year Later

Posted on Oct 17, 2015

I had come away from summer camp 2014 wanting more and counting down the days until I could sign up as a returner.. But I was torn between studying/working or coming back for another summer.. And so it was late December that I finally decided to come back and spend another summer in the states!

This year at camp has been a little different from the last, as I stepped up my roles with the new camp activities, such as instructing paddle boarding, drama classes and small group for the counselors.

I’ve loved having this opportunity to experience leading the new activities, being responsible for making the activities fun and exciting, and seeing the campers grow and share the excitement they have had in those classes. It has been so rewarding!

I have also seen personal growth in myself while being here at camp and so far from home. Yes, there had been challenging times, but there are rewarding times too and you really do get to know yourself better in those times. While being here at camp you really feel the sense of ‘family’ and really rely on one another and God…

The word support comes to mind when I think of the camp 2015 staff. I am so thankful to have met all the wonderful staff this year and to be reunited with some of the returners. I am grateful to have shared the many memories and laughs that have happened this summer.. As we like to say it in New Zealand… Cheers for that!

I hope to see you all next year!

By Rebekah Joyce
Summer Camp Counselor 2014 and 2015

Beki and her camper Jess

Beki and her camper Jess

Meet the 2016 Summer Staff – Part 1

Posted on Oct 11, 2015

1. What’s your name? – Danielle Topham

2. Where are you from? – Lancashire, England

3. What university/school do you attend? What major?

I’m studying Primary Education at Leeds Beckett University, so I’ll be a qualified teacher when I graduate.

4. What’s your favorite Country/state?

Hmm…this is hard! There’s no place like home, but I love traveling and I have great memories from holidays in lots of countries, such as Cyprus and Majorca, but my favorite was definitely Florida!

5. What’s your favorite camp activity and why?

I enjoy creative activities such as baking and arts and crafts, because there are endless opportunities to make something new. Then again, I also like water-based activities such as canoeing!

6. What are you most looking forward to about next summer and why?

Everything! But if I have to choose one, I’d say helping all of the children to have an amazing experience, and seeing them grow and develop throughout camp.

7. What’s your favorite camp core value (Community, Christian Formation, Developing Leaders or Natural Setting) and Why?

Community, because it’s so nice working in an environment where everybody is appreciated and valued for who they are. It means that everyone can have fun and challenge themselves in a positive environment.

8. What’s your dream job/vocation/calling for life?

Definitely something that involves working with children and young people! I’ve done youth work before and I love it, but I’m going to see where teaching leads me for now…

Danielle Topham

Danielle Topham

Life’s about the Journey not the Destination

Posted on Oct 7, 2015

My time spent at camp has got be one of the best experiences ever. During the first few days of orientation and staff training, I had no idea of what to expect at Camp, but to my anticipation it was well worth it and exceeded my expectation.

During my time at Camp DeWolfe, I made some life-long friendships that can never be replaced.Camp De Wolfe’s vision is to support spiritual formation, by providing a natural setting for people to engage in community and I believe in my heart that my purpose and that vision was definitely fulfilled. Experiencing God in a natural setting was different for me, seeing as I have never experienced it before. Camping out was one of my goals and I’m glad I achieved it at Camp De Wolfe.

I was given much responsibility at Camp DeWolfe which I thoroughly enjoyed. As a General counselor and LIT counselor, I learned about myself and others around me.

Developing leaders has definitely been present this year at camp 2015. Working as an LIT counselor has indeed been one of my highlights to date. The LITS have been working so hard on different tasks and responsibilities such as; service projects and shadowing other activities like kayaking, sports and games, archery and many more. The LITS were given the opportunity to lead different games and to also be part of a group. They were given the opportunity to learn, grow, develop and experience how to be a counselor which is exciting.

To round up, working for Camp De Wolfe was an amazing experience, learning different ways to worship, singing songs, interacting and getting to know the campers, leading activities, setting up tents, will be something that i will not forget.

Thank you Camp De Wolfe for this unforgettable amazing experience.

By Abigail Olasoji

Summer Camp Counselor 2015

Abigail with campers

Abigail with campers

Challenged by God

Posted on Sep 30, 2015

Camp DeWolfe is such a wonderful place to come and experience God and I am grateful that I got the opportunity to work at Camp DeWolfe again this summer. I say ‘work’, but in all honesty it didn’t feel like work at all, due to the homely feel that camp brings about and the amazing staff that have become close friends.

This year, I felt God wanted me to take on more challenges and boy was I challenged! I led canoeing this was very fulfilling as I got to teach the campers and watch them attempt things that were terrifying for them and then progressing from that. Seeing campers progress from one stage to next was definitely a highlight of mine and not because they managed to do it but because they were willing to try and in the process gain a little more trust in themselves. I also feel that I grew a lot more myself, as I learnt more skills in regards to canoeing and in teaching canoeing. I also found myself learning from the campers in regards to living life and seeing how resilient they are.

I feel like God blessed me with an amazing summer experience which had its ups and downs like all things in life, however through the tough times, I found joy in the campers and them uplifting me, which I thought was amazing. Working at Camp DeWolfe again has been an enjoyable experience and I pray Camp DeWolfe continues to be that way.

By Karen Ncube

Returning Counselor and Canoeing Instructor (2014 & 2015)

Karen and her co-workers

Karen and her co-workers