camp counselors

staff bios are up on the website

Well our 2019 staff is finally assembled! This is a unique season in that none of our 2018 coaches were able to return so we had to build up an awesome staff from scratch. I interviewed about 45 applicants (out of over 150 applications) and narrowed it down to these eight fantastic guys and girls.

Check out the staff here: https://www.watermonkeycamp.com/the-staff

They are stoked to meet all of our campers in just a couple short months!

-Evan

cell phones @ camp

Cell phones have become essential tools at summer camps while also managing to become the bane of camp owners' existence. It has never been easier to manage staff, get in touch with vendors, contact emergency services or order that last minute pizza for a special camp treat. At the same time, cell phones in campers' hands intrude on the real goal of camp which is for kids to leave their home bubble, be themselves and enjoy the outdoors.

We stumbled upon this article which dives into some research regarding camper cell phone use. You do not need a PhD in child psychology, though, to know that phones are seriously impacting the camp experience.

When I was a summer camper in the 90's there were no cell phones. We said bye to our parents and friends and shipped off for a month or more with only some paper and envelopes to stay in touch. I have so many amazing memories from those summers and I fully believe that if I had been tethered to home by my cell phone camp would not have been the important life experience that it was for me. I still remember walking from cabin to cabin during move-in day to meet all of the new campers and see who came back from previous summers. Instead of laying in bed on my phone I immersed myself in the camp program and made the most of every second I was there.

As a camp counselor in '04 and '05 we had flip phones (still no smart phones) but service was severely limited. If we stood on a specific rock near the cabins on a clear day we were sometimes lucky enough to be able to place a call. For the most part our phones stayed in our cars and were soon forgotten. That allowed us to live the camp life as 18/19/20 year olds. It was so ridiculously silly but endlessly refreshing to go to sleep at 9PM with our campers, wake up at 7AM, have all of our meals made for us, play outside all day and repeat for ten weeks. Being in the camp bubble insulated us from world events and outside drama and let us be us for just a few more summers.

For the past ten years I have been a camp director and camp owner and cell phones have fully infiltrated summer camp. At the previous camp I ran we banned phones but crafty parents and campers would smuggle one or two back up devices for when the primary devices were confiscated. It was a constant battle that a bunch of 13 year old kids were winning. When I started my own camp I decided to take a more laid-back approach. Phones would be allowed during 'down-time' after meals and before bed but never during the day when campers should be engaged in activities. Over the years the 'down-time' definition expanded and I soon faced nightmare scenarios of walking into common areas and seeing 18 campers staring at their phones. We decided after last season to implement a phone-check system so if a camper wants his/her phone at camp they have to leave it with us in the office to be used only during designated times during the week of camp.

I know that we are fighting a losing battle against cell phones but I hope that by limiting their use this summer that campers will possibly get the same kind of experience I had when I was their age. 

new staff member - chef Rebecca

We are beyond excited to welcome Chef Rebecca Calhoun to Water Monkey Camp. Rebecca is the chef at a fraternity house at Emory University in Georgia where she cooks fresh, creative and hearty daily meals for 50+ hungry college kids. That experience is what makes Rebecca a great fit for our program. She is used to cooking with high-quality ingredients for small/medium sized groups of people who are used to having great food (sounds like camp to me!). 

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Besides being a stellar chef, Rebecca lives a pretty fun life in Georgia! She lives in a historic farm house which she is currently updating and renovating and loves to garden, raise her farm animals and spend time with her family. 

You can check out her bio on our website or, even better, come to camp to meet Rebecca this summer!

2017 season recap

The sixth season of Water Monkey Camp is in the books and with autumn officially under way we are closing up for the year and reflecting on all of the good times, funny stories and great friends made in 2017. As always, camp would not be possible without our awesome campers and we thank you and your parents for keeping our program going. 

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Six years is such a short time for a summer camp when compared to the century-old programs in New England but we already know so much about what makes camp special. While we will always focus on offering superior watersports instruction it is the 'other stuff' that we all seem to remember the most. Being goofy, making up new games and sports, jamming out to great music on the boat, riding doubles just to high-five (or spray) a friend, using stand up paddle boards for everything except paddling, going back for thirds or fourths or fifths of a meal and so many more ridiculous 'activities' make up our summer at the lake.

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In the middle of the summer we filmed our new promo video (below) and the campers that week all got to take part in that unique and fun process. 

In September we said goodbye to our two camp boats, 2015 and 2016 model years, respectively, to make way for two brand new 2018 Mastercrafts! A moment of silence to remember the 'old' boats...

Our dearly departed fleet. Practically antiques!

Our dearly departed fleet. Practically antiques!

Now some fun 2017 stats!

  • 113 campers over 7 weeks (plus 18 in our family week!)
  • Each camper stayed an average of 1.5 weeks at camp (longest stay by two campers was 4 weeks)
  • Average number of campers per week was 16.14
  • Campers were 66% boys, 34% girls
  • Average camper age was 13.4
  • 39% of campers were returners, 61% were new (another big growth year!)
  • Campers came from 15 states (CT, DC, GA, IA, IL, MA, ME, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, VA, VT) as well as Canada, China, France and Mexico!
  • 15 trips to Boston Logan and Manchester Airport 
  • 15,668 visits to watermonkeycamp.com in the past 12 months
  • 8,950 pictures uploaded for parents and campers to enjoy
  • 1 day of intense paintball carnage!
  • 9 lost SUP paddles (how do campers leave the shore with a paddle and come back without one!?)
  • 5 camper items retrieved from the lake by our scubadiving chef!
  • Shortest lifespan ever of a wakesurf board: 1 rider! 
  • Average water temperature during camp was 74 degrees
  • Average boat MPH was 15.08 (estimated based on % of time waterskiing / wakeboarding / wakesurfing / chilling) which means...
  • About 7,087 miles driven on the lake
  • 14 hours spent waxing boats
  • 220 hours on the Mastercraft and 250 hours on the Axis A22 (final hours were 450 on the Mastercraft and 680 on the Axis!)
  • 2,600 gallons of gas consumed on the lake producing roughly 25 metric tons of CO2 offset with contributions to https://www.cooleffect.org/ (Specifically the Alto Mayo Conservation Initiative as well as The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests to aid in their goal of protecting the Lakes Region (where we are located). Our donations will offset about 35 metric tons with the extra going towards camper travel to/from camp.
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We hope that you have a successful and fun-filled year and that as you start to think about next summer you will keep us in mind for a week or two again! We already have a number of eager campers signed up for 2018 so if you are ready to enroll just let me know. 

Lastly, please let us pay you to find us great new campers. We offer a $300 referral bonus deducted from your tuition for every camper you send our way who enrolls for at least one week. This is the best way for us to get awesome guys and girls who will enjoy our program here at camp and we cannot thank you enough for helping us spread the word.

Feel free to e-mail, write, call, text, FaceTime, telegram, carrier pigeon or visit any time!

 

Sincerely,

Evan Goldner

617-855-9253

evan@watermonkeycamp.com

New counselor profile: Heather Bouchard

Here is a bit about one of our new instructors, Heather, written by her! What's up shredders!

I'm Heather and I was born and raised in Ware, Massachusetts.  I just finished up another semester of college at the University of Florida where I am studying biology.  I was recently elected our wakeboard club's secretary and also placed 1st in the wakeboard women's B division at regionals.  I started wakeboarding because of my snowboarding background and can tell you learning to ride was the best decision I think I have ever made.  I can't wait to meet you all this upcoming summer!  Happy shredding!

Heather01 watermonkey camp