wakeboarding

2018 season recap

Our season just ended and it was the biggest and baddest since I launched the camp seven years ago. In 2018 we had my favorite staff of all time, so many awesome campers and the two coolest boats I could imagine. Many thanks to everyone involved for helping make it all happen.

In this recap I want to focus on friendships at camp. Seeing new friendships form, grow and continue for years has easily been my favorite part of running Water Monkey. So many of our campers have made friends here at camp and then brought those relationships back home by meeting up during the year (even flying and visiting each other as far as Europe from the U.S.), coordinating vacations together, going to the same college together and keeping in constant contact via social media.

On the first day at camp most of us are strangers. After seven days together on the boats, at meals, playing sports and having fun it can be difficult to say goodbye. I always knew that Water Monkey would be a special place where like-minded campers and staff would meet and get to know each other but I guess the extent to which it has surpassed my expectations is a testament to how unique our camp program is.

Water Monkey Camp as a whole is truly greater than the sum of its parts...you can buy yourself an epic boat and some gear and spend a week out on the lake but you’ll me missing a bit of magic that happens here each summer.

Now some fun 2018 stats!

  • 126 campers over 7 weeks!

  • Campers stayed an average of 1.21 weeks at camp (longest stay by any camper was 4 weeks by Stan tha man)

  • Average number of campers per week was 18 (we limited each week this summer to 18 campers and were full every week)

  • Campers were 68% boys and 32% girls

  • Average camper age was 13.9

  • 57.9% of campers were returners, 42.1% were first timers

  • Campers came from 15 states (CO, CT, DC, GA, IL, MA, ME, MT, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VA and VT) as well as Canada, China, France and Italy!

  • 2,055 gourmet meals prepared and served by amazing Chef Rebecca

  • 400 pounds of food scraps and waste diverted from the landfill to local hungry pigs!

  • 10,804 unique visitors to watermonkeycamp.com in the past 12 months

  • 10,363 photos uploaded for parents and campers to enjoy

  • 3 baby loons on the lake

  • 1 Taylor Swift concert at Gillette Stadium

  • Infinite smiles, laughs and good times

  • Average water temperature during camp was 78 degrees

  • Merrymeeting Lake is 1,100 acres and the cleanest lake in New Hampshire

  • 24 hours spent cleaning boat insides during the season and 20 hours spent washing and waxing the outsides

  • 254 hours on the Calypso Green MasterCraft NXT22 and 234 hours on the Jetstream Blue MasterCraft NXT22 for a total of 488 hours of boating this season!

  • 2,800 gallons of gas consumed on the lake producing roughly 25 metric tons of CO2 offsett with contributions to cooleffect.org (specifically the Alto Mayo Conservation Initiative) as well as the Southeast Land Trust of New Hampshire who, along with many Merrymeeting Residents and the US Forest Service, is attempting to raise $1,500,000 preserve 2,000 acres of forest surrounding our perfect lake. Our total contributions will offset about 50 metric tons of CO2 this year with the extra going towards camper travel to/from camp.

I hope that all of our campers, staff and their families have a terrific year and that you keep us in mind as you start planning your 2019 summer. Our tuition will be going up next year for the first time in five years but we do not want you to miss out on camp because of that. As always we will be offering a $300 referral bonus for every new camper you send our way who enrolls and new this year by parent requests is the option to set up a payment plan for your camper’s tuition. I am always here to answer your questions so feel free to e-mail, call, snail mail or set up a time to visit and we hope to see you back here next summer!

Sincerely,

Evan Goldner

617-855-9253

evan@watermonkeycamp.com

Wrapping up a perfect summer

Hello campers, friends and all other readers!

Sunset at the end of the summer.

We are back from camp! Our campers left on August 11 but we were super busy from then until last weekend with private lessons and fun on the lake. We will be posting a season re-cap soon but until then here are some shots of how we have been wrapping things up!

We sold our Calypso Green NXT22 (a.k.a. Green Machine) after camp and used the Jetstream Blue NXT22 (a.k.a. cookie monster a.k.a. bluey) until last week. On the last day in the water I took a break after private lessons to snag this picture of the gorgeous, empty, still-warm water and bluebird ski.

Some serious work starts when the boat gets out of the water. Both boats need thorough cleaning inside and out. That means taking out all of the life jackets, paddles, first aid kits, dock lines and other assorted ‘stuff’ that accumulates throughout the season. From there we wash out the inside and then wash and wax the outside.

Lifejacket Party!

Once the boat is shiny inside and out it is ready for the winter! This year we sold both of our 2018 MasterCrafts so instead of winterizing the motor and putting it away for storage we are delivering it to its new owners! Green Machine will be living on Winnipesaukee now and Cookie Monster will be heading to Mississippi!

Of course I have had a helper through all of this work!

We won't be blogging much for a couple of months

It may sound counterintuitive but the summertime is a tough time to blog for a summer camp! We are so busy with our campers that we just do not have the time to write meaningful blog posts.

That does not mean that we are totally off the grid all summer! We regularly post pictures, videos and stories on our Instagram account so give our page a follow and join in on the fun!

@watermonkeycamp

https://www.instagram.com/watermonkeycamp/

top five reasons kids with their own boats should still come to our camp

The biggest part of my 'off-season' job as a camp owner is to speak with families (on the phone, Skype, in person, or over e-mail) and answer their questions about our program. One question I hear a lot goes something like this:

My (son/daughter) is really into (wakeboarding/waterskiing/wakesurfing) and we want (him/her) to learn new skills but we have a boat and a lake house so we can probably teach them ourselves so why should we spend the money on your camp?

My answer is usually some combination of the below Top Five reasons kids with their own ridiculous lake setup should still come to Water Monkey Camp:

Camp makes for instant friendships.

Fun and Camaraderie - Anyone who has been away to camp (especially Water Monkey) knows that camp is more than just the activities offered. Nowhere else do kids meet one day as total strangers and become inseparable best friends by Day 2. Camp is a catalyst for friendships that will last a lifetime. The watersports may be why campers come but the good times with other kids are what stay with them when they go home. 

Early AM group stretch.

Social Interaction (of the in-person variety) - Cell phones and social media have changed the way people interact to the detriment of us all. Camp is a rare break in a camper's life of nonstop social media bombardment. At camp kids are forced to interact with each other from the moment they arrive until their parents show up to take them home. This could be as simple as a cabin of campers figuring out how to share the sink to brush their teeth at night to a camper talking one-on-one with a coach to work out how to improve at a certain skill or just a few guys and girls sitting and joking around after lunch. As texting and Snapchatting replace actual human interaction it is always great to see kids talking to each other the old fashioned way.

Skis and smiles.

Top Level Coaches - I get it, you have a brand new $125,000 wake boat on a beautiful lake near your hometown and all the gear you could possibly need for a summer out on the water. What you are missing, though, is trained coaches who dedicate their lives to pursuing the sports we offer at camp. The progression that we see in just a week is often insane. First-time waterskiers that leave after a week having progressed to using just one ski (slalom). Kids who have never heard of wakesurfing not only getting up but dropping the rope and surfing. Intermediate wakeboarders throwing down back rolls and tantrums having never tried an inverted trick before coming here. The program we have created in combination with the unintimidating atmosphere of learning and fun allows campers to significantly boost their skills in a short time. These skills are brought back to your lake for the rest of the summer and onwards to continue progressing and share with other family and friends. Yes, you can have fun on your own boat all summer long but what our coaches provide is that extra push to do something great.

Safety first.

Safety While Learning New Skills - Just because you have that nice boat and have dialed in the wake just right does not mean that you can safely teach your child at home to launch over the wake and learn tricks without some injuries as a byproduct. Our above-mentioned coaches prioritize safety during each campers' progression so that they are building new skills over a foundation of old ones and never getting out of control. Kids are fearless and our job at camp is to focus their energy and training into results without unnecessary hospital visits. 

Independence! - Possibly the most important aspect of coming to camp is the sense of independence from home, parents, friends, judgement, comfort zone, etc etc the list goes on forever. So many kids who are too shy in front of their parents to speak up or try something new will jump at the opportunity once away at camp. I cannot tell you how many times we hear each summer how a camper returned home a new person with more self confidence and self esteem. The feeling of being away at camp - a feeling I still remember 20 years later - is simultaneously exciting, scary, invigorating, and hard to describe to anyone who has not experienced it themselves.