wakesurfing

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.

2016 season recap

Well we made it…Water Monkey Camp just wrapped up its fifth season of wakeboarding / waterskiing / wakesurfing / wake skating fun on the lake. While it has taken a lot of work behind the scenes to make it all happen, the credit goes to all of our loyal camper families for continuing to trust us to give your campers an amazing experience each summer. (At the bottom of this post are links to all of the 2016 pictures)

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Year five was also the second year at our permanent property and we are really starting to get comfortable now. Seeing campers and staff take advantage of our epic location by playing Spikeball on the beach, having flipping contests off the dock, lounging in the hammock chill zone, or engaging in intense ultimate Frisbee matches on the field is just an added bonus beyond the time spent on our ridiculous boats.

A rider prepares for his set...

Speaking of boats, the 2016 Mastercraft NXT22 was the perfect addition to our program. It is versatile and ideal for teaching and shredding! We told everyone this summer that we would be replacing the 2015 Axis A22 for next year but, by overwhelming popular demand, we will be running it for one more summer. It is just loved by so many of our staff and campers that there is no rush to get rid of it yet.

Now some fun 2016 stats!

  • 103 campers over 7 weeks
  • Each camper stayed an average of 1.5 weeks at camp (longest stay by any camper was 4 weeks)
  • Average number of campers per week was 14.71
  • Campers were 61% boys, 39% girls
  • Average camper age was 13.9
  • 33% of campers were returners, 67% were new (huge growth summer!)
  • Campers came from 13 states (AS, CA, CO, CT, DC, FL, MA, MD, NH, NJ, NY, OH, VA) as well as Canada, China, Dominican Republic, France, Hungary, and Turkey!
  • 17,068 unique visitors to watermonkeycamp.com in the past 12 months
  • 9,308 pictures uploaded for parents and campers to enjoy
  • Average water temperature during camp was 76 degrees
  • 4 broken screen doors (campers like to just walk right through)
  • 1 black eye
  • 608 homemade meatballs
  • 1,200 water balloons for 1 brand new camp game – Monkey Ball
  • 25 flotilla swim parties
  • 250 hours on the Mastercraft and 230 hours on the Axis A22 (for a total of 430 in 2 seasons)
  • 2,300 gallons of gas consumed on the lake producing roughly 20 metric tons of CO2 offset with a contribution to Cool Effect (cooleffect.org) Alto Mayo Conservation Initiative to protect land in Peru from deforestation. (We offset an additional 10 metric tons to cover camper transportation to/from camp.)

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Next summer is a ways off still but it is not too early to start planning! Enrollment is officially open and some families have already reserved spaces for their campers.  As you start thinking about next year I hope that you will keep us in mind for a week or two of camp for your camper(s). Word of mouth is far and away our biggest recruiting tool so please help us fill our bunks and take advantage of our $300 referral bonus for each camper you send our way who enrolls for at least one week.

I hope you all have a terrific year until we see you again and feel free to e-mail, call, text, write, Skype, or visit any time!

Sincerely,

Evan

617-855-9253

evan@watermonkeycamp.com

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