Blog Posts

Families have chosen Maine camps for their children for more than a century.

Learn about camps from the inside! Camp directors and staff, plus parents, address everything from beating homesickness to favorite camp foods to how camp fosters resilience and independence, all in blogs dedicated exclusively to Maine summer camps.

Keeping Children Nourished: Though Camp is Suspended, Camp Mechuwana Continues to Serve

Keeping Children Nourished: Though Camp is Suspended, Camp Mechuwana Continues to Serve

posted in: Blog | Blog Posts on:

In any other June, camp directors like Norman Thombs, Executive Director of Camp Mechuwana in Winthrop, would be immersed in staff training and final preparations in anticipation of youngsters’ arrival. But, as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic, only about two dozen camps across Maine will open this summer – in July for shortened sessions and an abundance of Covid-19 protective modifications. The majority, like Mechuwana, have suspended their 2020 seasons.
Camp to You: Pine Tree Camp’s Virtual Connection to Campers of All Ages

Camp to You: Pine Tree Camp’s Virtual Connection to Campers of All Ages

posted in: Blog | Blog Posts on:

Maine’s summer camp professionals are thinking positively about welcoming 2020 campers in person come June. Yet the continuing unknowns concerning COVID-19 have prompted many camps to focus on sharing the primary values of camp – relationships, activities, and fun – right now. Among those camps is Pine Tree Camp, whose camper population of children and adults with disabilities just might need connection more than ever.
Staying Connected: Camp Beech Cliff Shares, Virtually, a Spirit of Play and Friendship

Staying Connected: Camp Beech Cliff Shares, Virtually, a Spirit of Play and Friendship

posted in: Blog | Blog Posts on:

(First in a series of how camps are engaging their campers in a time of unknowns) Summer camp is months off. Face-to-face contact is limited. And children are home, away from the daily school connections with friends, teachers, and mentors. The challenges of the coronavirus pandemic have made life very, very different for us all. Enter Matt Cornish, director of Camp Beech Cliff on Mount Desert Island, and his morning Facebook Live video gathering. With fun and with warmth, Cornish has signed on at 9:30 a.m. all week. Between 30 and 40 kids and adults have tuned in live for 20 minutes of camp songs, fun, and Cornish’s gentle reminder of the camp’s goals encouraging kindness, acceptance, and the commitment...
The Junior Maine Guide Program: Reaching into Public Schools, Sharing and Teaching Outdoor Living Skills

The Junior Maine Guide Program: Reaching into Public Schools, Sharing and Teaching Outdoor Living Skills

posted in: Blog | Blog Posts | MSC News on:

Every morning, the 19 students in Eric Robinson’s 7th grade homeroom at Nokomis Middle School, in Newport, begin the day learning about living in, exploring, and appreciating their natural world. Yes, Robinson spends a bit of the 25-minute homeroom period on morning announcements, but since September he has dedicated the remaining 20 minutes to teaching the Junior Maine Woodsman curriculum. That curriculum is part of the Junior Maine Guides program, established in 1937 by an act of the Maine legislature. Today the program is a partnership between the state Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and Maine Summer Camps, a nonprofit membership organization providing a broad range of support to about 130 Maine youth camps. And since its establishment more...
Conscious Leadership Coaching: Enhancing the Positive Influence of Camps and their Leaders

Conscious Leadership Coaching: Enhancing the Positive Influence of Camps and their Leaders

posted in: Blog | Blog Posts on:

Leadership consultant Sue Heilbronner knows the positive impact of summer camp. As a six-year-old, Heilbronner began attending overnight camp in Maine. She spent many summers at Denmark’s Camp Walden, a traditional residential girls’ camp on Sand Pond founded in 1916. “Camp saved my life,” Heilbronner told a gathering of nearly 100 Maine camp professionals in Portland this week. “It gave me permission to become a person.”
Lawyer and Maine Youth Camp Advocate Jack Erler: Five Decades Supporting Camps’ Vital Role

Lawyer and Maine Youth Camp Advocate Jack Erler: Five Decades Supporting Camps’ Vital Role

posted in: Blog | Blog Posts on:

Jack Erler, whose legal career supporting Maine youth camps spans more than 50 years, says he is certain: there may be no more valuable experience for children than summer camp. Erler is certainly qualified to make such a statement. He began practicing law in Portland in 1969 and has spent decades representing both camps and their supporting organizations. And while Erler recently passed the baton to fellow Curtis, Thaxter lawyer Rebecca Klotzle (he is now “of counsel” at the firm) his work is far from done.
Connecting Year-Round: Although Summer Ends, Camp Communities Thrive

Connecting Year-Round: Although Summer Ends, Camp Communities Thrive

posted in: Blog | Blog Posts on:

Throughout its more than 120-year history, Sebago’s Camp O-AT-KA has brought boys from around the world together for a traditional residential camp experience. Like scores of Maine camps, Camp O-AT-KA focuses on simple living in Maine’s outdoors, teaching and honing skills, and helping campers to develop friendships, benefit from role models, and follow camp traditions designed to guide boys on their journey to adulthood.
Camp Directors in the “Off-Season:” Planning for Summer, Fostering Community

Camp Directors in the “Off-Season:” Planning for Summer, Fostering Community

posted in: Blog | Blog Posts | MSC News on:

Summer youth camps across Maine are still. Buildings are closed, boats and docks are out of the water, and the exuberant sounds of children learning and playing have given way to the quiet of late fall. But while campers and counselors are immersed in their lives at school and work and home, camp directors are as busy as ever as they approach the end of the year and look ahead to the 2020 season. Summer may have ended, but for camp leadership, “off-season” may be something of a misnomer.
Maine Camp Community Service Programs: Kids Paying it Forward

Maine Camp Community Service Programs: Kids Paying it Forward

posted in: Blog | Blog Posts on:

Traditional youth camps bring to mind summers of play, friendship, and the challenge of learning new skills. But at their very core, camps are communities. They teach kids to build connections, resolve conflicts, and share activities and living space. Increasingly, camps also offer the children they serve the chance to contribute hard work and commitment to service projects. From pitching in both within camp boundaries and beyond, many camps in Maine support their campers in using their energy and enthusiasm for the greater good. It’s just another example of how camps across the state seek to teach youth lessons for a lifetime. Many youth camps across the state promote service work in their missions and incorporate ongoing service in campers’...
Maine Camp Community Service Programs: Kids Paying it Forward

Maine Camp Community Service Programs: Kids Paying it Forward

posted in: Blog | Blog Posts on:

Traditional youth camps bring to mind summers of play, friendship, and the challenge of learning new skills. But at their very core, camps are communities. They teach kids to build connections, resolve conflicts, and share activities and living space. Increasingly, camps also offer the children they serve the chance to contribute hard work and commitment to service projects. From pitching in both within camp boundaries and beyond, many camps in Maine support their campers in using their energy and enthusiasm for the greater good. It’s just another example of how camps across the state seek to teach youth lessons for a lifetime. This two-part blog takes a look at four youth camps in Maine and their efforts to share the...

- back to top -