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.

The Benefits of Being Device-Free at Camp

The Benefits of Being Device-Free at Camp

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Camp offers kids a vast array of benefits – time in nature, new skills, and lifelong friendships. But at many camps there’s another perk – weeks free from devices. No phones, no screens, no social media. And while it may take a few days of adjustment, camp directors say kids gain on a whole range of fronts, from their appreciation of the outdoors, to their ability to socialize, to the quality of their sleep.
9th Annual Maine Summer Camps Fair This Sunday in Portland

9th Annual Maine Summer Camps Fair This Sunday in Portland

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Families looking for Maine youth camp experiences this summer will have a unique opportunity on Sunday to find out just how many options kids have.  Maine Summer Camps, a non-profit membership organization supporting more than 120 Maine camps, will holds its ninth annual Maine Summer Camps Fair on Sunday, March 18. The fair will take place from 1-3:30 p.m. at East End School, 195 North Street, in Portland. MSC Anticipates 70 Camps to Partake in the Fair Ron Hall, executive director of Maine Summer Camps, says the organization anticipates about 70 camps to participate, “everything from magic camp to drama camp to music camp to science camp.” Hall says the fair will include traditional overnight camps, agency camps such as...
Kamp Kohut: Fostering Opportunities for Kids to “Glow”

Kamp Kohut: Fostering Opportunities for Kids to “Glow”

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Lisa Tripler owns and directs Oxford’s Kamp Kohut with her husband, attorney Dan Rapaport. And back in the early 90s, when the couple contemplated purchasing the camp property, Tripler says she “managed to convince my husband that this would be the dream of a lifetime.” His response, she says, was to fully support her – and concede that at the very worst the purchase would be a sound real estate investment. But the dream has been coming true for a quarter century. Nearly twenty-six years after that purchase, Kamp Kohut continues to thrive as a unique co-ed camp, what Tripler calls a “brother-sister model.” “I want them to leave glowing,” she says, “just feeling really proud of themselves for learning...
Camp Directors Gather to Consider Diversity and Inclusion

Camp Directors Gather to Consider Diversity and Inclusion

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When close to 80 Maine camp directors gathered Tuesday in Portland to discuss diversity and inclusion, they were challenged to consider the impact of differences and division, and to seek to “create balance in an unbalanced world.” The workshop was sponsored by Maine Summer Camps, a non-profit organization supporting the work of more than 120 member camps. It was led by Niambi Jaha-Echols, a former American Camp Association board member, an expert in the field of cross-cultural agility, and long-time advocate of doing “heart-centered” work to achieve human connection among different communities and cultures.  Jaha-Echols and Meg Kassen, director of Hidden Valley Camp in Freedom, began the session by telling the group that the word “camp” has an early 16th...
Seeking a Summer Adventure: Finding the Right Camp

Seeking a Summer Adventure: Finding the Right Camp

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Long-time Maine camp director and owner Sarah Seaward says there’s a camp out there for every child. Seaward has been at the helm of Raymond’s Camp Nashoba North for decades; her advice for families looking for a summer camp is straightforward. Do your research and listen to your child.

The Chewonki Foundation George River Expedition: A Subarctic Leadership Adventure

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Caribou herds. Wolves. Evidence of native encampments. When youngsters embark on the Chewonki Foundation’s pinnacle wilderness trip to Northern Quebec and Labrador they see a whole different world. The George River Expedition first set out in the summer of 1991, a challenging canoe adventure through subarctic terrain. It’s a life-changing leadership opportunity, says Greg Shute, vice president of the Chewonki Foundation. “It all started to percolate in the late 1980s,” Shute says. After offering a number of month-long canoe trips to central Quebec, “it was clear kids on that trip really wanted to go to the next step.” That meant venturing further north and paddling more challenging waters. Shute and his now-wife Lynne Flaccus paddled the area in a sort...

Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership: Offering Summer Education, Summer Fun

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Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership: Offering Summer Education, Summer Fun             A dozen miles off the coast of Rockland is an island – and an opportunity. The Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership this summer will give dozens of youngsters hands-on scientific education in an off-the-grid, environmentally sustainable island community. But while science serves as a “lens” for teaching leadership, says Program Director Phoebe Jekielek, participants will also engage in traditional camp activities.             “We want kids to walk away saying ‘that was awesome,’” Jekielek says. The center, operated by the non-profit Hurricane Island Foundation, will offer summer programming to both middle and high school students, and will reach kids from across the U.S. and as far...

The First-Time Camp Experience: Determining Whether Your Child is Ready

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Camp can be a life-changing experience. Kids make new friends, participate in a broad range of activities, and develop independence, confidence, and skills relevant to home, school, and social settings. But how do parents know if their children are ready for camp? What are the factors to consider, and what sorts of conversations should take place between camp and home in determining whether this is the summer for a child to venture into a residential camp experience?
Risk Taking At Camp: Another Path to Growth

Risk Taking At Camp: Another Path to Growth

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For kids who attend camp, the experience can be described in any number of ways. Fun, challenging, exciting, an adventure. Camp also teaches a broad range of skills, in the art studio, on the playing field, on the water and atop mountains. But camp also teaches kids abilities that transcend specific activities, abilities they can carry with them into home and school and social settings. Take for example, the benefits that come from giving campers the opportunity to take risks in a safe environment. Risk taking at camp – such as the physical challenge of a ropes course, or the emotional risk of performing on stage – teaches kids resilience and builds confidence. So, while kids at camp may experience...

Camp Directors Reflect: Much to Appreciate About Their Roles

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As Thanksgiving approaches, camp directors are hard at work. Camper recruitment, staff hiring, budget planning and, of course, communicating with families, fill directors’ days as they anticipate the 2018 season. Yet while their tasks these November days may involve more time indoors than in the summer months, directors are quick to acknowledge the many elements of their roles for which they are grateful. From standing under starlit skies, to watching campers grow with each passing summer, to working with staff members as they reach adulthood, camp directors recount a lengthy list of the unique qualities of their positions that make them thankful.

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