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 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...
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?
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...
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.
For Josh Hahn and Kate Auerbach, opening a camp is the culmination of years of planning. It’s nothing short of a “dream job,” says Hahn, who with Auerbach will co-direct Camp Somerset for Girls in Smithfield. The two lifelong friends are steeped in camp tradition and come June they will open the brand-new facility currently under construction on the shores of East Pond.
“When I saw the first plane come down I was the most nervous I’ve ever been.” That plane was the first of 15 to land on Old Orchard Beach on October 1, all thanks to fifteen-year-old Chase Walker’s efforts. The event, 18 months in-the-planning, raised $12,000 for Make a Wish® Maine. And it all began with the seed of an idea that Walker took with him to a Camp Kieve leadership program two years ago.
Camp offers kids enormous opportunities during the summer months, from arts to athletics to learning about the environment first-hand. Campers trek Maine’s mountains, paddles its rivers, kayak its vast coastline. They also learn, through experiential activities of all kinds, and through social interaction with peers and role models. It may feel like play, but when campers get back to school, the benefits continue.
For camp directors, the summer season is a 24/7 focus exclusively on their camps and campers. But on September 13, at Migis Lodge in Casco, those directors got a chance to take a breath, reflect on their summers, and exchange ideas with each other. The annual Maine Summer Camps Fall Workshop brought together 80 camp personnel from more than 40 Maine camps. They networked, shared experiences, and enjoyed the chance to connect in six different workshops organized by the Maine Summer Camps Education Committee. A waterfront cookout capped off the morning.
Thousands of youngsters attended camp in Maine this summer. They traveled from next door and from regions in far-off lands. They swam, sailed, played sports, made art and music, and made friendships that for many will last a lifetime. Directors from three of those camps say it was a summer of fun and of growth. One of those camps held its very first session; another has operated for almost 100 years. Yet what these camps share with the scores of others around the state are the connections kids make. Camp Alsing: Offering an Opportunity for Youngsters with Social Challenges