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
Last April’s “Buy American and Hire American” executive order by the Trump administration could spell trouble for Maine camps come next summer, camp directors say. Now camps are mobilizing throughout the state and country to tell Congress and the White House how damaging the executive order could be for the state’s youth camping industry. J-1 Visa Program Enables International Workers To Fill Jobs in the U.S.
Last Monday brought a perfect Maine summer evening. It was still warm, and as the sun set over the western shore of Lake Sebago, a group of girls who had spent the past seven weeks together sat together around a campfire getting ready to say Goodbye. Camp’s Ending Is Nothing If Not Bittersweet at Wawenock The final night of camp at girls’ Camp Wawenock, in Raymond, was about connection and friendship. Director Andy Sangster began the event with a traditional camp prayer, campers sang a variety of songs, and director Catriona Sangster delivered a reading. Then each and every girl stood to give a friendship gift to another camper. Handmade gifts of all shapes and sizes were passed from friend...
Just like parents back home, residential camps face the challenge of how to best feed their kids. Healthy food is key, but so is making sure campers actually eat. And just like home, not every meal appeals to every child. So how do camps do it? A handful of camp directors described their approach – plus shared some camper favorites at mealtime.