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.

Camp Directors Say Trump Administration’s Proposed Visa Cuts Could Hurt Maine Camps

Camp Directors Say Trump Administration’s Proposed Visa Cuts Could Hurt Maine Camps

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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.
Summer’s End: Bittersweet Camp Closing Rituals

Summer’s End: Bittersweet Camp Closing Rituals

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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...
Camp Food: Striking a Healthy Balance

Camp Food: Striking a Healthy Balance

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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.
Counselor-Camper Relationships: Navigating the Gray Area

Counselor-Camper Relationships: Navigating the Gray Area

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When clinical psychologist and renowned camp industry consultant Chris Thurber worked with more than 50 camp employees at a training workshop in early July, his message was clear. The relationships between counselors and campers are grounded in camps’ missions. And camp counselors are in the unique position of making those missions come alive. That makes the counselor-camper connection the key to a successful summer.
Junior Maine Guide Rendezvous: Preparation for Next Week’s Test Camp

Junior Maine Guide Rendezvous: Preparation for Next Week’s Test Camp

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Next week, 70 youngsters attending camp in Maine will travel to the Stephen Phillips Memorial Preserve in Oquossoc, near Rangeley, for a five-day experience that could mark an accomplishment for a lifetime. Their destination? Junior Maine Guide Test Camp, where they will take more than 20 practical and written tests. Their goal? Junior Maine Guide certification, an achievement garnered by about 2700 Maine youth since the program’s inception in the late 1930s by an act of the Maine State Legislature. JMG Program Teaches a Broad Range of Outdoor Living Skills The JMG Program is a joint effort of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife and Maine Summer Camps, a membership organization of more than 120 Maine camps that...
Summer Earth Day: Camps Eating Local, Teaching Lessons at the Same Time

Summer Earth Day: Camps Eating Local, Teaching Lessons at the Same Time

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While the official Earth Day falls in April, camps throughout Maine celebrated their 3rd Annual Earth Day by focusing on eating local. The initiative of Maine Summer Camps, a membership organization of more than 120 Maine member camps, took place on July 7 and 8, and gave kids yet another chance to appreciate the resources of Maine. Camps Highlight Local Foods, Environmental Stewardship, And Sustainability For many camps, eating local is a way of life. Many Maine camps boast their own gardens; many Maine campers pitch in with weeding and harvesting. Similarly, camps across the state seek to foster an appreciation for the natural world as a core value and part of their missions. But Earth Day last week gave...
Conservation Camps: Teaching a New Generation of Outdoor Enthusiasts, Thanks to Moose Hunters

Conservation Camps: Teaching a New Generation of Outdoor Enthusiasts, Thanks to Moose Hunters

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Kids at camp in Maine learn a vast range of skills in all sorts of settings. And thanks to Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife (IFW), some of those youngsters have the chance to participate in conservation camp, coming away with certifications building a foundation for lifelong participation in outdoor recreation.   Moose hunting is benefitting hundreds of kids IFW supports scholarships at such camps – tuition assistance at three camps in different parts of the state. They are funded by none other than moose hunting permit proceeds. In fact, the State has authorized the auction of 10 such hunting permits annually; this year about $140,000 was raised, ranging from between $11,000 and $14,000 per permit. That love of...
Camp and Parents: Collaborating to Give Kids Successful Summers

Camp and Parents: Collaborating to Give Kids Successful Summers

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Camps across Maine are beginning their summer sessions. Youngsters from Maine, the U.S., and all over the world are gathering for experiences both familiar and new. And supporting those youngsters are parents and camp personnel working together. Parents are in a unique position, camp directors say. They are entrusting their kids to camp staff, and both before and during camp, parents play a meaningful role in helping their kids have a summer of fun, growth, and empowerment. At Alford Lake Camp, a girls’ camp in Hope, Certified Camp Director Sue McMullan says parents have a direct relationship with camp leadership. By reassuring parents that “we can’t wait to hear from them, they can call any time,” McMullan says parents feel...
Summer is Here; So Is Camp

Summer is Here; So Is Camp

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Across the state, camp directors are assembling their staffs, making last-minute maintenance repairs, watching the forecast, and awaiting the arrival of thousands of youngsters for another camp season. Regardless of the type of camp – coed and single gender, day and residential, arts and sports, traditional and tripping – camp personnel are putting in long hours in preparation for even longer ones. Camp is fun and challenging, a chance for kids to grow and learn. And for those who operate camps, the time has come – a culmination of months of off-season work to give youngsters experiences that make those months away from the classroom active and enjoyable and, yes, educational.

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