MSC News

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.

Maine Summer Camps’ Emerging Professionals: Creating Community and Connection Amid the Pandemic

Maine Summer Camps’ Emerging Professionals: Creating Community and Connection Amid the Pandemic

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Halsey Gulick Award Winner Rich Deering Featured in Launch of Bi-Monthly Virtual Gatherings A few years back, a group of emerging Maine camp professionals decided to build connections with each other, and serve those in need, during off-season months. Their volunteer efforts reached several Greater Portland nonprofits, including Preble Street Resource Center. Then, enter COVID-19. The group, which is part of Maine Summer Camps (MSC), a nonprofit representing about 150 camps throughout Maine, is now refocusing its efforts. Community Connections, an evolution of that MSC Outreach Committee, is a virtual collaboration enabling these same professionals to continue to develop friendships and professional connections. Specifically, the group is reaching out to more seasoned camp operators, both colleagues and mentors, who are...
Camp Counseling, Career Prep: Creating a Win-Win for Camps and Staff

Camp Counseling, Career Prep: Creating a Win-Win for Camps and Staff

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“We want to make it more intentional.” Meg Kassen, who alongside her husband, Peter, owns and directs Hidden Valley Camp in Freedom, knows the value of being a camp counselor. But, she says, the camp wants to help counselors better understand that value and learn to frame their experiences in the multitude of ways that can inform future career endeavors. Being a camp counselor is truly a 24/7 responsibility, demanding skill sets that camps simply cannot compensate on a par with other summer job experiences. Skilled lifeguards at camp, for example, do not just carry the enormous responsibility of supporting safe and successful waterfront operations. They likely also team up with co-counselors to support the cabin life of up to...
Agassiz Village Summer Camp: Aiming to Share Its Mission Locally

Agassiz Village Summer Camp: Aiming to Share Its Mission Locally

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  “Everything we do is intentional. Social emotional learning (SEL) is why it’s intentional.” Ash Bahi, camp director of Agassiz Village, a youth camp located in Poland, Maine, smiled as he said this in a recent virtual meeting. Camps statewide serving children from Maine, the nation, and the globe, are similarly mission driven. And Bahi, who took the helm as Agassiz Village’s camp director in 2019, wants to share that intentionality, make it a “shining beacon” for the hundreds of campers in residence for two-week sessions come summer 2021. Since its founding in the mid-1930s, Agassiz Village has provided children from underserved communities with a camp experience. With a geographical focus on greater Boston, its first campers included newsboys and...
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

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

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

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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.
MSC wins the ACA’s 2016 Community Honor Award

MSC wins the ACA’s 2016 Community Honor Award

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This award is given for outstanding contributions to organized camping or to ACA New England. It should be presented to individuals, groups or organizations that may or may not be members of ACA in order to recognize their support of quality camp experiences. Due to the tireless effort by Maine Summer Camps to align itself with partners such as ACA and ACA New England, Executive Director Ron Hall, Counsel Jack Erler and the supporting cast continued to educate and guide camps through the confusion of the elevated level of interest in camps regarding enforcement of Federal transportation law. Today the success story is complete. The interpretations pushed onto Maine camps last year are gone, and all camps across the country are...

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