Blog

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 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.
Maine Camp Community Service Programs: Kids Paying it Forward

Maine Camp Community Service Programs: Kids Paying it Forward

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Traditional youth camps bring to mind summers of play, friendship, and the challenge of learning new skills. But at their very core, camps are communities. They teach kids to build connections, resolve conflicts, and share activities and living space. Increasingly, camps also offer the children they serve the chance to contribute hard work and commitment to service projects. From pitching in both within camp boundaries and beyond, many camps in Maine support their campers in using their energy and enthusiasm for the greater good. It’s just another example of how camps across the state seek to teach youth lessons for a lifetime. Many youth camps across the state promote service work in their missions and incorporate ongoing service in campers’...
Maine Camp Community Service Programs: Kids Paying it Forward

Maine Camp Community Service Programs: Kids Paying it Forward

posted in: Blog | Blog Posts on:

Traditional youth camps bring to mind summers of play, friendship, and the challenge of learning new skills. But at their very core, camps are communities. They teach kids to build connections, resolve conflicts, and share activities and living space. Increasingly, camps also offer the children they serve the chance to contribute hard work and commitment to service projects. From pitching in both within camp boundaries and beyond, many camps in Maine support their campers in using their energy and enthusiasm for the greater good. It’s just another example of how camps across the state seek to teach youth lessons for a lifetime. This two-part blog takes a look at four youth camps in Maine and their efforts to share the...
Annual Fall Meeting Draws Nearly 100 Maine Summer Camps Professionals

Annual Fall Meeting Draws Nearly 100 Maine Summer Camps Professionals

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The annual fall meeting and educational workshop brought together almost 100 members of Maine Summer Camps, the nonprofit organization supporting youth camps across the state. Hosted by Migis Lodge in Casco on Wednesday, Sept. 18, the group enjoyed a morning of information and conversation, followed by another legendary Migis cookout on the sunny shores of Sebago Lake. Greeted by incoming Board President Beigette Gill, the group was introduced to six discussion topics by Education Committee Chair Anna Hopkins. The topics were intended to give participants the chance to talk to each other and learn from each other, Anna said. “This is the beginning of conversations, not the end.”
In the Spirit of Sharing Ideas and Knowledge, Northeast Camp Professionals Tour Six Maine Camps

In the Spirit of Sharing Ideas and Knowledge, Northeast Camp Professionals Tour Six Maine Camps

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Camp directors have bid good-bye to their campers. Staff numbers have shrunk from robust teams to skeleton crews charged with hosting post-season events and closing up facilities. And regardless of the camp, year-round personnel are already looking to 2020. Post-season camp scrutiny leads to planning and possibilities for change, a process demanding time and energy. But camp directors, regardless of their camps’ size and location and mission, agree that evaluating their facilities and programs – and making decisions about improvements – benefits enormously from collaboration.
Camp Susan Curtis: Offering the Benefits of Camp to Disadvantaged Maine Youth

Camp Susan Curtis: Offering the Benefits of Camp to Disadvantaged Maine Youth

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As the summer youth camp season came to a close, energy was high last week at Camp Susan Curtis in Stoneham. The camp, which serves economically disadvantaged Maine youth, has now ended its eight weeks of annual summer programming. But as the season concluded, campers’ enjoyment last Wednesday – from rocket launching by a STEM group to splashing in Trout Lake – was just a snapshot of 2019’s summer of fun and learning for a total of 465 Maine youngsters.
Junior Maine Guide Annual Testing Camp: Candidates Gather for Five-Day Encampment

Junior Maine Guide Annual Testing Camp: Candidates Gather for Five-Day Encampment

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Isaac, a 14-year old camper at Birch Rock Camp in Waterford, was hot. Clad in long pants, a Birch Rock t-shirt, and hiking boots, he was tackling the Junior Maine Guide wet-day fire test. A billet of wood had soaked in a dishpan of water for five minutes. Now Isaac faced the challenge of using an axe and knife to cut that wood, then burn it under a small can of soapy water that hung above the fire pit. The goal? Burn the wood and boil the water to overflowing in 20 minutes.
Collaborative Problem Solving: Counselors Learn New Approaches to Managing Camper Conflict

Collaborative Problem Solving: Counselors Learn New Approaches to Managing Camper Conflict

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The camp experience offers youngsters a broad range of benefits. Campers make friends, live in Maine’s natural beauty, and both learn new skills and advance the abilities they bring to camp. Teambuilding, collaboration, and developing independence are all part of the equation. But as camp leaders, counselors, and campers all know, camp can also involve conflict. Whether it’s sharing living space, feeling bullied or teased, or dealing with hurt feelings, campers don’t always get along.
Beating the Bugs: Mosquitoes, Ticks and Other Unwelcome Youth Camp Guests

Beating the Bugs: Mosquitoes, Ticks and Other Unwelcome Youth Camp Guests

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Kevin Prevost makes his living helping Mainers enjoy the outdoors – by helping reduce unwanted guests like mosquitoes and ticks. Among the clients served by his business, Top Leaf Tree, LLC, are more than half a dozen youth camps across the state. And those camps, says Prevost, are dealing with the consequences of a very wet spring, along with an early snowpack last winter. The result: abundant insects. Camps, however, are rising to the challenge, through a variety of strategies to beat the bugs and keep kids healthy.   According to Prevost, camps’ focus on parents’ “peace of mind” often leads them to choose organic over synthetic pesticide application. In addition, he says, camp leadership is also sensitive to the...

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