Maine Camp 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 Gather to Consider Diversity and Inclusion

Camp Directors Gather to Consider Diversity and Inclusion

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When close to 80 Maine camp directors gathered Tuesday in Portland to discuss diversity and inclusion, they were challenged to consider the impact of differences and division, and to seek to “create balance in an unbalanced world.” The workshop was sponsored by Maine Summer Camps, a non-profit organization supporting the work of more than 120 member camps. It was led by Niambi Jaha-Echols, a former American Camp Association board member, an expert in the field of cross-cultural agility, and long-time advocate of doing “heart-centered” work to achieve human connection among different communities and cultures.  Jaha-Echols and Meg Kassen, director of Hidden Valley Camp in Freedom, began the session by telling the group that the word “camp” has an early 16th...
A Summer for STEM: Maine Robotics Brings Tech to Kids Statewide

A Summer for STEM: Maine Robotics Brings Tech to Kids Statewide

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Summer in Maine brings kids a whole host of opportunities. Camps and recreational programs expose youngsters to the state’s vast natural beauty and give them the chance to learn new skills, make new friends, and play hard outdoors from dawn to dusk. But there’s a Maine non-profit reaching thousands of children each year and teaching an entirely different set of skills. Come this summer, the organization will offer approximately 50 separate weeks of STEM education to day campers from Berwick to Ft. Kent. And, for the first time, it will offer two weeks of overnight camp, hosted by Colby College in Waterville.
Seeking a Summer Adventure: Finding the Right Camp

Seeking a Summer Adventure: Finding the Right Camp

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Long-time Maine camp director and owner Sarah Seaward says there’s a camp out there for every child. Seaward has been at the helm of Raymond’s Camp Nashoba North for decades; her advice for families looking for a summer camp is straightforward. Do your research and listen to your child.

The Chewonki Foundation George River Expedition: A Subarctic Leadership Adventure

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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

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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...

The First-Time Camp Experience: Determining Whether Your Child is Ready

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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?
Why I Still Choose Camp

Why I Still Choose Camp

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From the American Camp Association Blog. By Lauren Ofman, November 20, 2017  Welcome to my life: I am a high school senior who could easily spend my summer getting a job or an internship — or as my family would call it, “real world experience.” Then I could hang out with my friends, go out at night, and do other crazy things like taking hot showers. But instead, I have spent the last seven summers of my life sleeping in a bunk with 14 other girls in 100-degree weather at sleepaway camp — and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I know I’m lucky to be able to go to camp. I don’t have to work to support myself...

As a kid, summer camp was an adventure. As a parent, it’s bittersweet…

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Here is a great Boston Globe article about summer camps. By Jennifer Peter MAY 19, 2017: I loved the experience as a kid, and I want my daughter to have that too. But the letting go is tougher than I expected. I lived without them for 38 years. I had friends. I traveled. I went out, probably more than I should have. I vacationed on the Cape, often diving into the cool, clear waters of Long Pond in Wellfleet after a day of bodysurfing on the ocean waves. I was happy. Yearning for a family, yes, and hearing that biological clock, but I was happy. And then Clara came along, feisty and opinionated and funny and — I can’t deny it — a bit stressful at times....
Risk Taking At Camp: Another Path to Growth

Risk Taking At Camp: Another Path to Growth

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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...

Camp Directors Reflect: Much to Appreciate About Their Roles

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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.

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