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.

Annual New England Camp Conference Offers Camp Professionals Education and More

Annual New England Camp Conference Offers Camp Professionals Education and More

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As Maine’s hundreds of camp professionals look ahead to summer — hoping to fill remaining staff positions, communicating with families, and crossing their fingers for warm weather and snow melt — many also set aside a few days in late March to attend the annual conference of the American Camp Association New England. The 2019 gathering, held March 28-30 in Manchester, NH, brought together approximately 900 camp personnel from throughout New England, says ACA New England Executive Director Bette Bussel. Vendors promoting a broad range of products and services at the conference Expo brought that number to nearly 1000, Bussel says. Between 80 and 90 presenters offered workshops over the three-day conference.
Hello Camp, Good-bye Technology: Staff Adjustment to a Low-Tech Summer

Hello Camp, Good-bye Technology: Staff Adjustment to a Low-Tech Summer

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Summer at camp in Maine means many new experiences: new friends, first-time activities, living away from home. For campers, it also means leaving devices like phones and computers at home. But staff members also have an adjustment when it comes to technology. While their summers at camp aren’t completely device-free, staff members experience a marked – and, in many cases, ultimately welcome – reduction in screen time. For young adults in their late teens and early 20s, accustomed to socialization via text and social media, working at camp presents adjustments beyond living in cabins, teaching and guiding youngsters, and collaborating with fellow staff.  Low-tech summers, camp directors say, can present challenges for staff members used to having a phone at...
Dozens of Maine Camps Gathering Sunday in Portland: Spreading the Word About Summer Fun

Dozens of Maine Camps Gathering Sunday in Portland: Spreading the Word About Summer Fun

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As snow melts, mud emerges, and daylight savings time offers kids more outdoor playtime, families are beginning to think of summer. So are Maine’s hundreds of youth camps, which offer scores of opportunities for youngsters of all ages and interests. On Sunday, March 24, from 1 to 3:30 p.m., Maine Summer Camps, a nonprofit organization supporting youth camps throughout the state, will hold its annual Maine Camp Fair at East End Community School in Portland. Representatives from 60 Maine youth camps will gather at the school, located at 195 North Street in Portland’s East End, to share information, enthusiasm, and expertise about their programs. The variety will be broad: from golf camp to aviation camp to music to science to...
Leaving Technology Home: Campers’ Adjustment to Being Unplugged

Leaving Technology Home: Campers’ Adjustment to Being Unplugged

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It happens all over Maine. Every summer, children arrive at youth camps throughout the state for a few weeks — or a full season — ready to undertake adventures, be with friends and role models, and learn or advance skills. And at most camps, kids’ experiences are completely tech-free. Phones, laptops, iPads — they all go home with Mom or Dad. Camp in Maine is unplugged. But what about that transition? How do kids adjust when they’ve spent a school year connecting with each other via social media, when they text each other constantly, when phones are social lifelines?
Hiring Camp Staff, Part II: The Challenge of the “Internship Climate” for College Students and the Camps Who Want to Hire Them

Hiring Camp Staff, Part II: The Challenge of the “Internship Climate” for College Students and the Camps Who Want to Hire Them

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As college students look ahead toward post-graduate careers, they face pressures from all sides. From a financial standpoint, many young adults have incurred student loans, making the importance of a secure job both during school and after graduation even more essential. In addition, college students often believe that a successful career demands a lock-step progression of experiences on the way to that first job. Accordingly, while young adults pursue their studies, they increasingly feel pressure to participate in a professional, often major-related, internship to help pave the way toward that just-right position after college is over.
Hiring Maine Camp Staff: Outreach Efforts Pitch Broad Benefits of a Summer Camp Job

Hiring Maine Camp Staff: Outreach Efforts Pitch Broad Benefits of a Summer Camp Job

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UMF Hosts Camp Job Fair A wide corridor at the Olsen Student Center at the University of Maine at Farmington served as more than a student thoroughfare on Monday. Instead, a collaboration between Maine Summer Camps and the UMF Career Center brought a job fair to the passageway, giving scores of students the chance to learn about summer job opportunities at more than 30 Maine camps. Directors and leaders from camps across the state described their programs, their staffing needs, and the many perks of a summer sharing skills and guiding children.
Maine Camp Leaders Gather to Consider and Discuss Gender Stereotypes

Maine Camp Leaders Gather to Consider and Discuss Gender Stereotypes

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Summer camps are communities unto themselves. Maine camps are both coed and single-sex, are residential and day camps, and they offer varied experiences and opportunities. Yet all those camps have common considerations, including attention to gender roles and gender role stereotypes. Last week, a noted psychologist, educator, and camp professional presented some of those considerations to Maine camp directors and leadership staff. Sponsored by Maine Summer Camps (MSC), a nonprofit membership organization providing a broad range of support to Maine camps, the program called on the expertise of Chris Thurber, Ph.D. Thurber, a clinical psychologist, has served at Phillips Exeter Academy for two decades, and in a variety of roles at YMCA Camp Belknap since 1980. He has written widely...
Educators in Residence: Kieve-Wavus Education’s Latest Initiative to Support, Teach Kids

Educators in Residence: Kieve-Wavus Education’s Latest Initiative to Support, Teach Kids

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At this time of year, many Maine summer camps are operating with small year-round staffs, each person wearing many hats to recruit campers and staff and make preparations for the upcoming camp season. But a mid-coast non-profit organization, which operates Kieve Summer Camp for Boys in Nobleboro and Wavus Camp for Girls in Jefferson, has launched a program in recent years that provides young people in Maine schools with many of the same skills camp can provide.
Camps’ Top Priority: Keeping Kids Physically and Emotionally Safe

Camps’ Top Priority: Keeping Kids Physically and Emotionally Safe

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State laws, licensing standards help ensure youth camps protect campers and staff alike Kirstie Truluck, director of girls’ Camp Wavus in Jefferson, says her best counselors demonstrate precisely what camps need: “how to model healthy boundaries while maintaining a connection” to their campers. Both elements are essential, she says, because they are in the best interests of staff and kids alike. “It’s subtle and simple advice. The kid should be setting the tone,” she says. Such protocols are common at Maine camps. camps conduct each summer prior to the arrival of youngsters. With licensing requirements promulgated by the Department of Health and Human Services, plus the designation as mandated reporters of camp personnel over the age of 17, camps have...
Spreading the Benefits of a Camp Experience: Reaching Campers with Special Needs

Spreading the Benefits of a Camp Experience: Reaching Campers with Special Needs

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Camp experiences offer participants the chance to develop new skills, foster relationships, and grow confidence and independence. Campers living with physical, emotional, or intellectual challenges stand to gain those same benefits from camp. And while some Maine camps are not equipped to serve campers who face such challenges, others camps are. The experience can be transformative.

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