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.

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.
Young Camp Professionals: Choosing Careers in Maine, Fulfilling Commitments to Kids

Young Camp Professionals: Choosing Careers in Maine, Fulfilling Commitments to Kids

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Maine offers camp opportunities that vary as widely as the children who participate in them. All of those camps operate thanks to robust summer staffs – counselors and instructors; healthcare and kitchen and facilities workers – guided by directors and senior-level employees. But operating a camp is a year-round effort; camps’ transformational work each summer relies on “off-season” preparation by camp professionals. In Maine, a cadre of young men and women has embarked on careers in camping. Some are native Mainers, others found their way here and decided to stay. A conversation with a few of such young professionals, regardless of their background or how they chose a career in camping, revealed a common theme: a commitment to kids, a...
The End of the Season: Camp Directors Look Forward, Back

The End of the Season: Camp Directors Look Forward, Back

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It has been almost two weeks since Mark Lipof, founder, co-owner and director of Camp Micah, said good-bye to 296 youngsters on the last day of camp. Lipof founded Camp Micah, a co-ed Jewish camp located in Bridgton, in 2001. Since then, hundreds of campers have descended on the shores of Peabody Pond each summer. When the season is over, Lipof says, “I don’t get an after-summer lull.”
New Campers: One Camp’s Approach, One Family’s Experience

New Campers: One Camp’s Approach, One Family’s Experience

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Every camper has a first-time camp experience and preparing for camp can include questions and anxieties along with excitement.  At Camp Bishopswood, in Hope, Director Mike Douglass says that about 35 percent of the campers he greets each summer are there for the first time. Bishopswood sessions are as brief as a week long, and Douglass says he is committed to making that experience as positive as possible. That includes offering an “Open House Weekend,” where families can come for a night or two, and youngsters can try out camp activities. In addition, kids aged six to eight can participate in “Mini Camp,” a three-day, two-night immersion in an overnight camp experience.
Family Camp: Fun, Friendship and Relaxation for Kids of All Ages

Family Camp: Fun, Friendship and Relaxation for Kids of All Ages

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Who said camp is just for kids? Across Maine, most youngsters have packed their trunks, said good-bye to their fellow campers, and returned home to family and friends and preparations for school. Counselors, too, are getting ready for their fall activities – school or college or jobs. But the pleasure and enjoyment of camp activities endure at many camps, specifically at family camp programs. These programs host children, to be sure, but they also make camp fun available to adults. Touting rustic accommodations, three meals a day, and an array of camp activities – ranging from weaving to paddle boarding to archery – Maine camps for decades have shared the fun of a camp experience with kids of all ages.

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