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.

Ways Maine camps contribute to kids’ growth and development

Ways Maine camps contribute to kids’ growth and development

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Living in cabins and tents. No electronics.  Exploring mountains and waterways. Taking risks, learning new skills, fostering lifelong friendships. Maine’s youth camp season will be in full swing in a matter of weeks.  Tens of thousands of youngsters from around the country and all over the world will soon arrive for a summer of living and learning in the state’s vast natural beauty.  At some Maine camps, these activities have taken place for more than a century.  Camp personnel who have devoted decades to these institutions say that in some respects camps have certainly changed over the years. But they agree that in a number of ways – many key elements to a beneficial camp experience – camp is much...
Camp Directors, Facing Hiring Challenges, Pitch Benefits of Camp Jobs

Camp Directors, Facing Hiring Challenges, Pitch Benefits of Camp Jobs

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“I really believe a summer camp job is an internship in leadership.” Garth Altenburg, director of boys’ Camp Chewonki in Wiscasset, isn’t alone. Several camp directors facing a hiring crunch for the summer season say working at a camp provides young adults with a skill set both sought by post-graduation employers, and not easily gained in other job settings.
Camps Rise to the Challenge of Addressing Food Allergies and Intolerances

Camps Rise to the Challenge of Addressing Food Allergies and Intolerances

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Above all, camps directors want kids to have positive experiences: friendships, abundant activities, and – in the case of residential camps – cabin life, all factor into how much campers enjoy themselves. But an additional and crucial element of the camp experience is the food. And for a subset of campers, those with food allergies, intolerances, or other dietary restrictions, eating at camp can be more complicated. Fortunately, camps across Maine are welcoming the opportunity to meet those campers’ dietary needs – and in some cases changing a summer camp experience from a wish to a reality.
New Camp Committee Finding Ways to Give Back

New Camp Committee Finding Ways to Give Back

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When the summer camp season ends, most camp personnel return to their work or school endeavors. But Maine camps also have year-round employees, a core group whose members often wear many hats in performing the vast range of tasks associated with operating youth camps. Some of those year-round employees are in the early stages of their professional camp careers; many have ascended to their positions after years as campers and seasonal staff members. In the past year a group of such young camp professionals has joined forces to form the Maine Summer Camps Outreach Committee.  Their goal is multi-faceted, says Kristy Andrews, assistant director at Camp Wawenock, a girls’ camp in Raymond. Andrews, along with Matt Pines, a director at...
Maine Summer Camps Face Challenge of Hiring Nurses

Maine Summer Camps Face Challenge of Hiring Nurses

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Each summer, residential youth camps across the state enroll thousands of youngsters from throughout the country and around the world. And each of those Maine camps employs nurses to meet the health care needs of campers and staff alike. As pre-season planning moves into its final stages, some of those camps still have vacancies on their nursing staffs.
Girls with Grit: Camp Director Shares Tips for Building Resilient Leaders

Girls with Grit: Camp Director Shares Tips for Building Resilient Leaders

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                When camp personnel gathered in New Hampshire earlier this month for the annual American Camp Association-New England conference they were offered dozens of workshops for improving camp operations. Among the presenters was Sarah Gordon Littlefield, director of Vermont’s Aloha Camp, a residential camp for girls aged 12-17.  Littlefield delivered a wide-ranging talk, offering her audience background on the current gender gap in the U.S., concepts underlying female adolescent development, characteristics of safe communities that help develop leadership skills, and ideas for creating those safe spaces. And her message was clear: girls can be resilient, confident leaders. And camps can help make that happen.               Littlefield began her presentation with statistics exemplifying the...
The Benefits of Being Device-Free at Camp

The Benefits of Being Device-Free at Camp

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Camp offers kids a vast array of benefits – time in nature, new skills, and lifelong friendships. But at many camps there’s another perk – weeks free from devices. No phones, no screens, no social media. And while it may take a few days of adjustment, camp directors say kids gain on a whole range of fronts, from their appreciation of the outdoors, to their ability to socialize, to the quality of their sleep.
9th Annual Maine Summer Camps Fair This Sunday in Portland

9th Annual Maine Summer Camps Fair This Sunday in Portland

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Families looking for Maine youth camp experiences this summer will have a unique opportunity on Sunday to find out just how many options kids have.  Maine Summer Camps, a non-profit membership organization supporting more than 120 Maine camps, will holds its ninth annual Maine Summer Camps Fair on Sunday, March 18. The fair will take place from 1-3:30 p.m. at East End School, 195 North Street, in Portland. MSC Anticipates 70 Camps to Partake in the Fair Ron Hall, executive director of Maine Summer Camps, says the organization anticipates about 70 camps to participate, “everything from magic camp to drama camp to music camp to science camp.” Hall says the fair will include traditional overnight camps, agency camps such as...
Kamp Kohut: Fostering Opportunities for Kids to “Glow”

Kamp Kohut: Fostering Opportunities for Kids to “Glow”

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Lisa Tripler owns and directs Oxford’s Kamp Kohut with her husband, attorney Dan Rapaport. And back in the early 90s, when the couple contemplated purchasing the camp property, Tripler says she “managed to convince my husband that this would be the dream of a lifetime.” His response, she says, was to fully support her – and concede that at the very worst the purchase would be a sound real estate investment. But the dream has been coming true for a quarter century. Nearly twenty-six years after that purchase, Kamp Kohut continues to thrive as a unique co-ed camp, what Tripler calls a “brother-sister model.” “I want them to leave glowing,” she says, “just feeling really proud of themselves for learning...
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...

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