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.

Counselor-Camper Relationships: Navigating the Gray Area

Counselor-Camper Relationships: Navigating the Gray Area

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When clinical psychologist and renowned camp industry consultant Chris Thurber worked with more than 50 camp employees at a training workshop in early July, his message was clear. The relationships between counselors and campers are grounded in camps’ missions. And camp counselors are in the unique position of making those missions come alive. That makes the counselor-camper connection the key to a successful summer.
Junior Maine Guide Rendezvous: Preparation for Next Week’s Test Camp

Junior Maine Guide Rendezvous: Preparation for Next Week’s Test Camp

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Next week, 70 youngsters attending camp in Maine will travel to the Stephen Phillips Memorial Preserve in Oquossoc, near Rangeley, for a five-day experience that could mark an accomplishment for a lifetime. Their destination? Junior Maine Guide Test Camp, where they will take more than 20 practical and written tests. Their goal? Junior Maine Guide certification, an achievement garnered by about 2700 Maine youth since the program’s inception in the late 1930s by an act of the Maine State Legislature. JMG Program Teaches a Broad Range of Outdoor Living Skills The JMG Program is a joint effort of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife and Maine Summer Camps, a membership organization of more than 120 Maine camps that...
Summer Earth Day: Camps Eating Local, Teaching Lessons at the Same Time

Summer Earth Day: Camps Eating Local, Teaching Lessons at the Same Time

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While the official Earth Day falls in April, camps throughout Maine celebrated their 3rd Annual Earth Day by focusing on eating local. The initiative of Maine Summer Camps, a membership organization of more than 120 Maine member camps, took place on July 7 and 8, and gave kids yet another chance to appreciate the resources of Maine. Camps Highlight Local Foods, Environmental Stewardship, And Sustainability For many camps, eating local is a way of life. Many Maine camps boast their own gardens; many Maine campers pitch in with weeding and harvesting. Similarly, camps across the state seek to foster an appreciation for the natural world as a core value and part of their missions. But Earth Day last week gave...
Conservation Camps: Teaching a New Generation of Outdoor Enthusiasts, Thanks to Moose Hunters

Conservation Camps: Teaching a New Generation of Outdoor Enthusiasts, Thanks to Moose Hunters

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Kids at camp in Maine learn a vast range of skills in all sorts of settings. And thanks to Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife (IFW), some of those youngsters have the chance to participate in conservation camp, coming away with certifications building a foundation for lifelong participation in outdoor recreation.   Moose hunting is benefitting hundreds of kids IFW supports scholarships at such camps – tuition assistance at three camps in different parts of the state. They are funded by none other than moose hunting permit proceeds. In fact, the State has authorized the auction of 10 such hunting permits annually; this year about $140,000 was raised, ranging from between $11,000 and $14,000 per permit. That love of...
Camp and Parents: Collaborating to Give Kids Successful Summers

Camp and Parents: Collaborating to Give Kids Successful Summers

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Camps across Maine are beginning their summer sessions. Youngsters from Maine, the U.S., and all over the world are gathering for experiences both familiar and new. And supporting those youngsters are parents and camp personnel working together. Parents are in a unique position, camp directors say. They are entrusting their kids to camp staff, and both before and during camp, parents play a meaningful role in helping their kids have a summer of fun, growth, and empowerment. At Alford Lake Camp, a girls’ camp in Hope, Certified Camp Director Sue McMullan says parents have a direct relationship with camp leadership. By reassuring parents that “we can’t wait to hear from them, they can call any time,” McMullan says parents feel...
Summer is Here; So Is Camp

Summer is Here; So Is Camp

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Across the state, camp directors are assembling their staffs, making last-minute maintenance repairs, watching the forecast, and awaiting the arrival of thousands of youngsters for another camp season. Regardless of the type of camp – coed and single gender, day and residential, arts and sports, traditional and tripping – camp personnel are putting in long hours in preparation for even longer ones. Camp is fun and challenging, a chance for kids to grow and learn. And for those who operate camps, the time has come – a culmination of months of off-season work to give youngsters experiences that make those months away from the classroom active and enjoyable and, yes, educational.
Camp Berwick: A Summer of Work, A Summer of Growth

Camp Berwick: A Summer of Work, A Summer of Growth

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Program promotes hard work and practical skills Each summer, on a 750-acre island two miles off the coast of Milbridge, as many as 50 boys beginning at age 12 live in community to work together for a common goal. Founded nearly 70 years ago, Camp Berwick is a program of the Berwick Boys Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Massachusetts whose goal is to “help teenage boys develop physically, mentally, and morally through experience in living and working with their peers.” The program philosophy promotes hard work, independence in conjunction with collaboration, and teaching specific practical skills all designed to build “responsible, determined and socially minded, contributing adults.”
The Maine Seacoast Mission’s EdGE Program: Teaching Skills and Resiliency to Kids in Washington County

The Maine Seacoast Mission’s EdGE Program: Teaching Skills and Resiliency to Kids in Washington County

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Educational Opportunities Outside the Classroom Across communities in Washington County, kids are getting the chance to develop skills, take positive risks, and learn resiliency. And for four weeks each summer, while they are outside their classrooms, they are building on those educational opportunities. The program is called EdGE, and it is operated by the Maine Seacoast Mission, a Bar Harbor-based nonprofit organization founded more than a century ago. EdGE, or Ed Greaves Education, is named after Ed Greaves, an Addison resident and Mission trustee who advocated for education and leadership opportunities for Downeast youth. EdGE turns 15 this summer and in that decade -and-a-half has provided afterschool and summer programs, plus leadership training for kids throughout Downeast Maine. The program...
The Teen Wilderness Expedition: Discovering what Piscataquis County has to Offer

The Teen Wilderness Expedition: Discovering what Piscataquis County has to Offer

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Connecting Youth to the Outdoors Despite Maine’s enormous natural beauty – from woods to lakes to coast – not all kids get outside. One organization, in conjunction with the Appalachian Mountain Club, is trying to change that. The Piscataquis Soil and Water Conservation District, based in Dover-Foxcroft, will offer its Teen Wilderness Expedition to kids aged 12-16 this summer. The program, launched four years ago thanks to a Maine Community Foundation grant, takes participants into the Maine woods for three days and two nights. The hope, says Educational Coordinator Kacey Weber, is to impart an appreciation for Maine’s outdoors, and maybe even plant the seed for career ideas campers hadn’t previously considered.
Farm Camps: Learning Sustainability, Hands-On

Farm Camps: Learning Sustainability, Hands-On

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Farm Camps Can Teach Sustainability Camps in Maine boast an enormous range of activities for kids of all ages. One subset of those camps are farm camps, where kids learn first-hand about the day-to-day activities that make a farm tick. From the 622-acre property of Wolfe’s Neck Farm to a small demonstration farm at Farm Camp in Cape Elizabeth, farm camps provide a unique opportunity to teach sustainability literally from the ground up.

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