If you head to a camp’s beach on a sunny summer afternoon in Maine, the beautiful blue lake will be speckled with splashes of color. Sails, oars, and life jackets pop in the distance, as campers take to the water for amazing boating opportunities at Maine Camp Experience (MCE) camps. These boating activities have provided amazing opportunities to generations of Maine campers, and continue to be a staple of summers at camp.
The waterfront is a vibrant part of life at MCE camps. At MCE camps, kids improve their swimming skills, enjoy free swims, learn to waterski, wakeboard and kneeboard, and even play games like water polo. Of course, another staple of life at the lake would have to be the amazing boating opportunities that abound at MCE camps. Camp’s first-class counselors and pictueresque lakes create the perfect environment for budding boaters. Campers learn their bows and sterns, and many develop mastery of the boating skills that can last a lifetime.
Camps will generally offer a number of different vessels to try out. A “smallcraft” or “watercraft” department might host kayaks, canoes, CORCLs (small round boats), stand-up paddleboards, and a variety of different sailboats. Different camps will have different approaches to how they expose campers to these activities – some camps may group all within the smallcraft department, while others may have separate activities for sailing, canoeing, and kayaking. Other camps might make certain boats available to campers who want to enjoy the lake, while also providing an opportunity for those who want technical instruction in everything from kayaking and canoeing, to sailing Sunfishes or larger boats. No matter how a camp approaches these activities, you can be sure campers will have plenty of time to enjoy life on the water.
Since MCE camps hire top-notch counselors, campers have the opportunity to develop real mastery of different watercrafts. At my MCE camp, there are a number of campers who receive certifications from the American Canoeing Association or American Sailing Association each summer, and this is true for a number of camps in Maine. Of course, you don’t have to be an expert to enjoy life in a boat – camps cater to boaters of all skill levels, and allow kids opportunities to simply enjoy being on a boat. In fact, last summer my camp offered a popular “Reading and Rafting” activity, where campers simply took a boat onto the lake and enjoyed a reading book while enjoying the tranquility of a beautiful Maine lake.
While MCE camps have amazing lakes, there are also a number of opportunities for campers to explore local rivers and lakes on canoe or sailing trips. On canoe river trips, which can sometimes accompany overnights, campers will put the skills they’ve learned in to the test while experiencing Maine’s natural beauty. Campers in Maine may also spend a day sailing on a new lake – which can be a great way to see a little more of the region (and maybe find stronger winds on a still day). And for those who really like to sail, they might even get a chance to visit another camp for some friendly competition at an intercamp regatta
Boating activities have been a staple at Maine camps since many were founded over 100 years ago. They provide campers with opportunities to have fun, to develop lifelong skills, and to explore Maine’s incredible wilderness. So next summer, when we head down to the beach on a sunny day, maybe you’ll be one of those specks on the water enjoying one of the wonderful watercrafts at camp in Maine!
Maine Camp Experience Resources & Tools
Looking for the perfect Maine camp for your child? Try out our helpful tool where you can select a camp by choosing: type of camp (girls, boys or coed) and session length (1-8 weeks). It helps to narrow down a few camps to a manageable list that includes rates. Then you can research these camps in more depth.
Next, be sure to contact our Maine Camp Guide, Laurie to discuss these camps as well as for free, year-round advice and assistance on choosing a great Maine summer camp for your child.
Talk to Laurie, our Maine Campcierge™, about choosing the right camp for your child and what to do in Maine.