A Guest Post by our very own Maine Camp Guide, Laurie K
MCE was thrilled to be among the hundreds of attendees representing several Maine tourism constituents at the recent 2013 Governor’s Conference on Tourism. The purpose was to discuss Maine’s tourism goals, network with partners, and attend business development sessions about visitor needs and interests. Among the attendees – and representing the premier camps of Maine Camp Experience – were Pam Cobb Heuberger, owner/director of Camp Runoia, Peter Kassen, owner/director of Hidden Valley Camp, and me, your Maine Camp Guide, who provides personalized guidance and information to families who want to find the right Maine camp for their children.
The conference was held at the beautiful and newly renovated Samoset Resort in Rockport, ME, on the stunning Maine coast. A highlight from the two-day session was the introduction of the state’s new ad campaign: “The Maine Thing.” It highlights unique individuals from around the state, known as “Insiders,” who represent and live the authenticity, originality, and special qualities of Maine. If you’re already a Maine camp family … you know exactly what they’re talking about.
We began with an in-depth planning session that addressed the focus and goals for the Maine Office of Tourism over the next five years. We were particularly vocal at that forum, hoping to ensure that Maine’s sleepaway camps are consistently an important part of the conversation. Maine’s summer camps represent a major contribution to Maine Tourism – camp families generate more than 130,000 visitor days each year as they make vacations out of both camp tours and annual camp visiting days. In fact, after being exposed to Maine through their child’s experience with Maine summer camps, many camp families enjoy additional Maine vacations or even purchase vacation homes in the state. And who could blame them?
The second day of the Conference included an enthusiastic opening from Governor Paul LePage, an engaging and entertaining keynote address by adventure travel writer Doug Lansky, a trade show, and workshop sessions with industry experts including TripAdvisor.
We traveled very comfortably in Town Car service provided by Northeast Charter & Tour, a Maine Camp Experience business partner. We enjoyed dinners in the charming town of Camden at 40 Paper (the grilled squid, cannellini bean and arugula appetizer was a hit!) and Café Miranda – a favorite of the locals. We stopped in Wiscasset twice (on the way to AND from the airport) to pick up lunchtime sandwiches at TREATS – an amazing specialty food market.
Overall, it was a great trip for us to highlight the importance of Maine’s youth summer camps and celebrate the special qualities and uniqueness of Maine. We were so excited to meet and collaborate with partners to bring our camp families great tourism opportunities, discuss ways to enhance the visitor experience, and grow Maine’s tourism. Speaking of which …
Now is a great time for families to plan their 2013 summer visits to Maine for camp this summer, and to research and tour camps for summer 2014. We encourage you to use the resources on this site, contact our Maine Guide for personalized information, and share information with your friends. We look forward to welcoming back our camp families, as well as our first-time families whom we hope will discover the transformative and unforgettable experience of summer camp in Maine.
Talk to Laurie, our Maine Campcierge™, about choosing the right camp for your child and what to do in Maine.