Every kid loves a carnival, and carnivals at Maine camps are a next-level experience! Just imagine enjoying the most fun and special foods, rides, and attractions, all with your very best friends, and no parents: no mom’s hand to hold, no dad worrying that you might get lost, and no one saying you’ve eaten too much. Camp carnivals give kids the best of two worlds: the childlike excitement of a special event, combined with adult-like independence (other than a counselor or two for the youngest of campers) in a contained environment. And no money is needed to go on the rides!
Camp carnivals may be held during the daytime or evening, but they are eagerly anticipated no matter what time of day or what stage of the summer they occur. Carnivals are a great way to celebrate the 4th of July, the start of camp or the ending of camp; they are also a super fun warm-up to Visiting Day, or a useful distraction following Visiting Day after the parents leave.
Hopefully, the weather is perfect for the festivities to begin. Like at any other carnival, campers generally enjoy a wide range of rides, activities and carnival food. Bounce houses, water slides, human foosball, and inflatable activities of every kind abound. Photo booths, face painting, spin art, obstacle courses, games and more are available for all. Dessert trucks, funnel cakes, cotton candy, popcorn and sno-cones are just a few of the delicious treats for campers to enjoy.
Every camp that offers a carnival has its own traditions and fun surprises. Some camps invite campers’ siblings, and possibly cousins, to attend. One year, a boys camp in Maine invited six other entire camps to their carnival! Very often, campers plan costumes in advance, or bring special clothes or outfits to wear just for the occasion. Even counselors and owners join in the fun and don their own carnival garb. A few camps organize their entire carnival around a theme, and the activities and dress flow from there. Some use carnival in a competitive fashion, organizing the campers into teams for carnival-themed matches or relay races, with prizes for the winning teams. And don’t forget the beautiful Maine lakes on a carnival day: carnivals are always a perfect opportunity to enjoy water or swim activities, especially if they fall on a particularly hot day.
Similar to other events during the summer, carnivals can be more than just good fun: they can function as yet another vehicle for fostering important values and lessons in our campers. An older camper who is tasked with running a carnival booth has to be both responsible and independent. A bunk or tent charged with creating a carnival stall must work collaboratively, utilizing their planning and creativity skills. Campers in charge of picking music or decorations for the carnival have to think about people other than themselves, and consider what everyone in camp would enjoy hearing and seeing: the details that will make that carnival even more special than it is already planned to be.
At the end of the carnival, when all the treats have been eaten, and the rides, games and decorations are all gone, the campers are left with big smiles and happy memories from yet another amazing day at a Maine Camp.
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.