Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start to summer, is a time we honor military servicemen and women. It’s also a time traditionally spent with family and friends at barbecues, beaches, and gatherings at pools. And, while this year will be different as we’re unable to truly gather together, the tradition of spending time outdoors remains the same. And, during this time, if there’s one thing to be thankful for, it is the beauty of the outdoors and the nature around so many of us— even if just taking advantage of parks in cities!
As we’ve heard throughout the past few months, in both the US and countries abroad, as this pandemic has kept people in their homes and slowed transportation and general movement, a drop in CO2 emissions all across the globe has meant that nature has received, well, a breath of fresh air, and a much-needed respite and revival. The skies are clearer and the waters are cleaner – making way for fish and wildlife to thrive. For example, in the Venice canals, one can once again see through near-transparent water and gaze at jellyfish and other species. Peaks of mountains once hidden by smog are again revealed, and the largest hole in the Arctic ozone layer has recently closed.
As always, this makes us think about Maine and its natural beauty. At camp, the average day-to-day allows us to be more sustainable and Earth-conscious than we might be at home. We consume less electricity, fill our reusable water bottles, cut down on food waste, and create less trash. But beyond these natural camp tendencies, our Maine camps go a step further. Our camps pride themselves on the many impressive ways in which they try to be environmentally conscious. We asked a few of our camps what they have done recently to give a little extra love to Earth, and were not disappointed by our findings!
At one of our Maine camps, over 40 kilowatts of solar panels have recently been installed, in addition to a single-sort recycling dumpster and extensive erosion control for their beautiful Maine lake. Plastic cup usage was reduced by 20,000 cups in a single summer, and disposable utensils were removed in favor of extra silverware— a camper-initiated program!
Another Maine Camp Experience camp introduced exclusive farm-to-table produce, a new program which is both delicious and impressively environmentally conscious. Composting and recycling are essential at this camp and are maintained by a partnership with Maine-based Clynk recycling. This camp even partners with Trees for the Future to plant trees all year round.
Sustainability at Maine camps is not just impressive and important for the Earth— it’s also fun for campers and counselors alike! One MCE camp which recently instituted a gardening activity to improve their environmentalism found that the process was an exciting, and tasty success. An MCE camp assistant director found that gardening instilled campers with “a love and curiosity for tending to the environment,” as “campers are able to watch, day after day, the progress of the plants they care for.” Additionally, he notes that campers learn skills beyond just gardening through this experience— as they understand the “delicate balance of the environment and the general cause and effects of their actions.” And, perhaps most importantly, he notes that this care for the environment learned during the summer often carries over to life outside of camp: “We hear stories of campers starting their own gardens because of camp, and they’re better able to identify plants around them.”
Maine Camps provide campers with the opportunity not just to appreciate nature and their environment, but to learn more about it, and to care for the living things around them. We at MCE are proud of all the efforts our camps have made to care for our Earth, particularly in this time where we have found even more solace in nature.
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.