Almost every afternoon this summer, as I sat warmed by the beautiful Maine sun and cooled by the breeze off the lake, I would turn to a fellow staff member and say, “We are so lucky to be here right now.”
Gratitude is at the core of camp spirit – it’s recognizing that, no matter what personal struggles you encounter, no matter how long the days are or how challenging the nights may be, that there are things to cherish and enjoy. Camp is such a wonderful place – the natural beauty, the bonds of friendship, and the strength of tradition truly make Maine Summer Camps a unique environment, and this is certainly deserving of gratitude. So as Thanksgiving approaches, I asked a few fellow camp-lovers to share what aspects of camp they are thankful for – below are the responses of the wonderful campers, alumni, staff members, directors & assistant directors who share a passion for camp in Maine.
Campers & Alumni Are Thankful For . . .
My camp friends, activities like the play and color war!
Campfires, traditions like camp songs, getting to be in a place that’s so pretty, and the camp spirit.
The friends I have made at camp. Throughout the year whenever I have a problem I always go to them for help. They always listen and give me advice.
The fact that camp has allowed me to meet my best friends whom I would nave never crossed paths with otherwise.
The way camp allowed me to create my own identity as an individual, while being part of a community I am proud of.
The opportunity to meet amazing people from all over the world. The bonds you form at camp are so special and unlike anything I have ever experienced.
The lessons camp taught me about how to challenge myself and take risks.
The opportunity to give back to a camp that has given me so much. Working as a counselor has provided me with the ability to help instill my camp’s values and pass on our traditions to the next generation.
My incredible camp experience, whether it was being a camper or counselor. I am thankful for the family that my camp has creating and kept in touch with not only during the summer, but throughout the year.
Staff Are Thankful For. . .
The people camp brings together. A connection created by the coming together of staff, campers, parents and the community at large is a very special one. It that allows each person to be an individual, while learning from one another as friendships are forged that will last a lifetime.
The fact that camp gives me a second family – it is so comforting to know that I always have my summer camp environment to lean on.
The two months I spend every year in a place that is imbued with the spirit of warmth and empathy, where people come together to embrace what makes camp such a truly special place.
Directors & Assistant Directors Are Thankful For. . .
The opportunity I have to help girls grow into strong women. I am thankful for how camp builds community beyond the summer months, for the testimonials from parents who feel camp has shaped their children’s lives, and for the staff who claim camp is the best part of their lives.
The weeks of tech-free play that kids enjoy! I am thankful to be able to open up boys to a world much bigger than oneself, to spend summers outdoors on an incredible lake, and for the fact that the camaraderie of camp will last forever. I am thankful for being an integral part of human development.
The privilege of spending 24 of the 34 summers of my life at my favorite place – every day I am thankful for each and every one of those summers. I am grateful for the 8 carefree summers I spent as camper learning and trying new things, developing independence, growing my confidence, making life-long friendships, and being taught that girls can do anything. I equally thankful for the summers working as a counselor where friendships from around the world were made, leadership skills and patience learned, and the opportunity to teach campers all the lessons I was once taught. Today, I am thankful that camp has given me the opportunity to continue to experience all this things every single day of the year.
The feeling that I am the luckiest person on Earth. I am so blessed to wake up every day with a purpose so deep and so inspiring. To me, it is my passion to make the world a better place for children. It is my mission to help bring joy to children and give them a special place to call their summer home. Being a mother is my most important and proudest job. Like most mothers, I would walk to the ends of the earth for my three sons. Imagine knowing I would walk that same perimeter for my campers. I sometimes am overwhelmed at the notion that hundreds of children come through our gates and find a haven of love and warmth like no other. Only camp people get that notion. The counting down to camp begins the minute the children leave in August. I think that is because at camp, our campers are nurtured, not judged, accepted no matter what, and we are family. Everyone is a member of that family for their own unique gifts. Why am I the luckiest person? I get countless daily hugs, I am a confidant to the staff and campers, I may actually be cool at camp, and most importantly, I know we have worked very, very hard to create the most amazing place on earth for kids to come be kids. Before each summer begins, my husband and I take a deep breath because being a camp director is an awesome responsibility. We have to keep all of your precious cargo safe at all cost. But as soon as we drive down the driveway and start singing our camp song, it is easy to remember why we are the luckiest. To go from being mom of 3 to mom of hundreds is the most gratifying and awesome experience anyone can ask for.
Thank you so much to all of our enthusiastic respondents – Maine Camp Experience wishes everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving and holiday season!
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 Campcierge™ 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.