A day at camp in Maine is always filled with laughter. During a summer spent with your best friends, it’s easy to appreciate the humor in little situations, and one simple story can somehow bring a whole cabin to raucous laughter. And of course, at times, things can get downright silly. That’s why – with April Fools’ Day coming up this week – we wanted to celebrate the good-natured pranks at Maine Camps that keep everybody on their toes, and everybody laughing.
At the Maine Camp Experience camp I work at, I am the Landsports director – which means many hot days spent under the Maine sun. One of my favorite ways to bond with my fellow Landsports staff is to help them cool off in the heat: by dumping my liter bottle of water on them when they least expect it. Of course, it’s important to use discretion when deciding who to pull this (or any) prank on – I make sure to only pour my bottle on staff members (as I’m certainly not trying to make any campers feel picked on), and even the staff members I choose are one’s I know will be able to see the act as a joke. And, as the saying goes, if you’re going to dish it out you have to be willing to take it – I have been drenched by countless counselors and campers alike, and find that being a willing victim to this kind of prank only increases the feeling of positivity and good energy that I strive to cultivate.
If there is any area of camp that lends itself particularly well to pranking, it might be the dining hall. When a camper or counselor gets up from their table, campers love to coordinate with the surrounding tables so that, when the camper or counselor returns and sits down, everyone in the surrounding area immediately stands up. Of course, once again it’s important to ensure that there’s no way the prank can be construed as mean spirited – counselors will use their judgment, and if a camper or counselor is particularly sensitive, a counselor can make sure they are not be made the object of this joke.
Another favorite dining hall prank at my camp involves the infamous “tray theft.” Meals at camp are served family style: each table will send up a camper to pick up a tray with the hot food. When they get back to the table, they will take the various dishes from the tray and put it under a counselor’s seat until it’s time to bring the dishes back at the end of the meal. However, during the meal, a sneaky camper or counselor may be able to purloin a tray from an unsuspecting table. While it may seem small, on a midsummer day it is absolutely hilarious to watch a counselor grope under their chair only to realize the tray they have been reaching for has been stolen from under their nose!
At some camps, a prank may be tied to a special occasion. For example, at one Maine Camp Experience camp, there’s a tradition that any camper who has a birthday while at camp gets to celebrate by choosing one counselor who will be thrown in the lake! There’s different ways to approach this of course – you can send your favorite counselor into the water, or (if you’re feeling particularly devilish) you can choose the counselor who seems most resistant to taking the plunge. Either way, it’s a sure way to generate laughs among campers when a counselor ends up emerging soaking wet from the water.
The incredible bonds of friendship made at Maine Camps are the core of every incredible experience – there is a reason say your camp friends are your best friends. And the core of many of these bonds is the laughter we share. Camp provides an incredible environment for sharing jokes and pranks, and this laughter links us together over the course of one or many summers. And I personally cannot wait to return to Maine for another summer of laughter, humor, and good natured fun – just make sure you keep your eyes on your tray.
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.