As a camper who loved sports, I participated in my fair share of intercamp sports games and tournaments – and we used to compete against one camp in particular on an annual basis. Summer after summer we would compete – the games would be close and well-contested, and both camps certainly fostered the façade of rivalry and healthy competition. However, years later I had an epiphany about this relationship, which had so seemed charged throughout my many summers: our two camps were on wonderful terms. Whenever we traveled to this camp for intercamp competitions, we were welcomed, and oftentimes fed. If somebody scraped their knee, their nursing staff would promptly attend to the issue. And for both camps, sportsmanship reigned supreme: after every game, no matter how hard-fought, campers would line up and shake hands, and each camp would sing a cheer. In short, the rivalry I had cherished as a child had not been the result of some mutual dislike rooted in camp history – instead, it was a carefully fostered partnership designed to provide another positive dimension to campers’ summers.
One incredible advantage of attending a Maine Camp Experience (MCE) camp is that your child will join a network of premier camps that work together in order to create unparalleled camp experiences. During the summer season, camps get together to organize incredible events – intercamp competitions, tournaments, swim meets, horse shows, regattas, and more allow athletic campers to show their skills and represent their camps with pride, while acapella and dance competitions allow artists to show their stuff. The camp I work at even participates in an intercamp camp spelling bee each summer, which is always a great opportunity for our young academics to flex their thinking muscles!
Of course, the partnerships between Maine camps stretch well beyond competition and rivalry. Each summer, Maine camps will also come together for a variety of events such as cook-outs, playdates, brother-sister days, or (well-supervised) camp socials. This past summer, the camp I work at invited a nearby camp to watch fireworks on the lake in July, which was a great opportunity for friends from home to reconnect, and for siblings at different camps to enjoy the show together. Sometimes these events will include more than one camp – at one event I chaperoned last year, there were more than five (perhaps even more than ten) camps attending, and the campers (and counselors) loved the evening-long opportunity to step outside of the camp social circle.
Perhaps one of the most unique and meaningful aspects about the relationships between MCE camps, however, is how these relationships extend to the off-season. Each year, MCE camp directors come together in Portland to discuss opportunities to collaborate and grow together. MCE Directors join forces to promote incredible causes across their various camp platforms, helping raise awareness and funds for important groups like World of Change and Camp Sunshine.
MCE camps are drawn together by a common set of values and a common goal – they exist to help young people grow, develop, and mature into the best versions of themselves, all while having incredible amounts of fun and forming memories that will last a lifetime. By embracing this lofty goal in partnership and working together, MCE camps provide their campers with opportunities beyond what a single camp could provide – ultimately, Maine camps are simply better together!
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. You can share your own Maine camps memories & expressions of gratitude on our Memories of Camp section of our website.
Talk to Laurie, our Maine Campcierge™, about choosing the right camp for your child and what to do in Maine.