New Year, New Beginnings: My Farewell (For Now) to Camp in Maine
December 31, 2019, by Jake
New Year, New Beginnings: My Farewell (For Now) to Camp in Maine
December 31, 2019, by Jake

The New Year is a time for new beginnings – and this year, this is particularly true for me. As I begin another chapter in my life, this will be my final blog for Maine Camp Experience. Also significant, when June 2020 rolls around, for the first time in years, I will not pack up my car and drive to Maine to spend the summer at camp. While I’m excited about a new chapter, it’s hard to say goodbye to what has been such a defining aspect of my post-college life – I would call it my professional life, but one amazing thing about camp is how deeply personal it is.

There’s so much I’ll miss about camp in Maine. I’ll miss the recurring moments that have colored my many summers – the moments of calm before rest hour ends, and the hours of buzzing energy when campers fill the fields and facilities.  I’ll miss the sight of the still lake on clear mornings, perfectly mirroring the pine trees on the shore. I’ll miss the smell of campfires and the sound of camp songs. I’ll miss forming relationships with counselors from all over the world, and having a meaningful impact on campers as they mature and develop into teens and young adults.

Above all else, I’ll miss waking up every day in Maine and feeling that sense of belonging. Each summer at camp has its own unique energy, its own character (and its own characters) – while I know I will always be a part of my camp’s family, I will not be at camp, and camp is something that demands presence. In fact, this presence is what is so unique and special about camp in Maine – the summer is forged over the course of hundreds of thousands of little moments, and it is the act of being present, of investing yourself in camp, that makes each summer so rewarding. Maybe this presence is a result of the lack of technology (it certainly helps); but I think people are present at camp because that is simply the spirit of the place. Camp is its own unique world – and I truly believe that is because people show up and work hard to make it so.

Of course, I’m confident I will find my way back to Maine – after 8 years as a camper and 4 as a staff member, I’m sure this is not goodbye forever. Just a few weeks ago I attended my camp’s annual reunion, and I’m sure I’ll visit again this summer (and I bet I’ll grab a lobster roll when I do). But this is certainly the end of a personal era – and as I move forward, I hope I will remember some of camp’s most poignant lessons. Camp has taught me to approach each day with energy and enthusiasm, it has taught me the impact of a well-timed surprise, and the importance of a good night’s sleep. Perhaps most importantly, camp has taught me how big of a difference you can make just by being nice. For now, I leave the Maine Camp Experience blog in good hands with Ali, another Maine camp alum with many great blogs to come. And who knows, maybe you’ll see me again someday – after all, you never really say goodbye to camp. While I may not be returning to camp this summer, I’m confident camp will stay with me forever – and every pine tree will carry camp’s lessons and remind me of my magical summers in Maine.

Maine Camp Experience Resources & Tools

You can share your own Maine camps memories & expressions of gratitude on our Memories of Camp section of our website.

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.

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“I greatly enjoyed speaking with Laurie (Guide at Maine Camp Experience). Thanks to her guidance, ideas and suggestions we truly feel that our ultimate choice is the right one for us. We can trust that our seven year old daughter will have a wonderful summer!”

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