Playing Host: How Maine Camps Get Ready for Visiting Day
July 21, 2016, by Kristy
Playing Host: How Maine Camps Get Ready for Visiting Day
July 21, 2016, by Kristy

For those children who spend summers at camp, the time spent among counselors and campers is broken up by one very special day: Visiting Day! After half a summer spent away from home, communicating solely via letters and the occasional phone call, campers will finally be reunited with their parents and grandparents for a full day of activities, family fun, and their favorite foods. In a summer filled with exciting moments and experiences, there is a different kind of delight in the air as the camps plan to play host to everyone’s families. And like most everything in camp … Visiting Day is planned and prepared for well in advance. Here’s a little insider information on everything that happens before that magical moment when campers and parents get their first, sweet embrace.

While all the camps and their facilities are in excellent shape all summer long, they are in constant use by campers who are trying new things, perfecting old skills, and having a blast. Playing host means readying the campers, the cabins, and the campgrounds for the arrival of loving parents, siblings, and relatives. For the campers, this includes making sure all laundry is thoroughly cleaned, and pristine uniforms and favorite outfits are set aside for this important celebration. And while it’s always vital to ensure cleanliness at camp, there is particular emphasis placed on grooming in the days leading up to visiting day. Many fingernails and toenails will be clipped by an assembly line of dutiful counselors, and showers will be had the evening before parents arrive. For many female campers, they will carefully choose what hairstyle to don for their family’s arrival.

Similarly, there will be particular attention paid to the details of the bunk – every nook and cranny of the cabin will be swept and attended to; shelves will be reorganized; clothes will be refolded; cubby shelves and drawers will be restocked.

Finally, the campgrounds themselves get some extra love in the lead-up to Visiting Day. The grass will be watered again; tree limbs and flowers will be trimmed and manicured. The fields will all be relined – a personal favorite of mine since this will be my responsibility this summer – and the grass will be cut. All sheds will be checked and double checked, and any stray or out-of-place pieces of equipment will find their way back to their proper homes. By the time Visiting Day arrives, camp will be a step beyond its usual well-ordered beauty to truly pristine.

At this point, the kids are excited. They can’t wait to run to their parents for that ecstatic reunion and big hug. They are excited about the “Visiting Day Lists”  they’ve sent to their parents with all their food and sweet requests for a little taste of home. And of they can’t wait  to show off their camp that they are so proud of, the things they have accomplished so far, and the new friends they have made.

Of course, it’s vitally important to recognize that every single one of the preparatory steps listed above are not saved exclusively for Visiting Day. Throughout the summer, counselors are constantly attentive and always ensure that your child is cleaned and well-groomed. Similarly, campers clean their bunks every single day, and the maintenance of the campgrounds is a never-ending cycle of trimming and tending – in fact, many camps never go a week without having the fields relined. But Visiting Day is a special day, and as such it requires some special attention to ensure that everything is ready to go when it comes time to welcome the camp families to a plot of paradise in Maine. After all, a good host always puts their best foot forward.

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.

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