It’s the High Holidays in the Jewish religion – a time many in the Maine Camp community will observe Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Reflection, renewal, hope, forgiveness, repentance, and joy are all a part.
As we celebrate, we look at what we did well, and how we can do better. A great thinker and orator, Rabbi Leiken shared: “On Rosh Hashanah, we celebrate the capacity to do great things.” For example, he spoke about human ingenuity to create inventions and advances that help improve our lives. Also he spoke about the importance of helping the community – that we are responsible for more than ourselves. What makes us happy is more than just focusing on ourselves but connectivity. And what makes the world a better place is helping others.
These lessons of community, helping others, and making the world a better place are a big part of the experience of going to overnight camp in Maine. When children leave their homes, they open their eyes to the world around them. They meet people from all over. They see new people. Eat new foods. See new places on trips. Try new activities. They’re growing as individuals as they’re also becoming part of the community. They see what it’s like to live communally in a cabin or tent with others, and how to keep the cabin neat together. They are part of a bunk, an age group, a division, a camp, and the Maine Camp community at large.
While campers are acclimating, they are also helping others. They may teach a friend how to make stitches in a lanyard or string a friendship bracelet. They may give a friend pointers about how to sink a layup on the basketball court, and they may even help cheer up a friend who may be feeling a little homesick. The friends, counselors, and camp community are also there to help celebrate a summer birthday, and to make it special when a camper’s tooth falls out, or to applaud when a camper gets up on water skis or climbs to the top of the rock wall. And, beyond just what happens to campers in camp, Maine campers make a difference in the lives of those beyond. We see this with the social action initiatives campers take like donating change to World of Change, helping Camp Sunshine, and aiding food pantries, animal shelters, elderly care centers, environmental causes like ocean clean ups, and beyond. Camp is really a great place to open our eyes to the larger world, build character, and help others. This in turn helps the world become a better place. And, that is worth celebrating!
As observants tossed sins away by symbolically throwing bread into ponds, lakes, rivers, and oceans (Tashlich) – we rejoice as we begin a new year. It’s a time to think about doing good, being our best selves, and helping others which in turn helps the world. We want to preserve the world and make it a better place for ourselves and generations to come. Similarly at camp, we hope that future generations of campers will continue to benefit from the incredible natural beauty of Maine Camps, the warm and robust community, and the wonderful, long standing traditions built on years and years (many of our camps have been running for over 100 years!).
So during this time of reflection, hope, and joy, we wish everyone a sweet, happy, and healthy New Year, and we can’t wait to be together again in summer 2024.
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.