The winter months are packed with holidays and unique occasions that make the calendar particularly exciting and enjoyable at this time of year. Between major holidays such as Christmas, Hanukkah, or other yuletide festivities, and of course the New Year, as well as other national holidays like Martin Luther King Day and Presidents’ Day, this time of year is full of days-off school and special occasions to celebrate. In much the same way, a summer at camp in Maine is filled with trips, shows, Color Wars, and other special events designed to shake up the routine of daily camp life, and to provide different opportunities for campers to get excited about. However, with many of winter’s holidays behind us, we are now settling into the routine of a new year – and so it is the perfect time to talk about the core of Maine’s successful camps: the daily, routine camp programming.
While there is no mistaking that special events at camp provide some of the most exciting and memorable experiences a child will have, the everyday programming is as, if not more, crucial to a child’s success during a summer away. The programs at Maine Camp Experience camps will vary in their structure or details, however each is designed in its own way to allow children to participate in the activities they love – in a supportive and structured environment – and to expose them to new activities that they simply haven’t yet had the opportunity to try.
Different camps approach this in different ways. While some camps will have an entirely structured schedule, in which all campers are assigned their whole schedule and required to attend all activities, other camps will have entirely elective schedules in which campers get to choose each activity they will pursue over the summer. And, of course, some camps will offer a combination programming, in which some activities are assigned and required for all campers, and others are selected on an elective basis. Regardless of what type of programming a camp offers, the goal will almost always be the same – to provide campers with top-notch instruction in the activities they love, as well as the activities they are new to, and to help them develop into well-rounded and skilled young adults.
Another aspect of the daily programming that is instrumental to camper development is one that is shared: clean up. As part of a camp’s basic programming, campers will be required to tidy up their bunks on a daily basis in order to maintain a standard level of cleanliness. In addition to making their beds and tidying up their areas, campers are also assigned jobs such as taking out the trash, sweeping the floors, or manning the dustpan. Clean-up, a crucial aspect of daily programming, not only teaches campers how to maintain basic levels of tidiness – a skill that many parents find disappears as soon as campers return home – but also teaches them how to work together towards a common goal.
Camp’s routine program accounts for a lot of activity and exercise – from sports & waterfront activities to arts & creative activities, your camper will be on the go pretty much all day. That’s why one of the most important aspects of daily programming is also one of the most overlooked – Rest Hour. Rest Hour, which is a part of the program at almost all Maine Camp Experience camps, is a designated time set aside for campers to unwind – perhaps talking, playing cards, or reading a book – and recoup their energy for the exciting afternoon ahead. While most campers will not be talking about the amazing Rest Hours they had over the course of a summer, this time in the bunk is an incredible time for forging friendships and memories with bunkmates, and is a good way to ensure that campers have the necessary energy to get through a long and exciting day at camp.
One final, vital aspect of a camp’s regular programming occurs after most activities have wrapped up for the day. In the evening, most camps will generally hold an evening activity, which is a special event that follows the day’s activities and dinnertime. These events can range in their scope and special effects – sometimes campers will be treated to a hypnotist’s show or a movie, other times they will have a time set aside to sing camp songs, and sometimes they may get to play laser tag or watch their fellow campers perform a musical. Whatever the specific events may be, evening activities are a great way to make sure that every day at camp is unique and special.
Most of the days a child spends at camp will ultimately be “routine” program days. However, just because these days aren’t specifically designated as event days, that doesn’t mean that they are not exciting or exhilarating. Maine Camp Experience camps provide incredible programming, top quality instruction, and intelligent additions to the day like Rest Hour and clean-up. This ensures that campers continue to develop while having the best summers of their lives. And remember, whether it’s a routine day or not, every day is special when you get to attend camp in Maine!
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.