As we wind down with our kids’ final week of Maine summer camps, “this one is especially bittersweet,” shares our Campcierge™ Laurie whose older daughter is finishing her eighth and final camper summer. Laurie shares here about Maine Camps’ final week traditions, and what camp has meant to her daughter and her family.
The final week of camp is one of the most emotional weeks you could ever imagine. It often starts on an exhilarating note with electric energy during Color War/College Days/Jamboree/Olympics. There is so much spirit, laughter, teamwork, sportsmanship, and heart shown at the fun activities. There is magic in Maine!
When that’s over, camp reunites for traditions like final campfires led by senior campers holding hands as they walk along lined paths one last time – lighting candles and then passing the torch, end-of-summer banquets, painting cabin plaques for campers to commemorate the summer and leave their mark, packing trunks, and writing bus/plane notes for counselors and friends. On the final night, many campers will put their sleeping bags and mattresses on the floor of the cabins to all be together. Then … departure day, which frankly may feel like having your heart ripped out. It’s a testament to the love of the camp and a love of the friends made at camp. On the final morning, there are tight hugs and teary goodbyes at camp as campers head their separate ways, or at the bus or plane for those fortunate to have a couple extra hours together.
Experiencing camp is the passage of time – of the days and the years – without necessarily noticing that in each day and year – memories were being created, kids were learning life skills, and they were all so fortunate for growing together in this wonderful place. From the little girls and boys who came from all over – stepping off the bus and into camp to embark on their first camp summer, to many years later as they’ve bonded and grown – taller, wiser, more worldly, and more independent, we are thankful for this incredible time in their lives. Camp is a part of who they are and who they’ve become. It’s lessons, experiences, and relationships they’ll carry forever and build upon. And, for those lucky enough to still have camp summers ahead, the countdown already begins as campers live 10 months for 2 months – looking forward to when they will reunite again on the Maine shores.
While the adage shares, “don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened” – I’m going to do both. I will always smile when I think of my kids at camp – dressed up crazy, at activities, on trips, with friends – experiencing life. Snapshots imprinted on my mind of them learning to sail, playing intercamps, performing in the dance shows, broadcasting from the radio station, completing Lake Swim, hugging friends, and serving as the younger “camp sister” then becoming the older. I will always treasure the times that they had at camp and that we had when we came to visit. The weekends we got to spend in Maine enjoying the sights and the food on our own and with the wonderful camp parents who became some of our favorite and most treasured friends. Camp will always have a piece of our hearts.
We are so thankful to the wonderful Maine Camp directors who take such good care of our kids. To these directors who keep them safe, give them opportunities to thrive, and who provide non-stop activities, events, traditions, trips, and programs that were engaging, fun, and meaningful.
It’s really hard to close this chapter, but when the book was this good, we pause with deep appreciation and …
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.