Earth Day is always a wonderful time to appreciate everything our planet has to offer, and to focus on the steps we can take in order to protect our natural environment. A summer at camp spent in Maine offers kids, especially those who hail from more industrialized areas, with an opportunity to experience the natural beauty Maine has to offer. Additionally, Maine camps take many steps to ensure that their operations – including food sourcing and waste disposal – are handled in an environmentally sustainable way, and can preserve the beauty of a summer spent in Maine for generations of campers to come.
Of course, one great benefit of camp is the fact that it exposes campers at a young age to the natural beauty of Maine and New England. Many camps have well-developed nature programs, which teach campers about the flora and fauna native to Maine, and help them understand the steps that must be taken to preserve these natural wonders. Furthermore, incredible out-of-camp trips – from bike trips to Acadia National Park or Bar Harbor, to hikes in Franconia Notch and Mount Washington – help camps create young, caring campers who recognize firsthand the importance of preserving the environment they have come to love. On these trips, camps are very sensitive to producing minimal waste – any plastic-packaging that is used to carry or wrap foods will be saved and discarded of appropriately.
Additionally, on camp trips as well as in day-to-day camp life, campers are encouraged to bring reusable water bottles, mitigating the impact that plastic bottles will have. And when the use of plastics or other manufactured materials are required, many camps make a distinct effort to sort and recycle – at the camp I work at, there is one room off the kitchen that is consistently filled with broken down cardboard boxes that will be collected and recycled!
Some camps also have their own vegetable gardens, in which they grow many of the delicious greens that populate the camps’ salad bars each day! These camps will compost their food-waste, and this fertilizer is then put to use in the camp garden, and ultimately contributes to the yummy meals they enjoy each day. Campers can choose to do “farming and gardening” as an activity, where they get a firsthand appreciation for the work that goes into producing sustainable food, and can contribute directly to their camps’ sustainability efforts. Some camps even have chickens which produce the camps’ eggs, and honey-bee hives, which pollinate the flowers in their own gardens and on nearby farms, and produce yummy honey that campers get to enjoy with their meals! And even though not all camps have these programs, many make a concerted effort to sustainably source their food from local organic and sustainable farms nearby, taking advantage of the wonderful agriculture that Maine has to offer, and supporting nearby small farms all at once!
There is are myriad reasons that Maine is a unique place to attend summer camp – and the emphasis on the environment and sustainability at Maine camps is absolutely one of these reasons. Maine camps emphasize teaching campers about the importance of environmental responsibility, and help campers develop an appreciation for the natural environment and ecosystems they inhabit. From incredible hikes to incredible food – it’s no wonder that Maine campers develop a great appreciation for our wonderful green planet!
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.