One wonderful thing about the New Year, is that it is a time for reflection, growth, and looking forward. We come together to celebrate the year to come, and quite literally resolve to be better versions of ourselves – whatever we think a better version may be. And while some New Years’ Resolutions may fall by the wayside, others will stick with us and become part of our lives in the way we hoped they would. There is something special and empowering about reaching a New Year with last year’s resolution still very much intact, as it marks our capacity to persevere and grow as people.
While kids at summer camps might not be coming up with explicit resolutions during their summers at camp, Maine Camp Experience (MCE) camps are focused on child-development, and long-term campers will inevitably take strides forward over the course of their many summers at camp. One of my favorite things about being a camp counselor is returning summer after summer to witness and participate in this development firsthand.
When a child first attends summer camp – they are almost certain to have some established interests. Perhaps they like drawing, or enjoy playing basketball. One incredible aspect of MCE camps is that they encourage campers to build skills in their current interests, but also explore new and exciting interests they have yet to try. It is wonderful to watch as campers’ skills develop in a certain area – to see the camper who enjoys drawing depictions of Maine’s beautiful landscape grow increasingly more realistic, or to watch the basketball player strive to improve their jump-shot, only to grow into a three-point specialist.
It is also wonderful when a child discovers a new activity that excites them, or a new talent they never knew they had – I’ll never forget seeing one child on the ropes course last summer, a girl who is not the most interested in team sports, suddenly take control and fly through the course with determination and dexterity. This allows kids not only to broaden their horizons, but also to develop self-confidence as they discover things that they are naturally gifted at, whether this involves excelling in a certain activity, or excelling as a role model or friend.
One of the most incredible ways that campers develop occurs when they come out of their shell a little more each summer, and ultimately take on a leadership role at camp. Young campers’ summers are oftentimes defined just trying to find their way and navigate life away from home. However, as they grow older and more comfortable, camps will provide them with opportunities to take on different challenges. A younger camper might be assigned a “camp brother” or “camp sister” to help them adjust to camp life – and just a few short years later, as a confident returner, they might be serving the “big brother” or “big sister” role for a younger child. And passionate young Color War competitors can eventually grow to be leaders and captains – or, in my case, competitive pie-eaters.
There is incredible benefit to attending an MCE camp for even one summer – however, one of the most wonderful aspects of camp is how these benefits accrue exponentially summer after summer. Over the course of many summers at camp, a child gets to explore who they are, and develop into the person they want to be – and that’s certainly worth celebrating.
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.
Talk to Laurie, our Maine Campcierge®, about choosing the right camp for your child and what to do in Maine.