Hi, I’m Ali (or Alex!) Mann. I’m the new Maine Camp Experience (MCE) blog manager. Having been a longtime camper and counselor at a Maine camp, I am excited to take on this role.
When sitting down to write this introduction, I struggled with what name to use. My full name is Alexandra. In my day-to-day life, I’m called Ali. But in my camp life, I’ve always been Alex.
In the summer of 2004, I eagerly attended a Maine Camp Experience camp for my first of what would eventually become ten summers. I had waited a long time for this moment, as I had heard about this particular camp in Maine for a long time from my mom, aunt, and cousin who preceded me at my camp. When I got to camp, I introduced myself as my given name, the name that almost everyone in my life had called me up until this point: “Alexandra.” If you’ve ever spent time at a Maine camp, you know that long names don’t last. Shortly into my first summer at camp, my new camp friends began calling me “Alex.” The nickname caught on.
Fast forward past a lifechanging summer to the school year following my first summer at camp and my school friends also began shortening my name but to a different name: Ali. Before long, without intending to do so, I had developed a camp name and a home name.
To this day, when I go back to camp or even spend time with camp friends, I immediately start thinking of myself as Alex rather than Ali. Although not everyone who goes to a Maine camp develops a camp name, I think that all Maine camp attendees can relate to this feeling of having a “camp version” of themselves. This is “Alex” for me. To me, Alex is more relaxed, laughs easier, is more connected to nature, is always high-spirited and is quicker to form deep connections. Ali and Alex may not seem like two different people from the outside, but they are two different states of being for me. As an adult, I’ve learned to connect more with my “camp self” in the world outside of the Maine woods.
I’m so grateful to have spent ten summers as Alex, but now that it’s no longer possible to leave my current-day digital media business to spend my full summers at camp in Maine (though I do go back to visit!), I’m so glad to be working on this blog. As it helps me connect Ali and Alex. Additionally, I’m lucky enough to work with my talented intern Emma, who is an alumna of another Maine camp. I’ll be working with Emma to write many of these blog posts! There’s nothing I love more than working alongside someone who understands the magic of Maine camps.
Emma and I look forward to sharing our love for Maine camps with you!
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.