With Valentine’s Day rolling up this weekend, I’m in the mood for love. So I dug out this recent CNN piece – “Summer Camp Love Stories”– featuring lovebirds from none other than MCE Member Camp Fernwood Cove! And that got me thinking…who else has found love at a Maine summer camp? I asked around, and wanted to share some of our very own Maine Camp Experience love stories to melt your heart, or at least thaw it out a bit on these cold winter nights. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Arleen and Shep Shepherd, Directors, Camp Skylemar
Married: 24 years
Kids: 4 (three on staff at Camp Skylemar, and one still a camper!)
Their story: “My dad (the founder) hired Shep as a hockey counselor, when Shep was a college student in West Virginia. I happened to be working in the camp office, and I knew Shep was the man I wanted to marry as soon as I saw how he worked with kids. My goal was to spend my life with the best counselor Skylemar ever had, and I did. Our marriage is actually 100% based on camp, through and through. Skylemar values guide our relationship and how we raise our children. Not only do we “think camp” constantly (oh, this game would be great at camp, hand sanitizer is on sale so I’ll get 6 cases, etc.) but we also bring camp magic to our life at home.”
Jason and Leslie Silberman, Directors, Camp Matoaka
Married: 10 years
Kids: 3 (one who was born on the first day of camp last summer!)
Their story: Camp has been a part of life for Jason and Leslie since they were both children. Like her mother before her, Leslie spent her summers at Camp Matoaka, while Jason was across the lake at Camp Manitou for boys. In 2001, while counselors for their respective camps, Jason and Leslie met at a summer camp social. As Jason puts it, “We shared so many of the same experiences from being a camper to counselor, that when we met, we already knew each other, if that makes any sense.” Fast forward a few years, to when Jason was a part owner of Manitou. He and Leslie wanted very much to run their own camp, so what better way to make that happen then across the lake at Matoaka, where Leslie and her mother grew up going to camp? And the rest, as they say, is history. Jason and Leslie are looking forward to their son experiencing sleep-away camp for the first time next summer, and for their daughter to spend a night in the bunks this year with her cousin. For this family, the love begins and continues with camp!
Howard and Lisa Salzberg, Directors, Camp Modin
Married: 13 years
Kids: 1 (an almost 10-year-old son)
Their story: Howard was the head counselor at Modin in 1991 when he hired Lisa. After meeting and getting to know each other as fellow counselors, they took the spirit and lessons of camp into their marriage. “Camp teaches compromise and learning to live together,” Howard says, and camp taught them how to listen. And it seems to have worked – the pair has now known each other for over twenty years, and still work together, side by side, every day.
Jim and Beigette Gill, Directors, Fernwood Cove
Married: 11 years
Kids: 2 (a son and daughter, almost 5 and almost 7)
Their story: “Beigette Gill arrived at Portland International Jetport in Maine from her native Australia in 2002 with nothing but a backpack full of clothes …” READ MORE at CNN.com
These are only a few of many long-lasting relationships that started at a Maine Camp Experience member camp and that’s not even counting the myriad of life-long friendships that start every summer. Have your own love story to share? Tell us in the comments!
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.
Talk to Laurie, our Maine Campcierge®, about choosing the right camp for your child and what to do in Maine.