There’s nothing like striking up a friendship at summer camp. Although many Maine Camp Experience (MCE) campers are total strangers when they first arrive, there is something about being at camp that creates truly unique friendships – the days are filled with fun and exhilarating activities, camp traditions and a sense of community help bring kids together, and the experience of communal living creates bonds that can be lifelong. However, just because these friendships spark and thrive in the summer, that doesn’t mean they can’t extend beyond camp! Seeing camp friends during the year is a great way to recreate the summer’s fun, and strengthen the bonds in advance of the summer ahead.
There are very real benefits to seeing camp friends during the year. Reunions, whether as an event organized by the camp or as an informal get-together amongst some camp friends, might help kids when the time comes to transition back to camp-life – they don’t have to think back a full year to recall their interactions with camp friends. And there are always benefits for children to have friends outside of school, as they provide an outlet for times when kids need a break from their school-year social structures.
Some MCE camps hold organized reunions or events during the “off-season,” oftentimes during the fall or winter. While these are in no way mandatory – and thousands of campers thrive summer after summer without attending – they can be fun events and great ways to get the gang back together. Campers might enjoy pizza parties with their camp friends or directors, or watch video highlights of the summer gone by. Some camps will invite the recently graduated campers to these reunions, which can be emotional as it represents the last time they are officially treated as campers within the camp community. And even if a camp doesn’t hold reunions, playdates organized by parents can be incredibly fun as well!
The MCE camp I work at has a reunion each January, and since the reunion is held in NYC, I’m able to make the trip to see the campers, counselors, and directors who make up our camp family. It’s great to see the smiles on everybody’s faces, and to dish out the high-fives like it’s just another summer day. (And for me, it’s also a great way to refresh on everybody’s names, that way I won’t miss a beat when I return to camp for the summer.)
The bonds of camp friendship run deep, and reunions are one great way that campers can strengthen and build upon these bonds during the school year. So whether your camp offers an organized reunion, or you get to put-together your own, seeing camp friends is always a great idea! Even in the middle winter, there’s always time for some summer fun.
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.