Monday August 26 was International Dog Day, a day to celebrate phenomenal pooches everywhere; from lovable labs to precious poodles, marvelous mutts to terrific terriers, which got me thinking about the correlation of dogs and camp. When I was a camper at a Maine Camp Experience (MCE) camp, one of the silver linings of the end of summer was that it meant coming home to see the family dogs again. Of course, there’s nothing like being surrounded by best friends and wonderful counselors at camp in Maine – however, there’s something special about spending time with man’s best friend.
Luckily, many MCE camps have friendly dogs as part of the camp family, so campers get to spend time with furry friends while enjoying an amazing summer at camp in Maine. At most camps, the “camp dogs” will oftentimes simply be the pets of directors or other core long-term staff members. Camp dogs obviously spend a lot of time around kids, and though I’ve met many dogs at different MCE camps, I’ve yet to meet one who didn’t love to say hello with a tail wag. I’d imagine for a dog, spending summers in beautiful Maine surrounded by kids who want nothing more than to pet you, life must be pretty great.
Of course, dogs can make a real, positive impact on the camp community in addition to simply being furry friends. At the MCE camp I work at, our camp dog (Cali) belongs to camp’s Assistant Director. When kids are feeling sad or missing home, spending a few minutes walking or playing with Cali is a sure way to make them feel more comfortable. Cali will plop down right on the grass and let just about any camper give her a hug or pet, which is particularly helpful for kids who are missing their pets at home. Adjusting to camp can be a transition, and by simply being sweet and available, camp dogs can help ease that transition for campers.
So while camp may be about the people you meet each summer, there’s something to be said for the canine component of a summer spent at camp. And when we reunite again in a year’s time for another summer spent in beautiful Maine, we’ll be sure to spare a few ear scratches and belly rubs for our furry friends. Maine is for the dogs after all!
Planning a Maine vacation and want to bring Fido? Be sure to check out Maine is For the Dogs Part 1, and for great tips on traveling to Maine with your dog!
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.