There is nothing like walking around camp on a beautiful, sunny Maine day – everywhere you look there are active campers doing a plethora of incredible activities. And although there are always awesome offerings at the waterfront and in the various arts departments, as Landsports Director one of my favorite parts of camp is overlooking the various lawns and fields and watching as kids learn and grow as athletes, and compete as teammates and individuals. Camp in Maine can truly be paradise for sporty campers, and the athletic opportunities at Maine Camps truly are unparalleled – and whether you’re just a beginner or a burgeoning pro, camp in Maine has opportunities for you to play!
At most Maine Camp Experience (MCE) camps, there will be a Landsports program featuring a core that may include sports such as basketball, soccer, lacrosse, baseball or softball, volleyball, football, field hockey, or street/roller hockey. And of course, tennis is such a popular sport that at most MCE camps it is its own department. Many MCE camps have top-notch athletic facilities, such as full-sized indoor basketball courts, hockey rinks, or clay tennis courts. Whatever sports a camp may offer, one component of the Landsports program will consist of providing excellent instruction to allow campers to develop and improve upon their skills. MCE camps always strive to hire exceptional staff members who have both an expertise in their sport as well as teaching experience and fundamentals – and at some MCE camps, sports instructors are all Division 1 athletes!
While fundamentals are key, there’s nothing quite like gameplay, and camps provide many different avenues for campers to compete in the sports they love. At many camps, there will be intracamp leagues and competitions during which campers will play sports against their fellow campers. At camps where Color War spans the whole summer, these intracamp games may be incorporated into this overarching competition, while at other camps, there will be separate leagues that may last anywhere from one to six weeks.
Most camps will also hold a variety of intercamp games or tournaments that allow campers at one camp to match up and compete against campers of another – and these offer great opportunities for campers to see friends from home who may go to a different Maine camp! Some of these intercamps are regular tournaments that are held every year – in particular, there are annual tennis invitationals which many camps consistently participate in – while others are games that are scheduled on a summer-by-summer basis, based on the interest levels of the campers. The coordination and planning of these intercamps speaks to the incredible relationships MCE camps have developed with one another – they work closely together to provide their campers with opportunities to compete, and this sort of collaboration would not be possible if it were not for the strong community of camps that exist in Maine.
In addition to these opportunities to participate in traditional sports, camp also offers campers the opportunity to try new sports that they may not have been exposed to before. At many camps, there will be many international counselors, and they may teach kids how to play sports such as cricket or rugby. Other games may be camp favorites that kids don’t oftentimes play during the year – ultimate cricket, team handball, and kickball are three sports that we frequently play at camp, and which kids look forward to summer after summer.
Of course, camps also offer opportunities to participate in athletics that extend beyond team sports. Individual sports such as archery, fencing, gymnastics, horseback riding, and golf are offered at many MCE camps, and allow campers to focus on being their best selves. Many camps also offer extensive fitness programs, and one class even has a Ninja Warrior course! While these may not be team sports, MCE camps similarly provide incredible instruction in these areas and allow campers to compete and showcase their skills. At least once each summer, the MCE camp I work at will participate in an archery meet, and towards the end of the summer there is a gym show and a riding show to allow campers to demonstrate their abilities in these areas to other campers – and at other camps there are competitive head-to-head riding intercamps! In fact, at some camps, the horseback riding program extends beyond the riding itself, and kids will learn the ins and outs of caring for these animals, from cleaning the barns and stalls to feeding a particular horse.
Summer is an incredible time for campers to get active, and to enjoy the sports they love as well as the sports they’ve never tried. Whether a camper is hitting a home run or catching their first fly ball, MCE camps can cater to every ability level and level of competitiveness, creating a healthy environment in which kids can enjoy and benefit from the many advantages that sports can provide. So string your arrows, strap on your shin guards, or mount your horse – because when you come to camp in Maine it’s time to play ball!
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.