Photos courtesy of Silver Unpolished
As we continue to look ahead to summer camp with a few looks back, we asked our fellow Maine camp alum and Silver Unpolished blogger Rachel Silver Cohen to share her thoughts on what about camp has meant to her. Enjoy!
In today’s world it’s not uncommon to be faced with a million different variables on any given day. One minute something’s hot and the next day it’s not. According to social media, what’s trending now comes and goes quicker than our fingers can text or type to search for it on Instagram or Pinterest. By the time you’ve found it, it’s likely the craze is over and there’s a new tweet in town!
While there’s no getting around the fast-paced, ever-changing world we live in, what astonishes me most is the one variable that does remain constant. Summer camp is constant. Camp remains the same. Camp is single-handedly a childhood time warp that continues to warp us in the best possible way.
My summers at sleepaway camp in Maine many moons ago are still of utmost significance to me. To this day I can easily recall specific moments; those as big as which team won color war for seven straight summers or as small as remembering who slept on either side of my bed.
Camp now is no different. Lucky are the kids today ages 7 to 17 who get to unplug from an otherwise hectic world and truly detach from the rat race for anywhere between two and eight weeks. The traditions and values from yesteryears play a significant role in shaping the campers of tomorrow. Leadership, camaraderie, teamwork, brotherhood and sisterhood are just a few of the essential threads strongly woven into the special cloth that is summer camp.
The Maine Camp Experience is nothing short of the adventure of a lifetime. I might not have been much of an athlete as a kid but I certainly was exposed to top-notch instruction and learned the needed skills to build a solid foundation on land and in the water.
To this day, when I see a canoe or sailboat I’m reminded how much I owe my nautical knowledge to my favorite Aussie Smallcraft counselors!
“We gotta. We gotta. We gotta win the Regatta!”
Would you believe me if I said I still carry my American Red Cross card in my wallet to show off that I completed the 50 mile swim in 1987?
Today, campers have access to elite training and coaching in a wide array of sports. Whether their interests are in a team sport such as football, soccer, baseball, basketball or lacrosse; or individual activities like horseback riding, fencing, zip lining, rock climbing, archery or golf, campers are given the opportunity to hone their passion through excellent direction and guidance.
For those campers who want to focus on their creativity, staple activities such as arts and crafts, drama, ceramics and photography are prevalent.
Cool mornings in Maine were assuaged when given the chance to take the first ski run on the calm, glassy lake. The high of slaloming in and out of the wake was always worth the initial chill! I’d bet campers today rank tubing, wake boarding and TRICK skiing among their favorite activities too!
I vividly remember taking some killer trips over the summers spent in Maine. Campcraft, as we called it, wasn’t necessarily for everyone; more for those of us with an extra thrill-seeking chromosome. The overnight biking trips, climbing Mt. Katahdin, exploring Acadia National Park and whitewater rafting escapades were synonymous with bug juice-filled metal canteens, prepping the must-have energy stash of gorp (extra M&Ms please), lacing up our L.L.Bean hiking boots and perfecting our sleeping bags into pint-sized jelly rolls!
Nowadays the Maine Camp Experience offers those same trips plus many, many more fun-filled excursions including, but not limited to, lobster boating on Allagash River, swimming at Old Orchard Beach, whale watching, and tooling around Boothbay Harbor and Ogunquit.
There’s certainly no shortage of summer camps to choose from in Maine. Of course it can be overwhelming to pinpoint and narrow down which camp is right for your child but that’s why Laurie, the Maine Campcierge™ is readily available to help you through the process every step of the way to ensure you find the perfect camp for your little camper! The Maine Camp Experience is comprised of all boys, all girls, co-ed and brother/sister camps. You name the questions, and rest assured Laurie has got your answers!
Many of the Maine Camp Experience camps were first established in the early 1900s and have successfully kept the traditions alive through the generations. Some of my closest camp friends followed in their Mothers’ and Grandmothers’ footsteps. They were proud to represent a piece of their family heritage as second or third generation alumni.
This summer, a brand new fourth generation of campers will embark on a magical journey dating back over one hundred years. The torch will be passed but the flame will continue to burn as this fresh group of campers will undoubtedly sing the same campfire songs, sleep in the same bunks, smell the same pine trees, skip down the same paths, compete in the same color war competitions, learn the same life skills they need to succeed as young adults, become exposed to the same philosophy of ideals and values which will help them grow and mature and they will continue to carry on the same unbelievably special traditions of the Maine Camp Experience that will last a lifetime plus forever. Camp isn’t just a trend. It’s a constant. Tweet that!
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.