For many families, sleep away camp in Maine has become the ultimate tradition. “I started at Camp in Maine at age 8 and was a camper and then a counselor until my last summer at age 21. In large measure, all those summers in Maine impacted my ultimate decision to move to Maine and raise my family here. It’s a decision I’ve never regretted. I sent my daughter to the same camp when she was 8, and last summer, at age 27, she was an assistant director. Both my sons went to camp in Maine as well,” comments Jody Sataloff of Camp Micah, who agrees that overnight camps in Maine and tradition go hand in hand. So many camps in Maine have been around for several decades (even a century) and their core stays true to its original form. Maine was, and still is, the perfect place to build overnight camps, with miles and miles of crystal clear lakes, tall pine trees and many mountains; providing the natural backdrop to beginning and sustaining traditions.
Jim Gill, camp director of Fernwood Cove said they tweak old traditions to make them more modern; evolving traditions so that every summer will be better than the last. Even though each camp is unique, the underlying traditional feelings are the same. Most have some form of “color war,” they all teach good old fashioned values, and show children how to have a deep appreciation for nature. Alex Goodman was a camper at Camp Cedar and says, “Camp Cedar is still to this day a huge part of my life. I have fond memories of my time in Casco, ME and look forward to the day when my two daughters have the same memories about Camp in Maine and when my son calls Cedar his summer home.”
Traditional Maine camps teach kids how to expand their horizons. If you send your child to a specialty camp, you are limiting their exposure to new things and the ability to benefit from being with nurturing staff, and amazing friends, who really get to know you. As Ronald Hall director of Camp O-AT-KA said, “By allowing kids to do only what they are comfortable with, there is no growth.” When they try new and different things, they gain self confidence. As Peter Kassen, Hidden Valley Camp put it, “Children like structure. They can relax knowing that they are safe.”
There is something beautiful and sacred about the traditions at Maine camps. Knowing that past generations sang the same songs, climbed the same mountains and canoed the same rivers, is a special and unique feeling shared by scores of children who have shared lasting memories by spending their summers at camp in Maine.
Talk to Laurie, our Maine Campcierge™, about choosing the right camp for your child and what to do in Maine.