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Maine’s Guide to Summer Camps

Get ready for camp: What’s trending in 2013 By the American Camp Association

Camp has been an American tradition for more than 150 years. Some things at camp — forming friendships, having fun, practicing new skills, and summer learning gains — will never change. But what are the camp trends today? Who goes to camp? ACA estimates that there are 12,000 traditional, organized camps in the U.S. Each year more than 11.5 million children, youth, and adults attend camp. Today we see a wide range of ages participating in the camp experience: from children as young as three participating in day camp programs to senior adults, participating in family camps and senior camps. The American Camp Association has a vision that by the year 2020, over 20 million children and youth will have a camp experience each year.

What types of camps are most popular?


Children learn how to do T-rescue with canoes at the Maine Conservation Camp in Princeton on Wednesday. The Greenland Point Center reopened the summer camp after it was put up for sale and considered for development. This summer, about 180 children will visit the camp on Long Lake, and that number could double in coming years.

Traditional camps are still very popular — maybe more popular today than even a decade ago, as young people are very concerned about the environment, global awareness, mentorship, and getting along with one another. The camp community embraces those values. There has also been a rise in the popularity of specialty camps, day camps, and family camps, as camps constantly adapt to meet changing needs of families. Many young people like to use the camp experience to sharpen a special skill or develop new ones. Even traditional camps are offering year-round camp experiences, as well as any number of specialty programs. This exciting diversification is an example of how the camp community is meeting the needs of today's families.

photo courtersy windover art camp

Experiences also come from learning new skills.

What activities are popular? The most popular activities at camps today are swimming, arts and crafts, challenge/ropes course, archery, and aquatic activities. In addition, ACA research shows 52 percent of day camps and 50 percent of resident camps offered one or more academic/science and technology programs. More than four in five ACA-accredit-

photo courtersy Eastern Maine Community COllege

Specialty camps are one of the hot trends in summer camp offerings in 2013. Culinary camps are a popular (and delicious) offering.

ed residential camps offer at least one environmental education program for campers. Whatever the activity, camp gets kids mov-

ing! While at camp, campers are typically active three to five hours per day. This exceeds the recommended daily amount of physical

activity from the CDC (one hour per day). With so many options, how do I find the right camp? There is a camp for every child, every interest, and every budget. The American Camp Association’s Find a Camp database helps families find the perfect camp experience — whether it’s a traditional, day, specialty, family, or even trip or travel camp. Visit to start your search, and be sure to check out the expert advice, packing tips, and more.

Reprinted from by permission of the ACA. Copyright 2013, American Camping Association, Inc.



Maine’s Guide to Summer Camps

Roll up your sleeves and get MESSY By University of Maine at Machias Photo courtesy MESSY Camp

Located on the rugged Downeast coast of Maine, the Maine Environmental Summer Session for Youth is a summer camp like no other. At MESSY, campers find themselves knee deep in water, up to their elbows in mud, and fully immersed in all aspects of the environment. Through a week of field trips, experiments, and projects, campers learn about 21st Century environmental challenges, create their own solutions for real-world problems, with the goal of becoming better stewards of the environment. This year’s theme of global climate change will engage students in research projects with University of Maine at Machias faculty, learning how climate change impacts the environment and what can be done about it. Campers will collect marine plankton to identify harmful algal blooms and warm-water species. They’ll also get wet in nearby rivers and streams, assessing the

temperature and pH levels of the local endangered salmon habitat, while discussing how best to manage the habitat for the salmon’s survival. Campers will also have the opportunity to use geographic information systems technology to map habitats or buildings that are vulnerable to storm flooding due to sea-level rise. “We began the camp to stimulate an interest in the natural environment and to get kids thinking about environmental issues at an early age,” said Dr. Gayle Kraus, professor of marine ecology at UMM. “This is serious work at MESSY. It’s an introduction to science and what the kids are learning is just a little watered down from what I teach my college students.” Open to students entering grades six through 12, MESSY 2013 promises to be a week of adventure, exploration, and seriously fun research. Camp dates are Aug. 4-9 for grades 6 through 8, and Aug. 11-16 for grades 9 through 12. For more information, visit



Maine’s Guide to Summer Camps

Camp embraces the greatness inside of girls By Girl Scouts of Maine Photo courtesy Girl Scouts of Maine

Fresh air, gentle pine forests, magnificent mountain views, and pristine waters; it’s amazing how Girl Scout camp brings out the best in a girl. Within these natural surroundings, each girl becomes environmentally aware and learns to respect the world she will someday inherit, manage, and enjoy. As campers engage in daily activities, they experience the power of girls together and become integral members of our vibrant community. Trained counselors are carefully chosen to be positive role models and have a genuine interest in helping each girl recognize her potential and develop her strengths. Everything done at camp focuses on helping today’s girls discover their inner greatness and to gain the leadership skills they need to achieve a lifetime of success. Girl Scouts of Maine’s ACA accredited resident camps — Natarswi in Baxter State Park, and Pondicherry in Bridgton — engage girls in an exciting variety of outdoor skills-building

programs that challenge them to strive for self-improvement. Traditional camp programs include archery, swimming, boating, rock climbing, hiking, nature studies, team games, as well as arts, crafts, and theater. Girls ages 12 and older may also select from a variety of specialty camp programs such as horseback riding, backpacking, sailing, rock climbing, team adventure trips, and wilderness survival. Day Camp at Camp Scelkit in Kittery Point, is for girls in grades kindergarten through grade 4. During the week of July 15-19, girls can try new things while learning about camp life and nature. Girl Scout Day Camp will be offered in other locations statewide. Call (888) 922-4763 for more information. Camps are open to Girl Scouts and nonGirl Scouts alike. Financial aid is available and applications must be received by May 1. Camp Open House events are scheduled from 1- 4 p.m., on June 2 at Natarswi, and June 9 at Pondicherry. Find complete camp information and register online at: For assistance, call 888-922-4763.



Maine’s Guide to Summer Camps

Get active at RAD camp Theme weeks add to the fun By University of Maine Recreation Photo courtesy UMaine RAD Camp

The University of Maine’s Recreational Activity Day Camp — also known as RAD Camp — is a traditional day camp experience, with the twist of a weekly theme. This year’s RAD Camp themes include: Wilderness Week, Blast from the Past Week, Food, Fun, and Fitness Week, Splash Week, Space and Beyond Week, UMaine Spirit Week, and Celebration Week. Each “themed” camp provides campers with an opportunity to be active, learn, and have new experiences. Twice during the summer, RAD Camp offers a “late night” option where campers can stay after camp gets out for the day. RAD Camp is based at the UMaine New Balance Student Recreation Center in Orono. From this facility campers have access to many campus areas such as the DeMerrit Forest trail system, Bridge Tennis Courts, Maine Bound

Student Life Campus Recreation

Adventure Center, and a high/low ropes course. The Recreation Center itself features courts for volleyball and basketball, other games, and a heated indoor pool. The pool has areas for active games, a kid-friendly splash area, and the opportunity for campers to swim every day no matter what the weather is like. Summer RAD Camps also accommodate parents with long work days by offering early/ late care. Early care begins at 7:30 a.m. and costs an extra $5 per day. Late care extends the camp day to 5:30 p.m. and also costs $5 per day. For campers who want the “late night” experience, it’s available for $15. That fee includes evening pool time, dinner, and a theme-week based activity. RAD Camps are for campers ages 5-12 and start June 17 and run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The cost is $145 per week. For more information, visit campusrecreation/familyyouth-programs/ rad-camps

Rec Activity Day Camp (RAD Camp): Ages 5-12 The University of Maine is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.

Recreational Activity Day (RAD) Camp is designed for campers aged 5-12 to explore many different activities in a safe, supervised, and stimulating environment. Each RAD Camp week has a special Theme; most include field trips, swimming, high and low ropes course, canoeing, and arts and crafts. Camp generally runs from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. but Early and Late Care are available for an extra fee. In accordance with the American Camp Association standards, the counselor-to-camper ratio will be 1:6 for ages 6-8, and 1:8 for ages 9-12. Registration/payment deadline is the Friday prior to each week; no same-day drop-ins are accepted. Visit our website today for more details! June 17-21: “Jump into Summer” June 24-28: “Wilderness” July 1-3: “Pixar Adventures” (Reduced Fee) July 8-12: “Blast From The Past” July 15-19: “Food, Fun, and Fitness” July 22-26: “UMaine Spirit” July 29 - August 2: “Splash” August 5-9: “Space And Beyond” August 12-16: “Celebration” | (207) 581-1082 |



Maine’s Guide to Summer Camps

Maine Discovery Museum camps are Too Much Fun By Maine Discovery Museum Photo courtesy Maine discovery museum

Over the past decade, the Maine Discovery Museum’s Summer Camps have earned a reputation as one of the region’s premier weekly camp programs. Year after year, MDM’s camps are a huge hit with kids and parents alike, combining educational opportunities with Too Much Fun. MDM’s camp staff members are teachers, educators, and former camp counselors poised to fight the summer “brain drain” by offering a safe, caring and fun environment with a wide variety of weekly themes. Parents enjoy the convenience of early drop-off and after care options. Sessions begin on June 24 and continue through the summer into August. Campers can come for one week or the entire summer. MDM provides age-appropriate camps: • Level one: Sessions for 5 and 6 year olds with school experience. • Level two: Sessions for kids completing first through third grades.

• Level three: Sessions for kids completing fourth through sixth grades. • Level three Travel Camp: Sessions for kids completing fourth through sixth grades. • For All Star Campers, there is an Alumni Travel Camp Option. MDM camps also come with lots of themes, such as Summer Days with Dr. Seuss, Dino Days, Ooey Gooey Art, It’s a Jungle Out There, Wizard Academy, and Secret Agent School, among others. Will your child emerge themselves in Wizard Academy, Secret Agent School or Eco-Experience Travel Camp? There’s a camp theme for the discoverer in everyone. Not sure if your child is ready for a whole week of camp? Try MDM’s half day option for ages 5 and 6. MDM’s Summer Camp program is about being a kid, having safe summer fun, getting along with others, developing skills, gaining independence and selfconfidence, and feeling a sense of accomplishment and excitement at the end of every day. Get your MDM Summer Camp program by calling 262-7200 or going to


Maine’s Guide to Summer Camps

Discovering adventure at day camp By Ardeana Hamlin BDN Maine Special Sections writer Photo courtesy bangor Y

The Bangor Y’s day camp Camp G. Peirce Webber will echo the active adventure theme of the Bangor YMCA Wilderness Center at Camp Jordan with its extreme fun program. This program features nature exploration, a ropes course, hiking, ziplining, and traditional summer camp activities. The camp is open to children entering kindergarten through sixth-grade and is located in Hampden. Ten one-week camp sessions run from late June through the end of August. Weekly themes set the tone for each session and include Hollywood Week which focuses on sports, music, theater and dance; Reptiles and Amphibians Week gives campers the oppor-


tunity to learn more about snakes and frogs; Pirate Week will send campers on a treasure hunt. Other themes are Seasons of Fun, Amazin’ Race, Space Week, Blast from the

Past, Summer Olympics Superhero Adventures and Back to School Celebration. To acquaint parents and children with all the that Camp G. Peirce Webber has to offer,

an open house barbecue for those registered to attend the camp will be held 4-6 p.m. Thursday, June 20, at the camp at 250 Emerson Mill Road in Hampden.



Maine’s Guide to Summer Camps

Prepare for summer camp by packing right Start your summer camp experience off right by packing smartly. The following packing list is most applicable for campers attending a residential camp. For the best success in packing, consult the summer camp your child is attending for an in-depth list. Preparing ahead of time for camping can help make the experience a delight for everyone involved.

Headgear and clothing __ Scarves or bandanas __ Baseball caps, hats, and sunglasses __ Eye glasses and/or extra contacts __ Swim goggles __ T-shirts or tank tops __ Shorts and Jeans __ Jackets __ Raincoat or poncho __ Sweatshirt/sweatpants __ Swimming attire (trunks, bathing suit, bikini) __ Underwear (include an extra couple of pairs)

__ Dress clothes (if needed) __ Sporting support items

Footwear __ Boots __ Sneakers __ Sandals/thong sandals __ Dress shoes (if needed) __ Socks (include an extra couple of pairs)

Bedding __ Towels: bath, hand, and beach __ Mattress pad/Egg crate __ Blanket(s) __ Sheets and pillowcases __ Sleeping bag (if needed) __ Laundry bag

Toiletries __ Brush and comb __ Shampoo and conditioner __ Soap and soap container __ Toothbrush, toothpaste and container __ Extra contact lenses, saline, and lens case __ Deodorant/antiperspirant

__ Insect repellant __ Sunblock __ Feminine products (for girls) __ Ziplock bags __ Lip balm __ Small travel-sized first aid kit with Band-Aids, gauze, blister bandages, tweezers, and anti-bacterial cream __ Medical items, including epi-pens or any medication the camper requires

Gear __ Books and magazines for downtime __ Flashlight and extra batteries __ Hard water bottle __ Pencils and pens __ Spending money (just in case) __ Specialty camp supplies (consult your camp) __ Backpack

Before camp begins: __ Review camp packing lists __ Plan ahead. If your child is on a specific medication, pack it and find out about

the camp’s medications policy. Clearly identify your child’s medications with their name and your contact information. __ Label everything with your child’s full name using laundry pens, iron-on labels, or sew-on labels __ Break in shoes and boots __ Check with the camp about their policy on electronic devices including cell phones, iPods, cameras, electronics, musical instruments, sports equipment, and special gear. NOTE: If the item your child is taking is expensive, write down the serial number and take photos of the item from all angles before sending your child off to camp. Ensure the property is also insured. __ Decide if your child will take a small amount of personal items (ie. family photos, cameras, phones) with them and document what is going. If it’s valuable, make sure to take down the specifics.



Maine’s Guide to Summer Camps

Music and merriment at Maine Fiddle Camp By debra bell BDN Maine Special Sections writer Photo courtesy Maine fiddle camp

Strains of traditional “fiddle” music will fill the woods around Woolwich this summer when Maine Fiddle Camp is in session. But Fiddle Camp isn’t just for violinists. According to Camp Director Doug Protsik, Fiddle Camp is for everyone, regardless of instrument. The most popular instruments aside from violin include ukulele, piano, guitar, banjo, mandolin, cello, bass, penny whistle/flute, mandolin, accordion, harmonica, and vocals. In its 19th year, Maine Fiddle Camp collects beginners and advanced musicians and engages them in the traditional dance music of the Scot-Irish, French, and Scandinavian. Fiddle Camp, Protsik said, is a place to learn, play, and have fun while enjoying summer weather. And this camp is unlike any other experience a summer camper will have. That’s because the camp is for all ages, not

just for youngsters. That’s part of what makes it unique Protsik said. “Most camps are designated just for children or just for adults,” Protsik said. “[But] the community atmosphere formed by multiple generations is really special.” The multi-generational approach is consistent with the style of music learned at Maine

Fiddle Camp. Campers learn music by ear from professionals in the folk music genre, a teaching method consistent with the style of music Fiddle Camp is all about. “There’s a feeling of support at Camp,” Protsik said. “There’s no competition. Instead the staff are all talented, brilliant, and every-

one is together all the time. Every [camper] is treated the same.” That spirit of inclusion is important to honoring the musical tradition. “[Inclusion] is how the music was kept alive,” he said. “When they were young, the children heard it. Then when they got older they started playing it. Many times the parents would bring the whole family to the concert of dance. It was part of the fun.” That philosophy is at the heart of Maine Fiddle Camp. In addition to a multi-generational approach, Fiddle Camp offers tent sites, cabin sites, and the option for campers to commute to camp. Protsik said Fiddle Camp also offers weekend camps in addition to its weeklong camps. “Weekend camps offer a very concentrated approach,” he said. “Everything happens more intensely and they’re very convenient for people who can’t take an entire week off.” Due to the success of the weekend camps, Maine Fiddle Camp now offers an extra weekend camp at the end of June. In contrast, weeklong sessions offer a more FIDDLE PAGE 13



Maine’s Guide to Summer Camps

Wellness, fun, adventure at Bangor Y camp New look, new name, new vision for Bangor Y’s Camp Jordan By Ardeana Hamlin BDN Maine Special Sections Writer Photo courtesy bangor Y

Something new is afoot at the Bangor Y. That’s because the organization is creating a new concept for its traditional summer camp programs at Camp Jordan on Branch Lake in Ellsworth. That concept blends old with new and includes a new name: The Bangor YMCA Wilderness Center at Camp Jordan. “We wanted to expand it to make it available for community conferences, retreats, parties and weddings,” said Diane Dickerson, the Bangor Y’s executive vice president of marketing, development and community engagement. While new concepts and names are part of 2013’s offiering, the goal of enabling children to “grow through the years” is still the same, Dickerson said. The new focus includes: • Sleep Away Camp for children age 8 to 15 with four sessions planned: June 23-29, July 1-13, July 14-20, and July 22-Aug. 2. During those

weeks campers will be on and in the water, taking part in building shelters, learning how to survive in nature, playing outdoor games such as street hockey and lacrosse, or taking part in dance, archery and other activities. For children not yet ready for the sleepaway camp experience, Camp Jordan’s Wilderness Center has scheduled a Family Camp Aug. 19-22 with cabin accommodations for 10 to 14 people, making it possible to invite extended family to join the fun. • The Bangor Y Adventure Seekers Program focuses on outdoor recreation and accompanying skills, said Bangor Y Recreation Director Jeremy Robichaud. The program offers four levels of hands-on outdoor adventure. Early Adventure seekers, age 9 to 11, is based at Camp Jordan. During the day children leave camp to go rock climbing, hiking, paddling and swimming. Experienced Adventure Seekers, ages 11 to 13, is geared for children who aren’t yet ready JORDAN PAGE 16


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Maine’s Guide to Summer Camps

By Acadia Mountain Guides Photo courtesy Acadia Mountain Guides

Acadia Mountain Guides Climbing Schools can offer many adventures for your kids aged 6-18, including outdoor exploration, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, ropes courses, rappelling, and climbing some of the best sea cliffs, all while learning valuable teamwork and leadership skills. Young kids will enjoy the Mountain Monkey Day Camp, including paddling Mount Desert Island’s ponds, hiking, tide pooling, and oceanside rock climbing. Campers learn first aid, knots, fire-building, and camp setup while having memorable experiences, learning valuable life skills, and having lots of fun. For ages 9-12, the day and overnight Young Explorer camps challenge kids on ropes courses, map and compass use, and rock climbing, with advanced ropes and climbing sessions available. They learn fire-building, first aid, knot-tying, water safety, and paddling skills. The camp culminates with an exciting rope bridge crossing over the ocean. For ages 13-18, the Multi-Sport Adventure Camps feature three High Adventure Camps: Mountain and Sea, Mountain and Rivers, and

Paddle and Climb. These let campers focus on their favorites: oceanside rock climbing, sea kayaking, island camping, whitewater rafting, and waterfall rappelling, depending on the camp. Also for ages 13-18 is the RockPro series. With five levels, teens learn everything from basic to advanced techniques. At lower levels, climbers learn all the basics of safety, placing gear and belaying; at the top levels, they’ll climb such locations as New Hampshire’s Rumney Rocks and Quebec’s white cliffs along the St. Lawrence River, and master the most complex climbing techniques. Acadia Mountain Guides Climbing School is the only Maine climbing school accredited by both the American Mountain Guides Association and the Professional Climbing Instructors Association. Its guides are certified by the PCIA or AMGA and are certified Wilderness First Responders. Owned by internationally licensed guide Jon Tierney, who has been guiding since 1984, this year-round service provides safe ways for your children to explore the outdoors. Visit or to learn more.



Maine’s Guide to Summer Camps

Windover Art Center brings out inner artists By Windover Art Center Photo courtesy windowver art center

When students at Windover Art Center create masterpieces, they not only learn the skills needed to express themselves, they are also connecting to a rich tapestry of history and science. From the ancient art of pottery to the cutting-edge technologies of digital art, the activities at Windover present one-of-a-kind learning opportunities. No matter what classes students sign up for, fun and excitement await. Every day at Windover Art Center, students sign up for the classes of their choice. Three classes everyday can be selected out of as many as two dozen choices. Classes in photography, pottery, theater, glass beads, and much more are offered daily, so students can always sign up for favorites. Some classes require students to return again before the week is over: pottery needs to be glazed, photos printed, and plays rehearsed. Choosing their activities, students feel more responsible for participating and completing their projects than if they were assigned.

Windover is not only about self-expression, it’s about everything! Learning opportunities are everywhere; from how the chemistry in the darkroom works to the history of pottery

in ancient times; from physics lessons in the glass bead studio to how computers work in the digital art lab, teachers at Windover sneak in extra lessons whenever they can.

Many camps can claim to be specialists in one area or another, at Windover Art Center, students don’t have to choose to learn one thing or another—they can learn it all.



Maine’s Guide to Summer Camps

Hitting summer’s high notes in Orono

FIDDLE FROM PAGE 9 relaxed approach to learning the music. “It’s fantastic because you get absorbed in the music all week,” Prosik said. “The program is different and allows more time for for developing skills and participating in band workshops and specialty workshops.” Some specialty workshops are led by campers as well as special guests throughout the week. From honing skills to learning new techniques and tunes, the weeklong program is the best option for the musician who wants total immersion. Fiddle Camp is a chem-free environment, but that doesn’t mean that taste is sacrificed.

By maine summer youth music Camp Photos courtesy MSYM

From day one to the final concert, campers at the Maine Summer Youth Music Camp will be immersed in a wide variety of classes, making beautiful music. “MSYM is a camp that has over 35 years of tradition,” said MSYM Director Christopher White. “It’s a camp that has always centered around large ensembles: Symphonic band, concert band, orchestra, jazz ensembles, and musical theater.” White is conductor of the University

Fiddle Camp offers organic, locally-sourced meals made onsite and fresh every day by Tim Johnson and his volunteers. Johnson bakes all the bread, all the desserts, prepares fresh goodies for breakfast and maintains a balance found in the best kitchens. “It helps create a wonderful experience because everything is so healthy and balanced,” Protsik said. “He keeps us feeling healthy, happy, and functioning well.” Fiddle Camp also provides great financial value. “Maine Fiddle Camp offers twice the program for half the price,” he said. To learn more about Fiddle Camp, visit the camp’s website:

of Maine’s Symphonic Band and is the director of UMaine’s Sports Bands. From middle and high school music teachers to university-level instructors, MSYM students are learning from true musicians, he said. In addition, they’re getting a taste of what it’s like to be a college student. “MSYM is a residential camp, which means they are living in the dorms [and] they are eating in the commons,” he said. “They are getting social opportunities to be around kids who like to do what they like to do.” The “excellent facilities” also set MSYM apart, White said. UMaine’s facilities

include rehearsal spaces in the School of Performing Arts as well as performances held in the Collins Center for the Arts. MSYM is broken into two levels of camp: Junior Camp, for students in grades 5-8 and senior Camp, for students in grades 8-12. Eighth graders have their pick of either camp, or both camps. While the structure for both levels of camp are the same, the difficulty level of the music is age-appropriate. For more information about MSYM, visit or call 581-4703.



Maine’s Guide to Summer Camps

Exploration, innovation, fun at MSSM camps By MSSM Photo courtesy MSSM

Last year the Maine School of Science and Mathematics had a record number of campers join its summer programs. In its sixteenth year, the MSSM Summer Camp is ready to provide another engaging summer of hands-on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics courses. Campers partake in interactive learning experiences while also enjoying the fun of traditional summer camp. Campers choose from a variety of courses which include rocketry, astronomy, engineering, robotics, computer programming, code-making and code-breaking, forensic science, veterinary medicine, and food chemistry, among others. In addition to classic courses, MSSM’s camps also have some fun new options such as “How

to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse,” which will delve deep into the inner workings of the brain, and “Evolution on Earth and Beyond,” which culminates in the dissection of an “alien.” A full list of our courses is available at Campers also enjoy a variety of afternoon activities such as swimming, sports, crafts, laser tag, rock-climbing and hiking. There is something for everyone. Think you can’t afford to go to summer camp? Financial aid is available to eligible campers in the form of $200 and $350 scholarships. Last year, the camp provided an additional 59 scholarships, thanks to the generous support of Maine businesses. A camp chaperoned bus will travel down Rte. 95 to South Portland for each week of camp providing access to transportation. Visit to complete an online application or for more information.



Maine’s Guide to Summer Camps

New camps add to EMCC’s popular lineup By David M. Fitzpatrick BDN maine Special Sections writer Photo courtesy EMMC

This year, Eastern Maine Community College is adding two exciting new camps to its repertoire of popular week-long events. The Science Camp involves many fun experiments and exposes campers to the forming and testing of hypotheses. When instructor Basant Paradis, who has in the past set up science-themed booths at the Bangor Mall to interest youths in fun science experiments, approached EMCC with that idea, the school jumped at it. “She has a great passion in providing a great learning experience, to the point where the kids aren’t going to know that they’re really learning,” said Kent Corey, EMCC’s Director of Athletics and Summer Camp Coordinator. The overnight Outdoor Adventure Camp will be EMCC’s first non-career-oriented camp, focusing just on campers having fun outside. It involves activities such as rock climbing, hiking, a day at the beach, a conser-

vation walk, and ice caving. “We’re trying to give them a chance to explore what’s around them in the state of Maine,” said Corey. Returning is the popular overnight Camp Survivor, where campers explore exciting potential medical careers. Through local partners such as Eastern Maine Healthcare and Husson University, campers try suturing, casting, and working with dialysis, radiology, and surgical-robotic equipment. Academics are interlaced with events such as wheelchair races and water challenges. The camp’s theme echoes the TV show “Survivor.” “It’s a way to incorporate team-building… with fun, hands-on learning experiences in different types of healthcare career fields,” said Corey. Always in high demand are the two Junior Culinary Camps. Campers spend the week at the EMCC kitchens, mentored by highly trained chefs with FLIK Independent Schools and EMCC Culinary Arts students. At week’s end, family and friends visit the campus so the kids can show off what they’ve learned. “Those have taken off really well,” Corey

said. “Come mid-April last year, we were on a waiting list. It’s been a great camp for us. I think it will help us build our reputation for the camps that we have.” Finally, the Tech Camp immerses campers in computer hardware from the first morn-

ing. They’ll learn to identify a computer’s parts, take it apart, and reassemble it. The course, led by EMCC’s expert IT staff, also addresses troubleshooting, Web design, and the ethics of software use. EMCC PAGE 16



Maine’s Guide to Summer Camps

152 years later, summer camp is a tradition By american camp association


for extended expeditions, but who want to a camping experience. Experienced Adventure Seekers includes camping overnight on the beach of a pond. Advanced Adventure Seekers, ages 13 to 16, offers campers a chance to challenge themselves and sharpen their skills at paddling, backpacking and rock climbing. Extreme Adventure Seekers is for youngsters ready to push the limits. It includes a 12day expedition with backpacking in Grafton Notch State Park in New Hampshire and a rafting trip on the Dead River in Maine. Representative Chellie Pingree (D) • Leaders School teaches children what it means to be a good leader and group memhas been about education,” said Peg Smith, ber, said social worker Eric Taylor, the Bangor chief executive officer for ACA. “Even when Y Leader School and youth director. It focuses campers are learning a specific skill, like aron developing and strengthening self-esteem, chery, they are learning more than just where and helps participants learn about themselves and others. to put the arrow and how to hold the bow. Campers are actually learning about respect, Program highlights include traveling across developing an awareness of those around Maine to bike, hike, kayak and canoe. Potenthem, and gaining self-esteem. Camp educates tial destinations may include the St. Croix River, Acadia National Park, Mount Bigelow for tomorrow — and educates for a lifetime.” ACA is honored to have Representative Pin- and Mount Katahdin. Ninety percent of the program’s staff, Taylor said, are past graduates gree’s support for the camp experience. ACA of the program. Collectively, they drive or fly also recognizes the leadership of the Maine Youth Camping Foundation, and thanks them approximately 17,000 miles to volunteer for one week, Taylor said. for facilitating this important recognition. “It’s a nice collective project,” Taylor said. Reprinted from by Dickerson, Robichaud and Taylor gave high marks to the Bangor YMCA Wilderness Center at Camp Jordan Director Emerald Russell for her vision and work in developing the new camping concept. “Emerald has done a superior job,” Dickerson said. “It’s really exciting to take three separate tracks [Leaders School, the technical aspects of outdoor skills and the fun of traditional camping] and integrate them,” Robichaud said. For information or to register for summer camp, call Maria Robshaw at 619-4773 or visit

Photo courtesy bangor Y

“Camps are special places where kids get a chance to

The American Camp Association was privileged to have Congress recognize the 150th anniversary of organized camp in the United States in 2011. The camp experience was formally recognized when Representative Chellie Pingree (D) of Maine, extended her remarks about the importance of camp experiences in the Congressional Record on September 13, 2011. In 1861, Frederick W. Gunn took students from his Gunnery School program on a twoweek trip. The class hiked to their destination and then set up camp. The students spent their time boating, fishing, and trapping. The trip was so successful that the tradition continued for twelve years as The Gunnery Camp, and became the catalyst for a nationwide movement — one that spans experiences across the globe and has encompassed milestones in youth development for more than a dozen decades. “Camps are special places where kids get a chance to re-create themselves, develop independence, be physically active, and learn new skills outside of the traditional school setting,” remarked Representative Pingree. “And, through exposure to new experiences, friendships with kids from other states and around the globe, campers gain perspectives on their own lives that

re-create themselves, develop independence, be physically

active, and learn new skills outside of the traditional school setting ... Campers gain perspectives on their own lives that augment their education during the school year.”

augment their education during the school year.” Research shows that involvement in intentional programs during summer months can help stem the natural summer learning loss that occurs when children are out of school. For 150 years, camp has been the natural extension of traditional education — focusing on the whole child and providing the physical, social, and developmental growth needed as precursors to academic achievement. A classroom without walls, the camp experience has long been a critical part of yearround education — providing experiential learning environments for over a century and for millions of children, youth, and adults. “From the beginning, the camp experience

EMCC FROM PAGE 15 Day camps run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., which is ideal for parents working daytime schedules, and include breakfast and lunch. All camps include limited afternoon recreational components to ensure that the kids still get to be kids. “I think the reputation we’ve built over what we’ve done with our Camp Survivor and our culinary camps... show that we do very well with running a great program for a week,” said Corey.

Maine's Guide to Summer Camps  

Summer camp season is almost here. Check out this informative supplement which features stories about Maine camps as well as some advice on...