Maine Camp Experience, sleepaway camp, sleep away camp, overnight camp, summer camp

Camp Owners Share Closing Thoughts for Sleepaway Camp Decisions

Maine Camp Experience, sleepaway camp, sleep away camp, overnight camp, summer campSleepaway Camp for Next Summer?

There’s still time for families to win $5,000 toward camp next summer.  Offer ends Sept. 15.

Each year a new crop of prospective camper families will decide which camp their children will attend and embark on a journey at sleepaway camp that will take them through a significant period of time in their formative years. Sleepaway camp is an invaluable place where kids build skills, make new discoveries, help others, become more independent, relish time-honored traditions, become part of a universal community, and develop lifelong friendships. Below are key timeframes to keep in mind for planning summer at sleepaway camp.

Camp Selection Criteria: When deciding which camps to contact, families can help narrow down the pool by asking themselves: Coed or single gender? 7-week or shorter sessions? Religious or not? Uniform or not? Programming that is very structured, more fluid with electives or a combination of these? Swim in lake or pool? Daily waterfront activities? Vacation destination opportunities? Those with children with medical or special needs should discuss this early on to establish if a camp is equipped to accommodate these.


As the 2012 summer camp season comes to a close and sleepaway camps bid their campers adieu, owners of camps in Maine share some of their most memorable moments from this season.

On the last day of their camper career, the 37 members of The Lodge, Andro’s oldest age group, each wrote and handed a thank you note to the one staff member each believed to have had the most impact on them over the course of their summers. Hard to tell who was more appreciative – the boy who wrote the note or the counselor who received it.

– Camp Androscoggin, Peter Hirsch (owner/director)

Meaningful friendships!; Mad skill building!; Wilderness trips!; Peanut butter pie!; Northwood Farm Jumping Derby!; Talent Show!; Competition! 

– Camp Runoia, Pam Cobb Heuberger (owner/director)

We changed a “trip day” so that it was devoted to the whole camp spending time at our lake and found that the most beautiful relaxing community adventure could be spent right in our own backyard. Also, sharing time in the organic garden with campers and picking vegetables for dinner – it’s a great experience for campers – especially those from the city.

– Hidden Valley Camp, Peter and Meg Kassen (owners/directors)

The unbelievable and exciting transformation we see in campers and the feedback from their parents about how their girls learn to “believe in themselves, contribute to a community on a profound level and connect with their inner light.” Families express that camp makes a “profound difference” in their children’s lives and that these campers “carry the experiences in their hearts.”

– Camp Matoaka, Jason Silberman (owner/director)

The final scene of our camp show “The Wizard of Oz” Dorothy clicks her heels together and says “there’s no place like camp, there’s no place like camp, there’s no place like camp,” the curtain opens to reveal a beautiful twilight view across camp. There was not a dry eye in the house, from our 70-year office manager to the youngest first year campers. The show was brilliant, and this touch especially so, because all of us can relate. Any day that isn’t the summer, everyone wishes they had those ruby slippers and the ability to just be at camp again, watching another day end in the Maine woods.

– Maine Teen Camp, Matt & Monique Pines (owners/directors)

In addition to our treasured rituals such as the Banquet and Awards ceremony, we cherish the moments when we are most vulnerable here, away from our parents, building relationships and developing a better sense of our self. As camp ends for the summer, we help campers and counselors find closure to their summer lives. We have a mixture of celebratory and solemn, we reflect on our achievements and our failures, the persons we were when we first came to camp and the persons we are now. There will be Birch Rock cheers, tearful goodbyes, and promises to stay in touch. Campers will hug each other, they will hug the staff members, they will say “thank you” and mean it.

– Birch Rock Camp, Richard Deering (owner/director)


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