Surprisingly for all of us here at camp, we’ve already sailed past mid July, and have run hard into the reality of the end of First Session.
It is a bittersweet time of course. Saying good bye to so many great friends is hard, really hard. Having made so many good friends is priceless. Learning so many new and diverse skills is eye opening and a source of pride. Hanging on to those new skills? That can be a bit harder, but it’s not impossible.
Camp is a natural classroom, with a totally stress free environment to learn complex things like playing guitar or a consistent second serve (I’ll let you know when I finally do learn this); to learn simple things like the importance of looking up at the night sky or saying thank you; or to learn super complex things like maintaining good friendships or getting by with less tech in our lives.
One of the reasons camp makes it so easy to learn all this stuff is that it’s simply baked right into the pie. It’s easy to make friends when you spend time with people, of course you pay attention to the stars when you walk outside every night, guitar comes easily when there is such easy access to instruction, guitars, and time. Outside of camp though, it takes more effort, and a bit more planning, but it is do-able. So we have a favor to ask, on behalf of your camper. Please help them keep it going.
Here are some of the key skills & habits we hope your camper has picked up this summer, that you might want to help them continue to practice and develop in the off season.
- Activity skills – Many of our campers try a new activity at camp for the first time, love it, and want to try practicing out of camp. Some things – eg. tennis, art, music, cooking – can be fairly easy to find instruction in or close to home or at school. Other things such as wake boarding, blacksmithing, challenge course – may not be realistically available. However there is usually a related or proxy activity that may be an option – snowboarding this winter, jewelry making or a rock climbing gym. Helping your camper maintain contact with an activity that they developed a passion for is a great way to extend the benefits of the summer.
- Friendships – While a lot of our campers are great at keeping in contact with their camp friends during the off season, many are not. Shortly after your camper returns home, ask them who they were close to, and if they want to keep in contact. Hopefully they exchanged details, but if not, let us know. Facilitate facetime or phone calls if needed (especially if time zones are involved), remind your camper to touch base with friends who live far away via phone instead of text, and friends who live nearby in person when possible.
- Life balance skills – so while at camp, your camper has been enjoying the benefits of 1) a solid 9 hour sleep every night, 2) lots of fresh air and natural light, 3) lots of activity, 4) lots of in person socialization, 5) no technology, 6) lots of time in nature. Help them carry these habits into their lives outside of camp. Make a rule of no tech in the bedroom, and no tech after 8pm (parents remember to role model this behavior too. As an aside, a few different campers have asked me to mention to their parents to make this a house rule, and for their parents to follow it. They know it’s important for your health too). Help your camper identify nearby woods, parklands, beaches or ponds that they can access on their own. Help them manage their schedule so that it prioritizes sleep, rather than steals from sleep time. Make sure they have opportunities to remain active, and help them avoid excuses for not being active. Look for activities that check multiple boxes (a weekend hike with a couple of friends and no cell phones). Finally, ask them to reflect on what it felt like to be well slept, active, tech free, and close to nature. Hopefully they can use that lived experience as a yardstick.
A summer at camp can be life changing in all the best ways. We hope our campers reflect on their time at camp, and choose to make those changes.
With a few tears in our eyes and full hearts we bid our and your first session campers farewell. What a truly amazing session we had with our campers. Everything was on point from the last activity week featuring our amazing live bands, the amazing cast and crew of ‘Pippin’, Tennis finals, ski show and ending the week with our Woodstock themed festivus. Mother Nature tried her best to drown our spirits, but the smiles and laughter of our campers shut her down. From all the staff here, we truly thank you for sharing your first session campers with us.
Bay K. and Jake S.- Bay is a 4th year camper who finally conquered her fear of heights and completed the ropes course, including the greatly feared zipline. Jake also conquered his great fear of heights and completed the ropes course, zipline included, with the support of his younger brother Harrison and his friend Amelia.
Jordan H. is an incredibly fast swimmer and swam from one side of the lake to the other during a lake swim in 9 minutes!
Nyla S and Santanna R- Nyla has been super creative in our pottery studio and has even been helping other campers with their pieces. Santanna has gotten very crafty in our stained glass studio and created a 3D crane!
-Aaron, Ajay, Alliy & Nikiwe
“LIVE DANCE! Oh what a way to kick start our Woodstock Festivus! Our bands showcased their hard work and dedication from this session for us all to rock out to this week, covering the likes of Joan Jett’s Bad Reputation and Toto’s Hold The Line. We wish that night didn’t have to end, let alone this session but we kick it all off again next week with another installment of budding musicians. You wish you were here for such an awesome night?! Don’t worry - we got video and audio recorded which we’ll get edited and uploaded later this year so it’ll feel like you were here too. If you had a camper record with us this session, their music will also be ready later in the year once we have final mastering finished and they should receive that in their emails and on the website!”
-Nick and Sean
Our final week of Evening Programs for first session kicked off with a fantastic Cabin Night. The head staff group hosted some awesome activities for the campers such as: Chill'n and Grill'n with Pinesy, a private boat tour of Stanley Pond, a sports bar, and night ropes under the stars. Following this, the kids threw it back to the 90's with everyone's favorite Block Party dance. The Maine Event, a brand new Evening Program, was introduced, and proved to be a massive hit!
Both the kids and staff loved the opportunity to appreciate and indulge in everything that the beautiful state of Maine has to offer. The campers had a blast performing on stage during
our Pop Idol competition, and every cabin performed so well that the judges had a hard time picking the top 3! We rounded out the session with some extraordinary performances at our live dance, followed by showcasing everyone's talents at Camp show, Video show and Dance show. A rainy day and night helped us transcend into the vibe of Woodstock during our Woodstock Festivus. Muddy games on the field and a crazy Last Chance Dance party in the fitness studio provided a ton of fun for the kids! A magical final campfire and a few tears at midnight blues rounded out the Evening Programs for the first session and we cannot wait to do it all again in session two!
-Dylan & Gina
With First Session coming to a close (can you believe it?!), I want to thank all the campers and families who helped make all the trips thus far an amazing time!
MTC is excited for a Second Session full of trips! Our first week will feature our Best of Boston trip including shopping at Faneuil Hall, a famous Duck tour over land and sea, lunch at the historical Quincy Market, a Freedom Trail tour and dinner at Fire and Ice. This trip will fill up quickly, be sure to sign up soon! Within the first week we will also have our Best of Portland trip, which still has space! Campers will start the day right with a sailing trip along Casco Bay, enjoy a seafood lunch and shopping along the cobbled streets and end with a visit to a light house! We’ll end the week with an all camp trip to Funtown USA in Saco, Maine.
During the second activity week, our rafting trip on the Kennebec River and the Freeport trip are offered. This week is concluded with an all camp trip for a relaxing day at Scarborough Beach State Park, taking in the sun, waves and a picnic lunch.
The last trip of the summer is our new Rock Climbing trip during the third activity week!
Thank you all for reading, you can follow us on Facebook and Instagram @MaineTeenCamp and just a reminder to make sure that your SPAM settings are set to allow all @teencamp.com addresses, so that you can continue to get those important Trips and Travel e-mails.