This week at camp feels like the right moment to talk about one of the under-appreciated resources the campers all enjoy, and benefit from, here at camp... Time.
The middle week/s of a session are often just the best weeks of the session. Campers are familiar with the culture and fully involved members of the community. We’re not yet into the somewhat manic schedule of events that kicks off the last week of the summer, and are instead able to enjoy some chill, fun, easy going summer days. We get a chance to enjoy some of the stuff that takes a bit more time.
One of the best things we see here at camp is the lunch and dinner time conversations. Over meals that linger, campers and staff in groups small and large sit at their tables and just chat, tell stories, make jokes – shooting the breeze. Not a single cell phone in sight.
During free time we’ll see friends sitting on benches or Adirondack chairs, looking at the sky, or the lake, deep in conversation. Campers sitting in a shady spot watching the boats go past on the lake, or soaking up the sun, engrossed in a good book. Groups of kids tossing a ball around, playing pick up games, or organizing 2 vs 2 basketball tourneys. Staff are supervising, helping where needed, but aren’t instructing during this time.
We know that all this stuff matters.
When we engage in conversation, we strengthen the bonds of friendship, avoiding the pitfalls of digital communication, strengthening vital interpersonal skills. We learn to listen, and react, appropriately. We become more empathetic, mentally taking on the POV of the story teller and engaging our mirror neurons. When we read deeply, we help train our “attention” muscles, conditioning our concentration to maintain focus for longer than a minute or two. Reading is also an exercise in empathy development, as we internalize the protagonists perspective, or imagine ourselves in the place of a fictional or historical figure. When we watch the lake, or the clouds moving in a sky beyond a swaying tree branch, we switch off those attentional circuits, and allow our brains to take care of some important housekeeping. Our thoughts flow freely and widely, and creativity flourishes.
When we play, especially when we play unstructured, participant guided games, we learn how to socialize. We develop a sense of etiquette, fairness, and good humor (aka - if you act like a jerk, chances are you won’t play for long). When there is no score, no defined beginning or end goal, we can compete without stress.
Structure and schedules are important, are at the heart of the camp experience. But a decent amount of free time, supervised but unstructured, is close to that heart. We need both, and we know campers benefit from and appreciate both. Balance is the goal, and we hope all our campers achieve that goal, understand and appreciate it.
The cabin photos are now available in the photo gallery here: https://teencamp.com/about/photo-gallery/2018-session-2/cabin-photos
We hope you enjoy them. We love seeing the difference between how a cabin acts around each other in their first photo and the clear progress they have made bonding in their last photo.
Jay C. - Jay has been excelling in several program areas around camp. Jay completed the Firecracker element on the ropes course in less than a minute. He has also been a huge asset to the modern dance class.
India Y. - India recently competed in a local Chess tournament against other camps in the area. Not only was India the only female competitor, but she went on to win the tournament. Congrats India!
Ozan A. - After previously taking the waterski/wakeboard class during first session and not finding success, Ozan persisted and was finally able to get up on a wakeboard during his class this session!
-Aaron, Ajay, Alliy & Nikiwe
“Oh what a week! With a mix of weather, it seemed like all the creative minds made their way to the studio last week with a variety of genres, electronic and acoustic songs and we continue to be amazed with the talent coming through the program! Yesterday we held another World Cafe to show the talents of young songwriters who want to try performing their songs in front of a smaller audience and later this week we have Coffee House where we will get to hear the polished performances! Bands are sounding fantastic and we are super pumped for the next 2 weeks to hear everything they’ve been up to. Group Vocals got together last week for a beautiful version of “Falling In Love” - we knew you’d like to hear a little…”
- Nicky & Sean
First week of activities are completed. What a week?! The sound of bells ringing, campers laughing and the lazy, hazy days of summer are upon us. While taking a stroll around camp, this Program Director can see everything from kids playing Kazoo’s; Making videos; volleying tennis and volleyballs and enjoying our amazing Stanley Lake from a sail boat, ski boat or just taking a swim. We had some amazing workshops on our Staycation/Sign-up Day this week as well. We had Self Defense, CrossFit, Pottery and an Amazing Basketball Clinic that ended in some 2 vs. 2 games. The second activity is already off to a brilliant start with some new additions to the class offerings; Live Action Role Play, Chair Painting, Country Music Appreciation, Advanced Mt. Bike and many more. We must get back to all the fun, will catch you up soon.
What a week! The LT's have completed their first week of session 2 and hit the ground running! They have been diligently planning for their LT Dance early next week, and it will most defiantly be out of this world, far far into space! They have been doing daily and evening promos for the upcoming LT Dance that is space/galaxy themed, as well as selected the location, stations, and music. The LTs have all been working hard on the EP decorations each 6th period in-between working the camp store or preparing for upcoming performances with dance or theatre, and have truly risen to the occasion. The LT's have been working so hard in their buddy cabins, the directors decided to give them a 'night off' for them to unwind
and relax with one another, which was accompanied by sitting on the back deck of the lodge, watching the blood moon while enjoying hot co-co and chocolate cookies. We all howled at the moon, shared laughs, and released any built up tension from the busy week. More LTs have created new and exciting classes, from Country Appreciation, Advanced Basketball, to a Feel Good class.
The Coordinator of the LT's is thankful to have such a creative, passionate, and caring LT cohort! It's been a true delight to work with such dedicated and compassionate young leaders of tomorrow! The entire camp is looking forward to the dance early this week and so see what legacy project the LTs come up with this summer!
The stormy weather of the past week hasn't put a damper on our Evening Programs! We had relaxed Movie Night where campers got to vote using our innovative "Noise-o-meter" to vote for the film of their choosing. We also had a night to appreciate the beauty of our environment called "The Maine Event" in which campers chose to different Maine themed activities, such as a night canoe, drive in movie, a campfire sing along and more. The campers did some boot-scootin' at the Farmer's Olympics, where they competed with their cabins at different competitions! The LT's put on an incredible Space themed dance that was out of this world! There is so much more to come with our evening programs for the rest of Activity Week 2!
-Dylan & Gina
After a beautiful day at Funtown for our all camp trip day, our second activity week is in full swing! Our white water rafting trip has gone out this morning and we’re all excited to hear how much fun they have rafting. The Freeport trip is next out on activity Day 4! We’ll be said to say good bye to all of the wonderful two weekers and six weekers at the end of this week. But for those who are staying, we’ll finish off this week out with our all camp trip for a relaxing day at Scarborough Beach State Park, taking in the sun, waves and a picnic lunch.
Next week we are looking forward to our last trip of the session, our new Rock Climbing trip! If you or your camper is interested, feel free to call camp and ask for Becca or send me an email at: email@example.com
We’re looking forward to a beautiful rest of the summer!
This week I'm finalizing travel plans for the 6 Week and 2 Week campers, who leave on Saturday. If I've not yet heard from you, please make sure to email me firstname.lastname@example.org
Of course, if you camper decides that they want just a little more of what MTC offers, and want to extend their stay beyond the 4th, we're happy to confirm new travel arrangements. Just email or call, we'd love to have your camper linger, a little longer...
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.