It takes a lot of guts to go away to summer camp. We were reminded of this multiple times this past weekend, when we started our Second Session Summer 2019 under hot and humid Maine skies. The heat broke the next day, but the admiration we gained for so many of our incoming campers has not fallen. We forget, as adults, how awkward and hard it is for a teenager to go to a brand-new place, where they don’t know anyone, or even know a whole lot about their home for the next 2 – 4 weeks. Many of our campers arrived with a look on their face that said “huh, I wonder if I am doing the right thing”. Some even say so out loud. They were greeted by enthusiastic staff, and senior campers, who were acting like this was the best day of the year. Because to them it is. To the new camper – it looks a bit like walking into someone else’s class reunion. But there is promise there. The new camper knows – these other campers were new campers once. Maybe a month ago, a year ago. For some of our LT’s (Leadership Trainees, more below), it was several years ago. But no matter who and when, they were all new campers at one point. Full of doubt. Questioning themselves and their parents, wondering whatever possessed them to think this was a good idea. And here those returning campers are now, on a hot and bright opening day, crying tears of joy at seeing old friends, and requiring ice packs to soothe hands sore from high fiving so many new friends. A new camper sees this, sees someone who looks kind of a lot like them, and (ideally) asks themselves – “how do I get to that place?”. The fact that they are here shows a level of courage that many kids and teens entirely lack, those who simply will not push their comfort zone at all. They are then asked to do something else that we feel is incredibly brave…say hi to a total stranger, a peer their age, but who they don’t know from a bar of soap. It takes a huge leap of faith, not unlike jumping into a pool of water of unknown temperature without first dipping a toe. But, and this is the wonderful part, they find that once they take that big, bold, scary step, the water is fine. The person they are greeting wants to make friends too. So do all the other campers. Staff too. Activities are not just engaging, but fun multipliers. The more you put into them, the more you get out of them. It all reinforces. And it all starts with that big, brave step. Our session is off to a great start, and we’re looking forward to every minute of it.
Greetings from a very quiet Maine Teen Camp Office. Quiet you may ask, why yes, the campers are just too busy out and enjoying their activities and friends at camp! Photo Gallery is up and running, here: (the password is MTCsummer with uppercase MTC). Emails are flying out of the computers and letters are in the mail!
Thank you for sending your amazing campers our way!
We have now kicked off our Second Session for the summer and it’s shaping up to be a great one as we have multiple trips going out in the first Activity Week! This week, we have the Best of Boston, Best of Portland, and our all-camp Funtown trip day happening. We start this week with our trip to Boston, where the campers will get to enjoy shopping on Newbury Street, a meal at the Mongolian Grill, Fire + Ice, and finishes with a Duck Tour around Boston for the campers to learn about the city’s rich history. The following day, we have the Best of Portland trip, where campers will get enjoy delicious donuts from Holy Donuts, go on a sailing excursion in Casco Bay, eat lunch at The Lobster Company, and then shop for a brief period of time in the streets of the Old Port. This trip really is a great Maine experience all-around! We will be wrapping up the week with our all-camp trip to the amusement park, Funtown, USA. Here, campers will get to go on rides, eat lunch at the food vendors provided by the park, and play some carnival games to try and win prizes. The fun and friendly environment makes for a great day out of camp! We are really looking forward to these trips going out, so don’t let your camper miss out on the cool experiences and all the fun to be had!
Second Session is finally here! With that, we have a bunch of new activities but more importantly a lot of new campers to share this amazing place with! We are so excited to get back into things, and not even a little rain (much needed!) has been able to dampen that excitement! We started off with a Welcome Show that was full of fun and laughter, then the following day signing up for Activity Week One. That afternoon it was straight into activities and the wonderful sounds of music being played, boats going around the lake, soccer balls being kicked, and pots clanging over in our Cooking Studio. Speaking of activities, we have Wake Surfing on offer again and a welcome return for the Canoes on Trafton Pond (in conjunction with our normal canoeing and other water activities on Stanley Pond).
It is so good to hear these sounds once again and see the campers having fun!
Last week the LTs traveled to Camp O-At-Ka for a seminar on inclusivity and "Finding Your People". They worked with campers from O-At-Ka as well as Camp Wawenock to find ways to make all people feel included, sharpen skills on identifying commonalities with others, and learning what it means to be "One People". They had an amazing time, and have been able to show the skills they learned around camp, ensuring that our new Second Session campers feel welcome and safe here at camp.
-Aaron & Marissa
The first week of Second Session has been a blast! We had an amazing Welcome Show in which our MTC red carpet awards show informed our campers about the goings on at camp. We also had our Cabin Night, a night of bonding and getting to know one another by playing games and spending time together. The campers then collaborated with their cabins in quiz night, followed by performing their hearts out at our Lip Sync competition. Every single cabin wowed the judges with their incredibly fun performances! The following evening the campers danced and tasted delicious foods for the Caribbean Beach Party. After dancing the previous night away, the campers enjoyed the brand new EP, Family Fun Night, where campers work together to take on some silly and creative challenges in Minute to Win it meets arcade Night on the field! With the busy week winding down, it was time for a movie night under the stars at the amphitheater, a new fan favorite location here at MTC. To end the week, we have our traditional MTC's best dance crew to dance it out and have a good time during our staycation. There's so much fun to be had during our Evening Programs so stay tuned to see what else the session brings!
-Djenaba & Hal
Second Session activities have begun and we’ve had another influx of campers interested in getting involved in music activities, which is fantastic! New camper bands have been formed for this session and each one has started to choose their songs and rehearse together. The bands here at camp for two weeks will be performing at our coffee house evening program whereas the full session campers will be performing at live dance. Make sure to keep an eye on the MTC website and social media sites in Autumn/Winter for the videos and recordings of this summer's live music evening programs to see the campers in action!
The staff band have also started rehearsals this week in preparation for the Sock Hop 1950s style dance coming up later in the session. The staff band performed throughout the night whilst the campers dance the night away like they did way back when! It’s a lot of fun for everyone.
So, with plenty of music EPs coming up, we are so excited to see what Second Session has in store!
- Chloe, Ajay, and Sean
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