MTC Blog

Let's Talk about Bugs!


3 min read time

Ticks

Ticks and tick borne illnesses are now endemic to all of the lower 48 states of the USA.  While the wider public perception of illnesses is more recent, ticks themselves have always been around, and we have been minimizing camper and staff exposure for many years.  Indeed, at Maine Teen Camp in summer 2017 we only had 2 ticks found crawling on a member of camp reported to the health center.

We take a two-fold approach to tick management.  The first, and hardest part, is maintaining the camp property to reduce the tick population.  We do this in a systematic way that involves eliminating habitat (so cutting back of scrub, keeping lawns mowed very low, eliminating weed growth), encouraging natural predators (specifically – chickens and wild birds that eat ticks), minimizing squirrel and chipmunk habitats in areas where campers will frequent, and environmentally appropriate, highly targeted application of tick controlling organic pesticides/biopesticides.

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Fully Elective, Teenage Friendly Activities.


3 min read time

The question, “You do fully elective, teen-appropriate activity choices?  How?  Why?!?”, is among the most frequent questions we get asked by other camp directors, mostly because other camps schedule campers by bunk, or some other grouping.  Some may allow a couple of electives per day, or give a limited selection to some campers, some of the time.  But every camper choosing from every activity, every period?  It isn’t really done in traditional summer camps.  How do we do it?  And more importantly, why do we do it?

We’ll start with the, “How?”, and reveal a bit of an MTC secret.  The campers do all the hard work…Our understanding of teenagers tells us that given the choice, our campers select the activities that interest them, challenge them, that look like fun, that their friends are doing, that their parents would like them to do, that their parents would not like them to do (I’m looking at you, “Beginner’s Drumming”), or that just sound intriguing (I’m looking at you, “Yas Queen”).

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13 (and a bit) Things We Learned About Camp and Teens, This Summer


3 min read time

Even after 33 summers as Maine Teen Camp, we still learn new things every session.  Sometimes we are reminded of things we’d maybe forgotten.  Always we realize just how profound and important some truths are.  We spend time reflecting on these various aspects of camp, and this year we thought we would share a few of our observations.

 1. That diversity is powerful. We sometimes take for granted the things that make us different, that make us unique, make communities and friendships more interesting, more resilient, and more worthwhile.  Oh, and that differences matter a lot (a LOT) less to teenagers than adults would have them believe.

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What Parents Have Said About Summer 2017 (A Small Sample...)


5 min read time

Each year we survey our camper families, after the summer, to see how we are doing.  This is a small sample of some of the feedback we've received so far.  We think it captures as much of the camp experience as anything we could say.

What did your camper enjoy most about MTC?

"Making friends with people from all over the world and country. He felt that everyone was so accepting of each other."

"M has made wonderful friendships with co campers and grown close to her counselors and camp staff. She's most attracted to MTC for the social connections but also loves the physical beauty on campus and all of the amazing activities campers are encouraged to take part in. She loved the pottery this year and working out. She even acknowledges how refreshing it is to take a break from technology, particularly pervasive phone use! M said expanded access to the lake was a great addition this year."

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A Timely Reminder to Camp Families


1 min read time

Dear Camp Family,

As you have been likely following, the US has been experiencing a period of political change at a dramatic pace. Following the news feels like a full-time job some days.We wanted to reach out for two brief, and related reasons. We have heard from and spoken to numerous campers and staff over the last couple of weeks and months. Regardless of where any stand on the political spectrum, we have noticed an increased level of interest in politics.Of some concern to us is the fact that this has been leading to increased levels of stress and anxiety, as our young adults and adolescents have the most at stake, and yet, have the least amount of control (particularly teens who are not old enough to vote). We know that if you feel you have command over a situation, there’s a decreased level of stress and anxiety.

In light of this, there are a few suggestions we’d like to highlight here:

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Community Matters


0 min read time

For starters, MTC came through the Superstorm Sandy with no real damage – a couple of trees down, that’s about it.  Maine, as a whole, was spared the worst of the storm.  But since the power came back on, we have been glued to the TV, watching the news footage from New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and several other hard-hit states.While we can’t contact all of our MTC family directly right now, we are fairly confident that all are safe.

However, there is still hard times ahead for many members of our community, and more importantly, many thousands of people in the affected regions.  Our hearts go out to them; some families have lost everything, and some have lost loved ones.  But through the support of the wider community, people will recover.

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Heavy Heart


2 min read time

Earlier today the phone rang at the camp office.  An old staff, from the earlier years of MTC, Colby Hall, was calling to pass along some tough news.  Dan Forman, MTC Staff Alum, Ropes Course Director, Trips Leader, Story Teller extraordinaire, had died.  Dan was a very young and super healthy 46.

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Camper Arrival Day Pt 1


0 min read time

The excitement in the air today is electric! Everyone is holding their breath waiting to hear the first cabin to be called. Will it be Bowdoin? Penthouse? All the counselors are waiting for their new campers. While waiting, we reflect on the experiences we had in the past week.

From the first introductions, we knew that we would have a good summer. However, over the course of the week we learned to love one each other and regard everyone as a family.

Through the tests and trials of the ropes course and lifeguard training, to the grueling hours of work projects; our single goal was to get ready for every camper.

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An Improved Website. A New Blog


1 min read time

So here it is, the newly improved Maine Teen Camp website, complete with blogging tool!  We are excited to have updated the website, it refreshes the look, but is built on a more powerful and flexible platform.  We can now keep the content more current, and hopefully more relevant.

Obviously, we also have a new blogging app installed on the website.  Some of you may recall that we had a blog at teencamp.com in the past.  That's right, Pinchy's Blog.  Pinchy, as you may know, is a cat.  Our cat.  We thought it would be a cute pretense to write a blog from the point of view of a cat who has the inside scoop on whats happening in camp.  It was cute.  For a week.  Then we realized that the concept lacked pretty much everything but cute.  So we never updated it, and like 90% of blogs and tamagochi, it died of neglect.

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Maine Teen Camp

481 Brownfield Rd,
Porter, Maine
800-752-CAMP
mtc@teencamp.com

Maine Teen Camp is the only accredited summer camp created exclusively for teenagers. Enjoy a summer of meaning, fun, friendships and memories to last a lifetime.