MTC Blog

Take a Stroll to Better Grades and Work


2 min read time

Early today I was feeling very tired (thanks raccoon who visited our chickens at 1am!), a bit stressed, unsure of which of the tasks on my list were going to get accomplished, or even how to start them.  I was feeling daunted and kind of defeated, before I’d even started my work day.  I imagine that I am not alone, especially among those in our community dealing with school schedules filled with assignments, exam prep, finals, and a host of additional obligations.

Luckily, before I could do anything about it, I had to walk our son to the bus stop, and then walk the dog after that. 

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Why a Tech Free Camp for Teenagers?


6 min read time

Conceptualizing the impact of technology on adolescent well-being in the silicon age.

MTC is effectively a tech free camp for our campers, and largely so for our staff. Technology is not absent – campers can listen to music on an MP3 player, staff record camper music on computers, campers can access a limited email system to communicate home, staff will use phones for communication and weather monitoring. However all of these uses are intentional, serving a wider programming or safety goal. Technology that does not help advance the core camp values and programming is not allowed. The question often asked is why technology isn’t allowed in camp. We think this is the wrong question. Instead, we would ask, why would technology be allowed in camp?

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Reconciling Social Media: Online Marketing at an Offline Camp


3 min read time

Social media and digital methods like email have become the primary methods of communicating with the camp community year-round, and with parents during the summer. What does it mean for a proudly offline summer experience to rely so heavily on platforms like Instagram to put the comm in community? How does our use of digital tech resonate with what we teach campers and staff?

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Not Just a Pretty Face


3 min read time

We get a lot of visitors at camp – families coming to tour, former campers and staff coming by to say hi, newly engaged couples looking for the perfect wedding venue, vendors dropping off supplies or making repairs. Without exception, and regardless of how many camps they have seen, all our visitors comment on the amazing natural beauty of MTC. A comment made frequently enough to be our unofficial motto is “it’s not the biggest camp I’ve ever seen, but it sure is the prettiest”.

It’s good that visitors, campers, parents, and staff remind us of how lovely MTC is, because we sometimes get so focused on programming, on staff training, on camper and parent concerns, that it can be easy to take our beautiful setting for granted. But we shouldn’t, and not just because it is an aesthetically pleasing place to be. We apply the same amount of intentionality to our camp grounds and buildings as we do to our activity schedule.

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Persuasive Technology and the Digital Threat to Wellbeing


3 min read time

Last month, Richard Freed, child and adolescent psychologist, published an eye opening and damning article on the unfettered use of psychological research and understanding in modern technology.

https://bit.ly/2tK9iID

While Freed was mostly concerned with the stance the APA (American Psychological Association) needs to be taking in response to the use of child psychology for ends other than those of helping people, he offers a lot for those of us simply concerned about kids.

The basic premise is simple – that the use of psychology by big tech companies (device manufacturers, social media, internet companies, game and app developers are all included) has not been given the level of scrutiny it deserves. Tech developers have been learning about how we are motivated, how behaviors are triggered and how we respond to rewards, to manipulate user behavior beyond the tipping point from choice to compulsion. The use of these understandings in technological design is called persuasive technology, or behavior design. These names say it all. The game is rigged, against all of us users, and in the case of child users, rigged against their parents.

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Camp vs. Campus


4 min read time

Spring is here!  Well, technically spring is here, and I’m sure for much of the country it even feels this way.  As for the great state of Maine…we will get there.  Spring will come and go, and summer will be here before we know it.

With spring upon us, for many families of teenagers, it’s now crunch time in deciding what to do this summer.  While many teenagers might like to get a job or simply hang out for the summer, these are often not viable options – jobs can be difficult to find or have strict age limits and demand specific qualifications.    “Hanging out” is great in small doses but is not always an ideal plan for an entire summer.  This leads many families to think about a summer camp, trip, or “program”.  Today, we’ll consider some of the main differences between a summer at a real camp, like Maine Teen Camp, versus a summer program on a college campus or similar. 

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A Parents Perspective on Camp: Part 2 - "The Happiest Surprise"


2 min read time

(We will be featuring a series of guest posts on the MTC blog over the coming months.  This post is contributed by Heather A., camper parent 2017/18.)

Here is the portion of my blog post filled with genuine and deeply-felt praise, awe, and gratitude for the wonderful job Maine Teen Camp does. My daughter went to MTC at the end of a rocky first year of high school. The school year ended on a Wednesday and she was headed to Maine that Sunday. She left our house exhausted, strung out on academic pressure and social media dependence, living in a microcosm of harsh judgment and unattainable expectations from her peers and, even more-so, herself; a bundle of raw nerves. Two short weeks later she returned to us a happy, healthy, confident bundle of swoony memories of her best summer ever.

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A Parents Perspective on Camp: Part 1 - Summers 2014 & 2017


3 min read time

(We will be featuring a series of guest posts on the MTC blog over the coming months.  This post is contributed by Tracy Preston, MTC parent summer 2014 & 2017.)

When I was a teen in 1970s London, I dreamt of going to one of the Camps in the USA that I had seen in the movies.  Camps looked fun, inclusive, and full of activity and new friends to make – usually set on a lake in a beautiful location.  At that time in my life – I would have been lucky to get a summer day to trip to a beach in grey old England, and my dreams of camp life in America – would remain just that – dreams.

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The Convert: Becoming a Believer in Maine Camps


2 min read time

Source: The Convert: Becoming a Believer in Maine Camps | Maine Camp Experience

This post is contributed by Andy Bill, Maine Teen Camp parent.

I was brought up in England and, despite an extended stay in the U.S. (30 years and counting), I knew nothing about summer camps or their nostalgic tradition. Until last spring, when my two boys, aged 13 and 14, overheard their friends planning their hazy-happy summer weeks, romping through the woods, as feral as Lost Boys in Never Never Land, sprung from the servitude of the Connecticut suburbs and their parents’ incessant advice.

I was, I admit, a bit cynical about the idea.

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Advice From a Former Staff...


1 min read time

This post is contributed by Zoe Pearce, MTC Staff Member

I BEG YOUNG PEOPLE TO... travel abroad or work abroad or both. Do it all. Grab a backpack and go. Or if you’re called Zoe & Kim, grab three suitcases each and take them to summer camp. (We never did master the art of traveling light). If you don't have a passport, get one. Take just one year or one summer and just go. Have your mind blown.

Dig some interesting people. Eat some interesting food. Have an adventure. Be careful. Come back and you're going to see stuff differently. It will change the way you relate to the world. It will change the way you relate to others after you’re exposed to so much diversity. There are lessons that you can't get out of a book that are waiting for you at the other end of that flight.

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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.