Year: 2020

Illustrated map of Camp Chewonki

Stay Connected this Winter with Camp@Home

Looking to connect to your Chewonki friends this winter while staying up-to-date with the latest news from Salt Marsh Farm and the Wildlife Center? Are you looking for fun Chewonki activities to do on your own at home with family and friends to tide you over until next summer? Well, look no further!

2020 has been a year of firsts. You might say the year has been “unprecedented”. At Chewonki, 2020 was our first summer without in-person programming since our founding in 2015. Did that stop us from getting together to build community, learn about the natural world, and discover new passions? You bet it didn’t!

Instead of hunkering down and waiting for 2021, the camp team produced another Chewonki first – we created a remote camp program to stay connected to all of our wonderful campers by helping them experience the Chewonki magic at home this summer. Camp Chewonki@Home was born! This summer we connected with campers a couple of times a week over Zoom to share about our lives, participate in a fun activity, and sing songs together around the campfire. We posted activities and videos like Bird of the Week on our brand new Camp Chewonki@Home website where campers submitted pictures of all the cool things they were doing at home. We also set up a pen pal program so folks could keep the Chewonki tradition of letter writing alive and well. Needless to say, we had about as much fun as could be expected without actually being at Chewonki.

With the success of Camp Chewonki@Home and the desire to stay connected over the winter, we have reignited the Camp Chewonki@Home flame with the brand new Camp Chewonki Newsletter! Once a month enrolled camp families receive an email directing them to the Camp Chewonki@Home website to learn about the seasonal changes on campus (welcoming new piglets on the farm and learning about how owls prepare for the cold of winter), find a monthly activity for some fun at home, and read about important camp updates as we approach summer 2021. We are also gathering on Zoom once a month to continue the fun we had this summer connecting with our friends from afar. You can check out our Events page to find links to RSVP.

“But wait, Charlie, Emily, Jen – do I have to enroll in camp to see all of this cool stuff you just told us about?” That’s a great question! While we would obviously like to welcome all of you to camp next summer we understand that we might not be in your plans for 2021. With that in mind, while the monthly email will just go to enrolled families, anyone can access all the fun on Camp Chewonki@Home at any time. We hope you’ll visit often to check out our monthly posts. And don’t forget: there are still loads of activities and videos from this summer to keep you warm and connected to Chewonki amidst the snows of winter.

We hope to see you at our next Camp Chewonki@Home Zoom gathering! Visit our events page for more info.

Sincerely,

Charlie, Emily, & Jen

Boys Camp and Girls Camp Packing List

Equipment List and Packing Tips

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Coming prepared to camp sets the stage for a summer focused on learning and fun in the outdoors. Please arrive at camp with all of the required items from these lists. All clothing and gear must be well marked with your camper’s name.

Some of the best quality items for life in the outdoors can be found at secondhand stores or gear exchanges! Young people grow quickly, so we highly recommend that you look for stores in your area where you can find secondhand items for a lower price. You can find logoed versions of many items on our packing list in the Chewonki Store (we encourage you to order early). 

Visit our Chewonki Store:

Please see the Gear Lending section below for items you may have difficulty acquiring. 

Gear Lending at Chewonki

All campers will have the opportunity to borrow gear for the summer from Chewonki’s Packout. Items that are available for lending include:

  • Sleeping Bags
  • Compression Sacks
  • Sleeping Pads
  • Trip Dry Bag / Backpack

We are able to provide additional equipment and clothing to campers. Please contact the camp office (camp@chewonki.org) several weeks in advance of arrival for more information.

Camp T-shirt Update

We no longer require participants to wear a Camp Chewonki logoed t-shirt during camp. We are pleased to announce that all campers will receive two Camp Chewonki logo t-shirts as part of their enrollment. They will be distributed upon arrival at camp!

Facemasks at Camp

All participants should arrive at camp with cloth masks. The quantity needed for each program is listed below. Masks should be at least two layers and tight fitting. If a participant wears glasses, it would be important to be able to tightly fit the cloth around the nose to avoid fogging of glasses.  Here is a link from the CDC that provides more guidance.

  • Participants should pack 9 masks.

Packing for Camp

Living in a cabin, yurt or tent at camp means that we all embrace group living and shared space! This means living simply, and leaving items at home that will not be needed during the summer. We request that you limit what you pack to the items on these lists, as we have honed it over many summers, and find that it meets the needs of our campers.

Each camper will have their own set of shelves and shared storage space under their bunk to keep their belongings organized while at camp. We recommend packing for camp in dufflebags or suitcases that can be easily compressed and stored while not in use. Trunks are not recommended due to limited space.

We highly recommend packing together with your camper. This allows them to understand all the items that are going to camp with them and where they are. It also prepares them for the task of packing for themselves on their cabin trips and when they prepare to return home.

Please contact us with any questions you may have about items on this list or how to acquire them. We look forward to working with you to ensure a stress-free packing experience!

Clothing

10-Day vs. 3-Week Programs

Packing quantities are for 3-week Full Session (10-day Puffin Program is listed in parentheses where different)

A Note About Layering


Layering is combining different garments to achieve insulation and protection from wind and rain. Insulating layers should be synthetic or wool fibers, which insulate when wet. Cotton is a poor insulator when wet. Layers must fit comfortably over each other so that they can be worn together.

Footwear and Headwear


Bedding & Hygiene Items

 Your container for storing and carrying items to and from the washhouse;
must include:

Equipment


Trip Equipment

(These items can be borrowed from Chewonki)

Miscellaneous Items

Letter writing materials:


Things to Leave at Home

Items with an asterisk can be borrowed from Chewonki

Camp Chewonki Program Updates

Camp Chewonki Program Updates

Rev. Nancy J. Kennedy, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President
for Organizational
Development and
Camp Chewonki

Welcome! Chewonki has a rich and long history of providing fun educational opportunities to young people. For over 100 years, we have facilitated our campers through transformative growth. The changes explained below reflect our desire and need to lead by example. 

We acknowledge that Camp Chewonki has not always felt like a safe and inclusive place for all people, and in order to create a community that lives up to the promises of our diversity, equity and inclusion statement, we will continue to grow and evolve. 

Each year we reflect on our programs and evaluate how we are meeting the needs of our participants. We have made the following changes to strengthen our curriculum and provide high quality, consistent experiences for our campers: 

The Camp Chewonki Progression:

Camp Chewonki for Boys and Camp Chewonki for Girls are nature-based overnight camps for ages 8-15 that take place on our Wiscasset campus for either ten-day or three-week sessions. They are designed to purposefully foster inclusive communities and a love of the natural world. 

Travel through remote places has long been a tradition at Chewonki. This starts in our overnight camps for children for ages 8-15. Campers of all genders, ages 14-18, travel across Maine and Canada on our Leadership Expeditions. These expeditions are organized into three groups that continue the age group bird names of the overnight camps, and aid in defining the Camp Chewonki progression. 

From Wilderness Trips to Leadership Expeditions:

We have changed the name of Camp Chewonki Wilderness Trips to Camp Chewonki Leadership Expeditions to clarify the programming and affirm our commitment to inclusion. We believe that the name Leadership Expeditions more accurately describes the program objectives and highlights the progression for campers from overnight camp to Leadership Expeditions as they grow in age and skill.

Additionally, the use of the term “wilderness” erases Indigenous history by promoting an idealized concept of an “unpeopled landscape” in the places we visit, whereas every route we travel is on former or current Indigenous territory. By suggesting that we visit “the wilderness,” we lose the opportunity to teach and learn about human history, colonialism, and the Indigenous peoples who live across Maine and Canada. 

Moving forward, we will center the human history curriculum of our trip itineraries more holistically around Indigenous people and their relationship to the land, past and present. We do not intend to entirely eliminate the word “wilderness” from our vocabulary but instead put it in context and commit ourselves to understanding the impact the word has and how we can use it appropriately. To learn more about the ways the word “wilderness” erases history, read more here.

All-Gender Leadership Expeditions:

In the past, the Girls Camp has consisted of a 10-day overnight experience for campers ages 8-12 and remote trip experiences for campers ages 11-18. With the expansion of the residential program for girls camp to age 15, which includes remote trip experiences, it has become redundant for us to offer trips for all female-identifying groups. 

Moving forward, our Leadership Expeditions are open to youth of all genders, ages 14-18.

The Junior Maine Guide Program:

We have added a new Junior Maine Guide program to our capstone Leadership Expedition offerings for campers aged 16-18. The program offers an intensive curriculum to prepare participants for the Junior Maine Guide test camp in midsummer. As these young people work towards becoming future camp leaders themselves, they will benefit from a course that strengthens and affirms their hard work and skill acquisition.

The Puffin Program:

The Puffin Program is our 10-day overnight camp experience for children ages 8-11,introducing them to a communal living experience and what may be their first time away from home. 

8- and 9-year-olds must complete the Puffin Program before advancing to a longer camp program to ensure their first summer is positive and they feel excited to return. 10- and 11-year-olds are welcome to join us for the Puffin Program or enroll in a 3-week Full Session if they feel ready.

Full Summer to Full Session:

We offer two Full Sessions (3 weeks each) for the overnight camp program that provide a consistent progression of skill development in camp and increasingly more rigorous trip experiences with each year they attend. Those wishing to stay for the full summer have the opportunity to enroll in two consecutive Full Session programs, rather than our former 7-week Full Summer program.

Gender at Camp Chewonki:

In an effort to be more gender-inclusive and expansive, we are intentionally changing the language that we use to describe our communities. While we have welcomed campers and staff who identify across the spectrum of gender for many years now, we believe it to be important to be explicitly inclusive. We are committed to addressing the experiences of individuals who have not felt safe or welcomed at Camp Chewonki in the past because of their gender identity and we will work to ensure that all individuals have a safe and inclusive experience. 

Camp Chewonki is inclusive of all genders and offers all-gendered programming as well as gendered programming. Our camp communities include:

Camp Chewonki for Boys
A nature-based overnight camp program for boys and non-binary children, ages 8-15.

Camp Chewonki for Girls
A nature-based overnight camp program for girls and non-binary children, ages 8-15. 

Camp Chewonki Leadership Expeditions
An expedition-based youth leadership program for all genders and all skill levels, ages 14-18.

Eastside Campus Preview!

We are excited to release a special first look at our new Eastside Campus, the new home of Camp Chewonki for Girls!

Watch the Recording of our Eastside Preview:

Old Friends and a New Campus

As Fall settles here in Maine, leaves have begun to change color, the grass is frosty in the morning, and the birds are getting ready to fly away south. Even with all of this beauty, summer is the season I am holding in my heart, because summer is when I will get to see you all, and have your laughter and energy filling up Chewonki Neck! I can’t say how much I missed you this past summer, and I cannot wait for summer 2021. Make sure you let me know that I will see you by filling out your application as soon as possible!

Since I saw you last, we have been working hard to make sure camp is even better next summer. The new campus for Girls Camp has been completed, and I can’t wait for you to see it! We will be holding a virtual ribbon cutting in the coming weeks, so you can get a tour of the new cabins, and get excited for next summer! We will also be having events every month between now and opening day of camp. You and all your camp friends can gather on Zoom to catch up and play fun games together. We have also updated some of the names of our programs, and developed a new website! We will be sharing more information about these improvements very soon.

Please stay in touch and let me know if you have any questions, or any news to update me on! It’s been too long since we were gathered around the campfire, singing songs, and laughing together. We’ll be together again soon!

Jump for Joy: Camp is Back!

Hello friends,

It feels like ages since I’ve seen all of your faces on Chewonki Neck and I am so looking forward to welcoming you back to camp next summer. Here at Chewonki, we are hard at work planning fun activities, challenging adventures, and making sure camp is ready to keep you safe and healthy so you can play, learn, and grow with us in 2021. Make sure to let me know you are coming by filling out your application as soon as possible!

Did you know we have a new website? Check it out and discover some opportunities to stay connected to your camp friends between now and opening day of camp. We will be hosting a Camp Chewonki@Home gathering on Zoom once a month to say hi and play a fun activity together. You may also notice some changes to the language we use to describe who we are and what we do at Chewonki. We will be sharing more information about these improvements very soon.

Please let me know if you have any questions about camp. I can’t wait to greet you on the quad and start the next chapter of Camp Chewonki in summer 2021.

See you soon!

Charlie

New Names, Same Love of Remote Trips

Hello everyone! 

The camp team has been hard at work getting the new website ready! We’re excited for you all to explore the new trips and experiences we’re offering as well as some of the new pages we’ve created to better explain what our program is. Some highlights include the additions of Loon, Canada Geese, and Northstar program names and a new Junior Maine Guide program!

For those of you returning to our website, you’ll notice that some of the programs have changed and we’re choosing to use different words to describe some programs. In the upcoming weeks, we will release more information that explains the reasoning behind many of these changes. 

Above all things, we’re excited about next summer! Chewonki Neck was very quiet this summer and we’re ready to once again hear the joyful noise of campers returning from trips. Please reach out with any questions you have about the changes or what programs we have to offer. We sure do love talking about Camp Chewonki!