A Day in the Life of a… Cabin Leader

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A Day in the Life of a… Cabin Leader

All camp staff go through training together; you’ll learn how to work with kids, explore the Neck, and meet lots of new people. Camper arrival day comes quickly, but music is playing and the energy is high.

The Camp schedule has 3 different days; Chewonki Days, Excursion days, and Activity Days. You’ll have Activity days first.

As a Cabin Leader, you’ll wake up in your cabin with your co leader and campers. You may be coming back from Polar Bear or a birdwalk when the bell rings at 7am to get ready for breakfast. You and your cabin get ready, and then walk to breakfast to start your day.

  • Breakfast is always homemade – today we’re all eating farm eggs, or maybe homemade granola while listening to the Natural History Activity Head introduce the ‘Natural History Mystery!’ We have a morning meeting to talk about the day, and then it’s off to your cabin so that you and your campers can clean up for their cabin inspection.
  • Morning inspection is finished and your cabin passed with flying colors! Now, your campers will go to one of our eight activities: Natural History, Outdoor Living Skills, Visual Arts, Farm, Archery, Woodworking, Community Building, or Watercraft.
  • Period 1 Woodworking today! You may be with your campers at Woodworking, or you have this time to prepare an activity for the Free Choice period, meet with your Cabin Coordinator, or have a chance to relax and recharge.
  • Period 2 OLS! You walk with your cabin to the OLS site. After helping your campers practice making fires, you walk back to the cabin with your campers and get ready for lunch.
  • Lunch is Farm Greens, farm Tomato Soup with grilled cheese and Cheese-Its (don’t knock it ‘till you try it!) are ready when your cabin gets to lunch. You sit back, eat, and listen to the Farm Activity Head talk about a Food Fact – did you know that tomatoes have an antioxidant in their skins called lycopene? The redder the tomato, the more lycopene is in it!
  • Rest Hour happens after lunch in which everyone reads a book, writes a letter, or takes a nap – adults and campers alike.
  • Period 3 you and your campers go to the Farm and meet Grandpa, the calf who was born last summer. After learning about the compost and starting a felting project, you all walk back to your campus for period 4.
  • Period 4 activities were announced and campers signed up for the activities this morning. You offer to lead a trail running activity. The campers who are interested lace up, and you head out as a group to explore and run to one of the points on the Neck.
  • Dinner time is highly anticipated tonight – we heard a rumor that it’s blueberry cobbler for dessert (made with Maine blueberries, of course).
  • Evening Activities fall into 3 categories. Bunk nights are activities that cabin leaders plan for (or with) their campers. All Camp nights are generally campfires, skit nights, or another activity that Coordinators and leadership plan for all campers and Cabin leaders on campus. Tonight is a Group Night that you, your Cabin Coordinator, and the other cabin leaders in your age group plan. You all chose Gaga ball since there is a tournament at the end of the week!
  • The rest of the evening is centered around washing up, eating a delicious dinner. Finally, at bedtime you take some time to slip away and check your email, call a friend, and then head to bed.

The next day may be another activity day, an Excursion Day, a Chewonki Day, or your day off!

Cabin Trips (through the eyes of Camp)

Your cabin’s trip is getting closer, and it’s time to prepare. The Cabin Trip Coordinator will help to make sure you and your campers know the details of the trip, and can answer questions about gear. As a Cabin Leader, you’ll prepare them mentally and emotionally so that they feel confident and excited about their coming experience.
The day comes, and you, your co-leader, and trip leader head out to start day 1 of your itinerary!
At Camp, the Cabin Trip Coordinator tracks your progress for the rest of us to see.
When you return to camp, you see familiar faces and peers that are excited to hear about your adventures. Your campers have grown closer, there are more inside jokes than ever, and you sleep soundly in your cabin knowing that the rest of camp is going to be a blast.

As the final days of Session 1 come and go, you’ll have some new experiences to talk about. You got to judge the Blueberry Bakeoff, got sucked into the mud on a mud rove, and laughed as your campers “accidentally” painted themselves head-to-toe in blue paint. It’s bittersweet to see the campers go, but it’s exciting to know that Session 2 is about to begin, and you’ll have so many new moments to look forward to.

Beginning of Session 2

We return from intersession to prepare for Session 2. By now, you know what to expect, and may have a new co-leader, cabin, or age group to get to know.
Session 2 starts, and it’s similar but different from last session. The energy is there, but it’s different. Campers are there, but they’re different. Fortunately, you have your friends, peers, and Coordinators to lean on through the transition. Before you know it, you’re in the rhythm of camp again and you’re more confident in your interactions with the campers.
As camp progresses, we get closer to the end. You’ve gotten close with your second group of campers, and now it’s time to prepare to say goodbye to them, and to Chewonki for now. We work together as a camp to clean, organize, and store our supplies. Activity heads pack away their materials, Cabin Leaders give trip supplies to Packout, and the cabins start to look like they did when you got there. Although campus starts to look empty, it feels alive with energy and memories that you’ll remember when you come back next year!
After camp, you’ll leave with new things; memories, experience, confidence, professional references, a stronger resume, and an understanding of how you can (and did) make an impact on your camper’s lives.

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