Hello Camp Chewonki Families!
With the start of First Session just around the corner, the Camp Chewonki team is hard at work making sure everything is in line for June 26th! We’ve been meeting with all the amazing teams and people across Chewonki who make camp possible, double checking schedules to ensure every camper gets to experience all Chewonki has to offer, planning arrival day and special events, and more.
As you prepare for camp this summer, we wanted to share information about camp terms and topics that will definitely come up this summer!
Westside– Westside is what we call the campus for Camp Chewonki for Boys and Non-Binary campers. This is the primary title we use internally to refer to the camp and your group leaders will likely call themselves “Westside staff.”
Eastside– Eastside is what we call the campus for Camp Chewonki for Girls and Non-Binary campers. This is the primary title we use internally to refer to the camp and your group leaders will likely call themselves “Eastside staff.”
Chewonki Neck– Chewonki Neck is a 400-acre peninsula on Montsweag Bay and the location of Camp Chewonki. You’ll get to travel to different parts of Maine during your time at camp (more on that below), but Chewonki Neck is your primary home for your camp experience. Click here for a map of Chewonki Neck!
OLS– OLS is shorthand for Outdoor Living Skills. This is one of our main program areas where campers build their skills to thrive on their trip. During this program time, campers learn how to pitch a tent, safely build a fire, and more!
Community Building– Community Building is another main program area at Camp Chewonki that encompasses our low ropes and high ropes course and team building activities.
Chewonki Day– Chewonki Day is a special event day that happens multiple times in a session and is rooted in Chewonki’s primary values. The main event on Chewonki Day is Reflection in which each camp gathers to share their meditations on their camp experience. Campers will also participate in service projects, long-standing Chewonki games, and enjoy a sleep in!
Excursion Day– Back in the day, campers and staff at Camp Chewonki lived in tents, which would need to get cleaned and aired out weekly. On this “tent day” everyone would head out of camp to explore the Midcoast of Maine. Although we don’t live in tents anymore, we still enjoy a break from our regular programming with a special event day. Because of COVID, we’ve decided to not leave campus on this day, but instead we’ve created epic special event days for everyone to enjoy.
Cabin Trips– Each cabin at Camp Chewonki goes on their own trip out of camp to fully experience all Maine has to offer. You’ve already received information about your trip this summer. Each age group has a particular trip that they go on and as you spend more summers at Chewonki you continue through the trip progression, which culminates in canoeing the Allagash River your Osprey summer!
We are so excited to see you at camp soon!
From the Camp Office
Coordinator Corner ~
We’re excited to introduce the Cabin Coordinators for Eastside and Westside camps this summer! Cabin Coordinators oversee one or two age groups and directly supervise the Cabin Leaders living in the cabin. They work closely with camp leadership to ensure campers receive all the support they need to have an amazing summer.
Westside Cabin Coordinators
Rebecca Salerno (Puffins)
Becca (she/her) is so excited to return for her second summer at Chewonki! During the school year, she leads after-school programs for elementary school students in Portland, ME, and in her spare time she loves days at the beach, ice cream, and finding hidden gems at antique sales. She can’t wait for another summer of Camp Chewonki magic!
Ky Putnam (Owls)
Hi! My name is Ky and my pronouns are they/them. I’m a Bowdoin graduate with a degree in sociology and education. I’m passionate about rock climbing and campfire singalongs.
Nathan Madeira (Herons & Ospreys)
My name is Nathan Madeira (he/him) and I am so excited to be at Chewonki for the summer! I am in my fifth year of teaching and can’t wait to get out on the water or go swimming this summer.
Eastside Cabin Coordinators
Audrey Daigneault (Puffins & Owls)
Hi, my name is Audrey, and I use she/her/hers pronouns. For the last year, I was serving as a 3rd grade social studies and science teacher in Texas. My favorite outdoor activity is an ultimate frisbee!
Patrice W (Herons & Osprey)
Hello, my name is Patrice. My pronouns are she/her. I am a student in Business Administration at American Intercontinental University. I am a abstract artist and I love to play all sports.
Photos at Camp - Introducing Campminder Campanion
From the Health and Wellness Center
Emotionally Preparing for Chewonki Summer Programs
Hello from the Chewonki Health and Wellness Center! It’s almost summer again and we are gearing up to welcome your kids to another exciting season with Chewonki. As we prepare, we know you and your family are also looking to prepare for amazing summer experiences.
Sometimes the transition between home and summer programming can be challenging for young people. Even experienced summer participants sometimes find it difficult to cope with all of the differences between their home lives and Chewonki lives. One of the best ways for participants to prepare for summer programming is to practice! Practice having novel experiences and practice having experiences that may be similar to summer program experiences.
It may seem silly to practice having novel experiences – especially when your young person is practicing for an experience (like camp or a trip) that is designed to be enjoyable. However, change can be, and frequently is an obstacle for children and adults alike. The human brain is very content with using unconscious automatic processes that allow us to move more quickly through our world without requiring us to consider each step of our day or each step of an activity. Doing things differently requires more emotional effort. This emotional effort can be tiring even when an experience is fun.
Practicing novel experiences can help you and your young person identify and get used to using methods that can help them cope with putting forth this extra emotional effort. It also can help them begin to think about and talk about novel experiences in a different way. For example, they may be able to tell themselves things like, “It’s ok if this is hard and fun at the same time,” or “I feel exhausted by new things sometimes and that is alright,” or even, “I know how to handle it when something new feels like a lot to me.” Some example novel experiences include: brushing teeth somewhere other than the bathroom, eating food that is not the normal brand, going somewhere new and adhering to expectations of that environment, not bathing on the expected day or at the expected time. These are only a few, so feel free to get creative!
Practicing, in order to get ready for camp or trip experiences, can help our brains get used to and develop comfort with some situations before being confronted with the need to cope with them for weeks. If a situation ends up being particularly difficult – this also gives you and your young person time to identify and practice using some coping skills and positive self-talk to better manage that situation. Some examples of things to practice include: sleeping away from home and caregivers, finding a few foods that are desirable when a meal is not a preferred one, carrying their own bags/things, using a flashlight to get to the bathroom at night, going to bed and getting up early, using compostable toilets or bathrooming in nature, swimming in a lake or salt water, and long walks. For more suggestions or information regarding camp and trip daily living, please contact us!
Practicing things before arrival at Chewonki also helps participants better manage homesickness. Practicing with novel experiences – even ones unconnected to camp or trips, can help young people learn coping skills and encourages reasonable expectations of themselves. Both of those things can support them when experiencing a bit of homesickness. Having experience with situations similar to summer programming can help a camper feel a bit less impacted by change which allows their minds to have more energy for coping when homesickness pops up. It also can help them experience a bit less sadness or worry about the temporary loss of their everyday home experiences.
Homesickness and Camp
New Families Info Session
Hiring for 2022
Do you have plans this summer? We are looking for people that want to make a positive difference in a child’s life.
Can you find Ginny? Ginny, our newest mammal ambassador, will be hiding out in our feature picture each month. Submit your solution to firstname.lastname@example.org. Can’t find her? We will share the solution in next month’s newsletter. Here is May’s solution.