Hello Camp Chewonki Community,
We hope everyone’s school year is off to a great start! It’s hard to believe that it’s been over a month since the Second Session campers left Chewonki Neck. The trees are already starting to turn here and the Neck is filled with students from the Elementary Middle School, Maine Coast Semester, and Outdoor Classroom.
The year round camp team is already hard at work envisioning and planning for Summer 2023. We’ve collected feedback from camp families and staff and are in the process of meeting with the other amazing Chewonki departments that keep camp running smoothly in order to collect reflections on this past summer. We’re excited to share updates with you as we finalize plans through this newsletter every month!
I’m excited to report that overnight camp is already fifty percent enrolled for next summer! Some age groups are ninety percent full. We were thrilled to see so many applications from returning campers come flooding in and are starting to welcome applications from new campers. If you haven’t submitted your application for next summer, be sure to do so soon to save your spot! If you have any questions about enrollment, please feel free to reach out to Leslie Hunter in Admissions or the camp team.
Follow Camp Chewonki on Instagram or Facebook! After a little hiatus, the Camp Chewonki specific Instagram is back. We’ll be sharing highlights from the summer, snaps of the Neck as the seasons change, and share updates. You can follow the Chewonki Instagram for insights into all Chewonki programs.
Paddle and dip,
Katie and Jen
From the Neck
Salt Marsh Farm
Fall is a bustling season on the farm! With the help of Ted and Bob, our draft horses, we are clearing out gardens and putting in cover crops, whose roots will hold soil in place all winter and add to the fertility of the soil. Though he’s plenty busy on the farm, Bob also just took a trip off campus to the Common Ground Country Fair with Farm and Woodlot Manager Megan Phillips. Megan and Bob did demonstrations at the Fair about the relationship between horses and humans and how to safely engage in working with draft animals.
The farm crew and Chewonki students are bringing in large harvests for the kitchen as the temperatures grow colder and the days grow shorter. Cows and sheep are starting to dig into their winter hay ration as the grass growth slows. We saw our first frosts of the year this week, the pastures and gardens rimmed with a light layer for a few days in a row!
Traveling Natural History Program
Have you ever wondered why October is seen as such a spooky month? Why do we share scary stories, and give more focus to the ‘things that go bump in the night?
This time of year is one of transition, and sets up a peak opportunity for people and nocturnal animals to come into contact. The summer days begin to give way to the night, as the darkness arrives earlier and earlier, bringing nocturnal animals out sooner while people are still awake and finishing up their day. The trees spill down their leaves in a colorful splendor, which draws eyes to the woods, and also pulls back the usually thick green cloak of the forest, revealing hidden homes and haunts. And finally, fall is the harvest season – one last bounty before food grows very scarce in winter. Many animals are emboldened by their hunger, preparing for migration or a winter sleep, and it can bring them into new spaces as they search for resources.
This time of year The Traveling Natural History Program gets a lot of requests for Bat and Owl programs – to bring a little understanding and empathy to these children of the night. While we don’t currently have any ambassador bats, our aviaries are full of watchful owls, including the State’s smallest species, the Northern Saw-whet Owl!
Saw-Whet Owls get their name from their high-pitched call, a Pip! pip! Pip! or a “too too too..!” that some believe sounded like the sound of a Saw-blade being sharpened by a Whet-stone.
They are tiny, about the size of a large grapefruit, with cat-like faces and piercing yellow eyes. You’ll be hard pressed to spot one in the wild – their camouflaged feathers will blend into the trees they perch in, and those same feathers are built to make them silent in flight.
Can you spot our resident Saw-whet Owls, Haven and Boo? These two live together in our aviaries, a form of social enrichment and companionship. They are close to the same age – Caribou (or Boo for short!) being born in the spring of 2017, and Haven a year later in 2018. This species of owl will live about a decade in the wild (if they make it through their harrowing first year!). We expect them to live even longer lives with us, safe from the perils of the woods, such as hunger and predators.
Haven and Boo both came from Avian Haven, and they both share a past of head trauma, leading to a blindness in their right eye. Haven’s blind eye has even shifted in color over the years, giving him a strikingly unique look. Because of their partial blindness, they would have more difficulty landing perches and catching prey than other owls (a lack of depth perception). While we might send a one-eyed adult owl back into the wild after rehabilitation, both Haven and Boo were young, inexperienced owls that may not have had established territories. Their chance of survival was much higher as an educational ambassador, and we are happy to have them join our team!
From the Kitchen
We serve Baked Oatmeal on a regular basis and it is a favorite. We’ve made it with frozen sliced peaches as well. It is particularly good with a dollop of farm yogurt!
We also prepare an oatmeal bar that includes plain oatmeal with lots of toppings like, brown sugar, craisins, pumpkin seeds, chocolate chips, berries, etc.
~ Susan and the Kitchen Team
This recipe makes one 12 x 20 inch pan or two 9 x 11 pans.
- 6 Cups blueberries (or other fruit)
- 2 Cups honey (or maple syrup)
- 8 cups oats
- 1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 8 Cups milk (½ gallon)
- 8 eggs, beaten
- 3 Tbsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Step 1: Grease/spray a 2″hotel pan and sprinkle fruit across the bottom of the pan. Pour honey or maple syrup over fruit. Bake for 10 minutes.
Step 2: Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Combine wet ingredients in another large bowl.
Step 3: When fruit and honey have gotten warm and have been removed from the oven, give the pans a light jiggle to make sure the honey is all over the berries. Pour the dry ingredients over the fruit and honey and spread to evenly distribute. Lastly, pour the liquid mixture over the dry.
Step 4: Bake for 30 minutes
From the Camp Office
Admissions / Enrollment
Summer 2023 is now open for enrollment!
Can you find Ginny? Ginny, our newest mammal ambassador, will be hiding out in our feature picture each month. Submit your solution to email@example.com. Can’t find her? We will share the solution in next month’s newsletter. Here is last month’s solution.