Dear Chewonki Families,

Winter is officially here in Maine and the holiday season is upon us! We love this time of year- time with family and friends, getting cozy inside or bundling up for trudging through the snow.

We’re very excited that this January we will be welcoming Chewonki families and friends to the Neck! It will be a fun opportunity to see camp in a very different state (hopefully with snow), reconnect with friends and participate in some winter activities. The Polar Bear Party is on Saturday, January 21st (event link below) and is open to any members of the Chewonki community – campers and their families, camp staff new and old alike, and families interested in joining the Chewonki community. If you have a friend who’s interested in joining you at Chewonki this summer, invite them to join you!

We hope to see as many of you there as possible.

From the entire Camp Chewonki family we wish a healthy and happy holiday season!


Katie & Jen

From the Neck

Traveling Natural History Program

Blue-Tongues Skink

We are delighted to properly introduce our newest animal ambassador to the Traveling Natural History Program, a young Blue-Tongued Skink by the name of Tilly!

Tilly is short for the scientific name of Tiliqua, and was named by an open vote across the Maine Coast Semester and Elementary Middle School students, as well as the Chewonki staff members. Blue-Tongued Skinks like Tilly get their name for their vibrant blue tongues, which can aid them in startling and evading predators.

Tilly originally came to us from HerpHaven, a rescue organization which takes in surrendered, sick or injured reptiles, rehabilitates them and helps to find them new homes. Tilly came from a home that loved him very much, but over-indulged him, feeding him to the point of being overweight. While many animals, like birds and mammals, use lots of calories to keep warm and therefore need more food to maintain their body weight, a cold-blooded critter like Tilly does not spend as much energy day to day, and it is much easier to accidentally overfeed.

Tilly came to Chewonki a few months ago, staying with us for an 8 week trial period, where we could allow him to acclimate to our wildlife center, and assess his comfort with being handled. The health and well-being of our resident ambassadors is important to us. They offer us the opportunity to engage with the public in a meaningful way, to promote kindness and curiosity, and empathy for the natural world. In return, we wish to offer them a feeling of safety and security, both in and out of their enclosures. If Tilly had shown a pattern of behavior indicative of stress or agitation while being handled during this trial, we would have found him a better home with HerpHaven, more suitable to his temperament.

Thankfully Tilly has adjusted well to his new environment and has been introduced to staff and students across the campus! We have officially transferred Tilly into our care, and look forward to many years of adventures ahead.

~ Traveling Natural History Team

From the Kitchen

Why are they called ranger cookies? These cookies are said to have originated in Texas and were known as the “Texas Ranger Cookie”. They are also sometimes called Cowboy Cookies, especially with the addition of nuts. There’s no real reason for either of the names, except possibly because the cookies kept well in saddlebags and, thanks to the eggs, oats, and cereal, provided a bit of energy for long days in the field.

~ The Kitchen Team

Ranger Cookies

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2  teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups ap flour
  • 4 cups rice krispies
  • 2 1/2 cups coconut
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup dried cranberries or raisins 


Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Step 1: Beat the butter and the sugar together, add the baking soda and powder and mix some more.

Step 2: Add egg and flour, and stir in the rest of the ingredients. The dough should be slightly dry and crumbly.

Step 3: Scoop onto a baking sheet and press the cookies flat before baking at 375 degrees for 8 minutes.

Staff News

Staff Opportunities

Camp Chewonki has some exciting news – our applications for Summer 2023 are open!
To learn more about the different positions (or apply for the one that interests you most), visit our Employment page and fill out the short application.
The camp team is excited to answer any questions that you have, and talk about how AWESOME Summer 2023 will be. If you join our team, you can plan for a life-changing experience!

Staff Interview – Zoë Heard

Zoe Heard

Role at camp last summer? Previous Chewonki experience?
I was a Leader In Training/Cabin Leader last summer. I’ve been doing Chewonki wilderness expeditions since 2015 from the 10 day at Fourth Debsconeag all the way up to the 5 week George River Trip (it was not on the George when I actually did it though because of covid).

Favorite Summer 22 moment?
My favorite moment from last summer was probably getting to go back to Fourth Debsconeag with the Meadowlark cabin at the end of first session, it felt like coming full circle. We saw a double rainbow and it was pretty epic.

What have you been up to since camp?
Since camp I have started my first semester of college at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Good Day To Be A Tarheel!)

Favorite camp food or song?
My favorite camp song is probably “I Knew This Place” but I learned “Dancing With Bears” last summer, so now that’s a close second.

Favorite camp activity or game?
Favorite camp activity is always canoeing!

Tell us a fun fact camp folks may not know about you…
A fun fact about me is that I know more animals than people who share my name (the coolest, but not the nicest one being an Eurasian Eagle Owl).

From the Camp Office



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Admissions / Enrollment

Greetings from the Admissions Office at Camp Chewonki. I hope everyone is enjoying time with loved ones during this busy season. It’s never too early to start planning your summers. It’s been nice to hear from so many of you. Enrollment for residential camp (ages 8-14) is strong and I predict we will be starting waitlists by the first of the new year for some age groups. If you’re thinking about a trip there is still decent availability. Due to high demand, we’ve added a second session Central Quebec Canoe trip.  There are great choices available! Please reach out if you have any questions.  

~ Leslie Hunter, Admissions

Where's Ginny?


Can you find Ginny? Ginny, chewonki mammal ambassador, will be hiding out in our feature picture each month. Submit your solution to Can’t find her? We will share the solution in next month’s newsletter. Here is last month’s solution.


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