Dear Chewonki Families,
Happy New Year! We hope this newsletter comes to you after a happy and healthy holiday season.
The start of a new year is often a time to pause and reflect. For this reason, the new year reminds me of Chewonki Day at camp. Chewonki Day acts as a mini- new year that actually occurs once a week. We sleep in and slow down our daily schedule. We spend the morning in Community Reflection; we sit amongst the trees sitting in silence as we talk about a Chewonki value and how it has applied to our camp experience that week. I’m not big on New Year Resolutions, but I do love to pick an anchoring word or idea for the year ahead. In the past I’ve selected words like “balance” or “patience.” This past summer at camp our Community Reflection prompts were compassion, curiosity, and collaboration. Each offered an opportunity to reflect on how we embodied that value or cherish how others exhibited this value in their interactions with us. Community Reflection reminds us to move through our camp experience with intention. New Years offers us that same opportunity. We get to look back on our past year and look forward to the next and decide what we want to carry with us and what we want to add to our 2023.
On Chewonki Day before we head to lunch, campers and staff split into cabin groups for their bead ceremony. We offer thanks to each other for the support or encouragement shown that week or we highlight each other’s accomplishments and acknowledge each other’s growth. This reminds me that while New Years is often talked about in regards to personal change or goals, it’s also a wonderful time to thank our loved ones for the support they provided in the past year and to take a moment to see them in their growth as well. I feel encouraged to also reflect on how I will show up for my loved ones and community, in addition to how I want to show up for myself
I hope your New Year is as restful, reflective, and connecting as Chewonki Day.
From the Neck
Salt Marsh Farm
The farm crew is excited to welcome Zoe Tardy, our new Farm Apprentice, to Chewonki soon. Zoe will be moving to campus as early as January 18 and starting work on January 23.
In my experience of supporting folks moving onto this campus, January provides a unique physical and social-emotional backdrop to integrating into life and work on the Neck. Most residents and staff are well settled into school year work and Chewonki systems, and it’s not a time of the year (like April, June, or August) when a large contingency of new staff are integrating into this space. Also, the weather is who-knows-what. The farmers look forward to working alongside them – and with many of you and your participants – in the coming year.
It also strikes me that, in a dynamic place like Chewonki, an individual is never the new person for long. Within a week or so of Zoe’s arrival, we’ll be welcoming Semester 70 to campus. Here’s to beginnings and belonging!
~ Megan and the Farm Team
From the Kitchen
Winter is upon us, and we’re dreaming of the sunny, warm days of summer. Speaking of heat, one of Bree’s favorite things to grow in her garden is HOT peppers of all kinds. She enjoys growing tomatoes, grooming her cilantro plants, and adding garlic and lime zest to almost everything she makes.
Here is a North Carolina native approved salsa recipe that can be adjusted to your spicy level – but Bree recommends as hot as you can go!
You will need a large blender (or food processor) and 1-2 bags of tortilla chips of your choice.
For dessert, a fan favorite at this years’ Chewonki Holiday Party, the Pumpkin Roll.
~ The Kitchen Team
- 5-6 small Roma tomatoes, diced into quarter sized pieces (but can substitute with any tomatoes that you have on hand)
- 1-2 Spicy peppers, diced medium to small (Bree prefers Cayenne or Serrano, but a jalapeno will work just fine)
- 2 Garlic cloves
- Juice of 2 limes
- Zest of 1/2 a lime
- 1/2 bunch of Cilantro or more (stems and all – it adds flavor)
- Salt to taste
- Optional – 1 avocado will make it very creamy
Blend all ingredients in the blender, but make sure that you put the tomatoes in first, and then cilantro at the top. This will ensure that the cilantro doesn’t get stuck at the bottom of the blender! Pour into a serving dish, and enjoy the heat!
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup Pumpkin
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Step 1: Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan; line with wax paper. Grease and flour paper. Sprinkle a thin, cotton kitchen towel with 1/4 cup powdered sugar.
Step 2: Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt in small bowl. Beat eggs and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until thick. Beat in pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture. Spread evenly into prepared pan.
Step 3: Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched. Immediately loosen and turn cake onto prepared towel. Carefully peel off paper. Roll up cake and towel together, starting with narrow end. Cool on wire rack.
Step 4: Beat cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar, butter and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl until smooth. Carefully unroll cake. Spread cream cheese mixture over cake. Reroll cake. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.
Camp Chewonki is currently hiring for Summer 2023!
If you, or someone you know, would be interested in having a fun filled, adventure-packed summer leadership experience then encourage them to apply. We offer professional development opportunities, internship credit, and an inclusive community that offers competitive pay and housing. Visit our website to browse our open positions!
Staff Interview – Ruby Bryant
Role at camp last summer? Previous Chewonki experience?
I was a Cabin Leader in Fiddlehead Cabin on Eastside. Before last summer, I participated in Maine Coast Semester in semester 64 and then got to go back again for semester 66 because of covid.
Favorite Summer 22 moment?
There are so many good moments from last summer but I think most involve the campfire. I remember on the first day that campers were here, we were walking silently to campfire, observing the nature around us and one of the 8 year old puffins leaned over to me and said “Ruby, everything is sooo green and beautiful.” This made me so happy to be working in a place that valued the outdoors and encouraged children to be curious and love nature. Another favorite moment was the last campfire where we were all belting out the lyrics to every song, our arms wrapped around each other and smiling big because we knew we had a wonderful summer with incredible people. One last moment was canoeing to Canada!! (actually just Chewonki Neck) with the 8 year olds and watching their eyes get bigger and bigger as we cooked over the fire, set up tents, and used big muscles to carry the canoes up to land.
What have you been up to since camp?
I am a sophomore at the University of Vermont so I am just wrapping up my fall semester and getting ready to study abroad in Patagonia, Chile this spring! I have been doing lots of biking, backpacking, hiking, leading outdoor club trips and hanging out with friends this fall, along with lots of studying of course 🙂
Favorite camp food or song?
My favorite Chewonki food ever is the garlic bread, ohhh its so yummy! And my favorite song that we sang this summer was Crowded Table.
Favorite camp activity or game?
One of my favorite games at Chewonki is rocks because it brings out the competitive side in everyone and there is always laughter, joy and hard work that goes into it. It is so fun to watch because everyone gets so involved and creates incredible strategies to bring the red and blue rocks back to their circles. I also participated many times and loved getting to run through the woods and strategize with my team.
Tell us a fun fact camp folks may not know about you…
I really love doing handstands but I am still perfecting the art of staying up for more than a couple seconds!
From the Camp Office
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Admissions / Enrollment
Happy New Year! Exciting news: I’ve got a special gift to send to anyone who refers a new family to Chewonki and they book a summer program. Contact me with any questions. Yay summer!
~ Leslie Hunter, Admissions
Can you find Ginny? Ginny, chewonki 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.