Session 1 Update!

Summer of '23 and I Gotta be me!

Hooray for the start of summer!

We were so glad to have everyone arrive at Chewonki on Sunday. It’s always a mad rush of parents, campers, staff, (and garlic scapes?!?!) on opening day, but it was a great day and we want to thank all the parents for following to the arrival plan. We had a wonderful afternoon of getting-to-know you games, dinner with our cabin groups, and our first campfire circles as the sun set over Hockomock Bay.

A Quick Reminder about Campanion…

If you haven’t already added the Campminder Campanion App to your smartphone to view the photos, now is the time! You’ll get a personalized stream of content featuring photography, updates from camp, and more.

To get started, follow these three simple steps:

  • Download the Campanion app on your smartphone (iPhone version) (Google pixel version)
  • Login to the app using your CampInTouch account login and password
  • Upload a reference photo of your child to enable automatic face-matching

That’s it! You’re ready for camp. For parents who don’t want to use a smartphone app, camp photography is also available through a desktop web browser by simply logging in to your CampInTouch Account.


Chewonki Chaos!

With covid restrictions finally relaxed, this summer we are allowing campers to connect with more people in the larger Camp Chewonki community, and we were excited to host a cross-campus evening program this week, starting with a game called “Chewonki Chaos.” We had two activities, one for the Owls and one for our Heron and Osprey campers, each planned by one of the Campus Heads. The activities were intentionally designed for campers to get to know their counterpart age group through an engaging game. We were so thrilled with how the programs went and are excited for the campers to be able to reconnect later in the summer for Chewonki Games Day! 

Lexie: We started with a game of “Chewonki Chaos.” The game involved mixing up all the cabins into four teams, and was the perfect mix of strategy, fun, and friendly camp-etition. After, we played a couple rounds of Running Charades. At the beginning of the night, campers were hesitant to interact with the other side; by the end, people were saying, “That was so fun!” The general consensus was that it was a great night! Campers and Counselors alike got really into the games and learned to work well with their teams.
Tasia: The older campers participated in a kickball tournament! Teams were mixed up by cabin, so a Westside and an Eastside cabin were paired together as one team. When the campers first arrived, they thought they were playing against the cabins they were put with and were really excited to learn they’d be playing together and quickly formed cohesive teams. Everyone had a fun time! In their camper surveys done the next day, many campers said they loved the shared group night! Highlight- When eastside first came over all cautious of each other and by the end all clapping hands (things like “good game”) and celebrating together. Everyone playing and cheering- no one sat out. 

Photos of the day!

Gaga ball continues to sweep the nation… who are we to stand in the way?

Wild fern harvesting will shortly result in species identification and nature prints!

Trips Update:


Meet the Staff!

We have a fantastic group of counselors, trip leaders, and support staff this summer who arrive at Chewonki from all over the country.


One of the best parts of summer camp is this chance to get to meet new people and learn more about their lives.


Many of our staff this summer are returning counselors, Leaders-in-Training, or Junior Counselors who have participated in other Chewonki programs and returned for another summer on the coast of Maine!

Staff Spotlight: Garnet Lando, Operations Coordinator

What have you been up to since last summer?

I go to University of Maine at Augusta. I’m still going to school, working on a degree in social sciences. It’s really been a year of discovery and rediscovery.

What are you most excited for this summer?

I’m really excited for campfires. I love everybody singing and the skits and it feels like everybody is together.

Tell us about a great Chewonki memory you have.

Last summer, for one of our Chewonki Days, we had Eastside campers come to the woodshop and they built bat-boxes. A lot of kids from East Side had never used a drill before, so it was so nice to teach them how to do it and see their excitement. It was just a really great experience. Doc Fred taught about bats and what the bats are going through right now with diseases and why it’s so important to give them a clean, safe place to grow and live. It was a great experience and the kids really seemed to love it.

Describe your favorite breakfast.

I really enjoy pancakes and I love when they have just a little bit of whipped cream and strawberries on top. Oddly enough to go with it – cheesy grits. I grew up in the south and I love grits.

If you could have one fairly useless superpower, what would it be and why?

The ability to make any stuffed animal that I can picture in my head appear. I could give them to friends, kids and anyone who is upset. I think everyone should have one stuffed animal.

Staff Spotlight: Adam Blyberg - Generalist Counselor for West Side

What have you been up to since last summer?

In October I flew down to Santiago, Chile and went out to Balmaceda, Chile and met up with the NOLES branch that operates in that region of Patagonia. From there I was assigned a group of 10 other people and through the next 5-6 months we did expeditions.

We did the mountaineering section first. It was in the Chilean Andes on one of the biggest glaciers in the world on the northern ice field in Chile, for a month and a half. With Noles expeditions the goal was just to do as much as we can; we just wanted to get to the glacier and we did. In terms of total mileage we probably did between 200-250 miles.

Then we did an instructor-less, student-only backpacking & mountaineering expedition. We had to rely on our own navigation, we had no phones, we planned our own route and we had to actually figure it out with maps and compass. It was around 11 days. I’ve never had the freedom like that before; it was amazing.

Then we had winter vacation and coming back from that we had the rock climbing section -that was one of my favorite parts. It was just amazing. We base camped the entire time so we didn’t have to take down camp every day. We had tons of different routes set up. They just taught us how to climb and all of the safety that goes along with it. It was all community-based with the camp and with dinner, etc., that sort of stuff. Based on the places we wanted to go each day we would make a plan, get our gear and head out to just climb all day.

Then we had the cultural section. In Patagonia there’s a regional term for cowboys or people who live on ranches; gaucho. I got to live with an old gaucho couple for a few months. I had chores I had to do and just got to live on their farm. It was a little awkward at first, but I was trying to work on my Spanish. I could have super basic conversations a lot of the time. We definitely developed more of an understanding as it went on. They speak a different type  of Spanish than what we’re taught in high school, the accent and some [words or phrases] they say. But I’d need to stay there longer to get good. 

Then I did the sea kayaking section. That was insane. Oh my gosh. It rained like 36 out of 38 days I was out there. It’s like a temperate rainforest, not tropical. So it was super wet and cold all the time. It was also so sandy.

But at the same time it’s super beautiful. I have some mixed opinions. It was probably the hardest thing mentally I’ve ever done. I’d wake up and my tent could be submerged in water. 

Some of my friends had to completely reset their tent during the night in a storm. There were some points where literally all my stuff was wet including my sleeping bag but it was still sort of manageable; making sure your sleeping bag doesn’t get soaked is the name of the game.

I was hoping to grow as a person and experience cool things. I think that definitely happened, but in a way that I didn’t perceive in the beginning, or really fully understand what that means until you fully go through it and actually grow. I got a lot out of it. It completely changed the way I think about things and the way I handle people and conflict and go about life, to be honest.

What are you most excited for this summer?

Since March I haven’t really had a schedule -when I got back from NOLES- I’m excited to have a structure and a purpose again. Hopefully I can apply everything I’ve learned into my work.

Tell us about a great Chewonki memory you have.

Maybe on my Thoreau-Wabanaki Trip, we had a 5 mile portage, then had to continue paddling and our campsite we were supposed to be at was occupied, so we had to push another 4 or 5 miles and it started storming. So we got to camp and set up -Connor, my trip leader, made us all mac and cheese and it was really nice.

It’s just one of those moments where, after working so hard all day long, with the satisfaction and the nice act of Connor, and being cozy in the tent eating yummy mac and cheese, was just so good.

Describe your favorite breakfast.

Breakfast sandwich with an english muffin, egg with runny yolk, bacon and a glass of OJ

If you had a month full paid vacation to anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

Maybe Pakistan; I think seeing the Himalayas would be mind blowing and if I could do some mountaineering there that’d be awesome. I don’t think there’s anywhere in the world with that kind of energy.

If you could have one fairly useless superpower, what would it be and why?

Being able to type hyperfast on the computer. Like 300 words per minute.

Our Animal Ambassadors...

And of course, we can’t forget our Animal Ambassadors… we have dozens of wild an domesticated animals at Chewonki that help teach and inspire campers to engage with the natural world. Over at the wildlife center, campers will meet with Maine-based owls, mammals, insects, and a whole host of natural history exhibits. Meanwhile at our farm, there are daily opportunities to join the farm crew and work with our horses, chickens, pigs, turkeys, and dozens of different vegetables under cultivation.


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