Jump To:

Living in Cabins & Yurts

Our cabin groups are made up of 8-10 campers and 2 cabin leaders organized by age and program length. The camp directors and admissions staff do their best to create groups that are a blend of new and returning campers. The campers share a bunk bed with a cabin mate and each have their own set of shelves. Each cabin creates a community agreement in the first days of camp to guide how the group should treat each other and work together during their experience. Each day, campers work together to make their beds and sweep the cabin to maintain a clean and healthy living space. Every evening, cabin groups hold a meeting to debrief their day, reflecting on their highs and lows, and checking in on how they are meeting their community agreement. The community building that takes place in camp prepares groups to be successful as they head out on their cabin trip.

Camp Activities

Our mission is the heart of everything we do, and we provide campers with learning in the natural world that carries on beyond their time at Chewonki. This includes our daily overnight camp activities. Each participant takes part in a weekly rotation of activities to help them develop the skills experience they need to prepare them for more remote trip experiences, and to engage deeply in the world around them.

Watercraft 

Our Watercraft activity teaches participants skills necessary to be safe and have fun on the waters of Maine. Our Wiscasset campus is located on a saltwater peninsula, providing us with a unique and wonderful environment for campers to practice piloting canoes and kayaks through smooth or choppy conditions, saltmarsh channels and along rocky coasts.

 

Outdoor Living Skills

Our Outdoor Living Skills activity teaches participants essential skills for simple living in the natural world to prepare them for their remote trip experience. Important skills such as fire building, axe, hatchet and saw use, and map & compass skills give participants a sense of self-sufficiency, as they work towards deeper mastery and understanding. The Outdoor Living Skills curriculum is informed by our years of experience teaching young people how to prosper in the woods.  These programs include Chewonki Outdoor Classroom, and Leadership Expeditions. The Junior Maine Guide curriculum, whose standards for Junior Maine Woodsman and Maine Woodsman, influence the camp curriculum. 

 

Farm & Food

Our food philosophy outlines the beliefs, values, and practices that guide how we engage in food systems and educate all of our participants. Through lessons, games, and activities on our working farm, participants build context and understanding around where food comes from and how it gets to our tables. Taking part in work projects in our gardens and pastures and caring for livestock helps to engage the hands, hearts, and heads of participants, building connections to the land, and to each other. 

Natural History

Our campus covers 400-acres of different and exciting ecosystems, from salt-marsh and rocky shore, to ponds and streams, and forest and fields. We believe that by building connections between participants and the plants and animals that live in the natural world, we can develop empathy, sense-of-place, and cultivate an environmental ethic, empowering participants to be stewards of the earth. Working closely with our Traveling Natural History Program team, our Natural History curriculum creates opportunities to interact with non-releasable wildlife, explore and investigate natural spaces, and develop the skills to make a difference in environmental issues that participants are passionate about. Learn more about our Wildlife Center >>>

 

Visual Arts 

Our Visual Arts activity is a place based, nature centric activity that provides campers the chance to experiment with different art techniques, and express their creativity through the use of natural materials and subjects.  Camper’s projects will be displayed for the community to enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Community-Building 

This activity is centered around teaching different ways for cabins to work together as a team.  This activity takes place on our 18 element Challenge Course in the heart of Chewonki Neck, where we are able to challenge campers to rely on each other and work together to achieve an objective. 

 

 

Woodworking

The Woodworking activity is focused on educating campers on safety and the use of woodworking equipment, and teaches them techniques to create functional objects from a wood form.  Campers may create a spatula or a spoon that is used to make food on their trip, a Wanagen to store food, or they may choose from a number of different projects that interest them!

 

 

Archery

In the Archery Activity campers learn about the parts of bows/arrows, safety protocols, and the techniques that they can use to get the coveted bullseye!  We offer creative spins to this activity, such as Art-chery, team challenges, and much more that you will hear about from your camper!


Extra Curricular Activities

Our overnight camp programs offer time each day for campers to engage in a wider variety of activities, and provides room for flexibility and individuals’ interests and needs. They are designed to provide further structured learning in areas both inside and outside of our core curriculum, as well as provide a time to engage campers in spontaneous fun!

Activity areas that are regularly offered include:

  • Swimming
  • Performing Arts – singing, skits, improv
  • Sports and Recreation (trail running, hiking, forest exploration, group games, Gaga ball)
  • Fine crafts (felting, bracelet making and string crafts, basket making)
  • Crafts and art (watercolors, botanical drawings, sculpting with natural materials)
  • Music (singing, percussion, instruments that camper’s and staff have brought)

A Day at Camp

Everyone follows the same basic schedule as we take part in activities, share meals in the dining hall, and enjoy ourselves on Chewonki Neck.

Early to Rise

The Chewonki day begins even before the peal of the wake up bell each morning. Campers can get their hands dirty on farm chores, practice their skills of identification on a birdwalk, or experience the crisp morning jolt of a Polar Bear dip at the waterfront.

7:00

Wake-up Bell & Wash-up
Audible from just about anywhere on campus, the Chewonki bell signals the official start to the day. Make sure to hop out of bed, get dressed, and tidy your area before going to wash your hands for breakfast!

7:30

Breakfast
After a food fact and a reading introducing the day’s theme, enjoy a delicious breakfast of granola and yogurt, followed by scrambled eggs and bacon.

8:20

Singing & Morning Announcements
While campers and staff finish cleaning up after the meal, everyone gathers outside to sing a couple of songs to start the day followed by morning announcements.

8:45

Morning Chores and Cabin Clean-up
As a community, Chewonki believes in the power of meaningful work and collective effort. Part of being a productive community member is helping to make sure things are clean and working properly. Cabins will take turns completing chores like cleaning the bathrooms and shower houses.

9:20

Activity Period 1
Learn about how the milk you drink at breakfast started as blades of grass during the Farm & Food Systems activity.

10:40

Activity Period 2
Practice building a cooking fire and tying knots to construct a shelter for your group in Outdoor Living Skills.

12:30

Lunch
Refuel at the midday meal with a fresh salad or a hearty bowl of soup filled with ingredients from Chewonki’s Salt Marsh Farm.

1:10

Afternoon Announcements
Gather outside for announcements about the Natural History Mystery and the offerings for General Swim.

1:30

Rest Hour
Take a nap, read a book, write a letter home. It is important to take time to catch your breath, rehydrate, and reapply sunscreen on the hot summer days at Chewonki. Even when the sky is filled with clouds, it’s still important to prevent a sunburn that can get in the way of enjoying camp to the fullest.

2:30

Choice Period
Explore the saltmarsh and learn about how the plants and animals there rely on each other for survival and how humans fit into each of the ecosystems on Chewonki Neck.

4:00

General Swim & Free Time
Where else would you want to be in the middle of July, but the coast of Maine? Head down to the waterfront for a swim or hop in a canoe for a paddle around Montsweag Brook.

6:00

Dinner
Enjoy a comforting evening meal of stuffed shells and garlic bread before savoring a chocolate chip cookie dipped in a glass of Chewonki farm milk.

7:00

Evening Activity
As the sun nears the horizon, wind down your day learning about birds and reptiles at the Chewonki Wildlife Center or take an evening stroll along the Nature Trail to play a game of Camouflage.

8:00

Evening Meeting & Wash-up
So much has happened today! What have you learned? Take a moment to gather with your cabin to share your highs, your lows, and your hopes for tomorrow. Once the Evening Meeting is over, it’s time to brush your teeth!

8:30

Lower Field Lights Out
After “Minutes” are called, enjoy a cabin read-a-loud or use your headlamp to catch up on summer reading. Don’t stay up too late though. You and your cabinmates need sleep because tomorrow will be just as busy and fun-filled as today was!

9:00

Osprey Lights Out
Ospreys, the oldest Chewonki campers, enjoy a little extra down time at the end of the day, but everyone needs to get to bed to ensure they have the energy to fully enjoy tomorrow.

Meals at Camp

Dining Halls

We have two dining halls at Camp Chewonki that serve our Eastside (Chapin Hall) and Westside (Wallace Center) campuses. We eat our meals at 10-top tables in a communal area to encourage an inclusive table community. When the weather is fine, we often choose to eat outside at the picnic tables or under the tents. Before we begin the meal, a staff member or camper shares a reading or leads the dining hall in a song.

Meeting Dietary Needs

We provide a variety of nourishing foods to all participants. Our kitchen staff are able to provide a vegetarian, gluten-free, or dairy-free meal alternative. Chewonki is a nut-free campus and we use alternatives such as sunbutter instead of peanut butter. Please list all dietary needs on your health form, as our kitchen and packout staff are eager to accommodate dietary needs.

 

Laundry & Hygiene

Bathrooms and Washhouses

While the cabins at Chewonki do not have electricity or plumbing, bathrooms are just a short walk away from the front door. Most of our toilets are composting toilets that contribute to our commitment to reduce our impact on the environment by saving water. The appearance of these toilets is very similar to the toilet you would find in your own bathroom, though the process of flushing them is a little bit different. Your child will learn all about how they work when they arrive at camp. In addition to the bathrooms, washhouses provide campers with private, single-stalled showers for washing and changing clothes. There is a regular shower schedule to make sure all campers have an opportunity to bathe during their time at camp, including the post cabin trip shower to wash off all the dirt and grime from spending time on the trail.

Laundry

Campers should arrive to camp with enough clothing to last a week at a time. We provide a laundry service to ensure campers’ belongings are kept clean and healthy during camp. Each cabin is provided with a set of laundry bags. Laundry days are scheduled by age group, with each age group in overnight camp having a laundry day every three days. On laundry days, campers bring their cabins dirty laundry bags to the laundry room before breakfast. Our support staff wash and fold the laundry, which is ready for pick up as campers return to their cabin for rest hour. It is very important for campers to label all of their belongings with their name in case a piece of clothing is separated from the cabin’s laundry bag. Many good socks are lost when there isn’t a name to indicate which cabin it should be returned to.

Having Your Period at Chewonki

While you are at camp here at Chewonki Neck having your period will be very similar to your typical experience. With privies or bathrooms at or near every location, it is just like using your bathroom at home or school. There are even bins to dispose of your menstrual products.