Age Group Progression
This picture is a visual description of the age group progression at Camp Chewonki. The youngest age group is the Puffins. Puffins (ages 8 to 11 years old) come to the overnight boys and girls camp for 10 days. This age group is the perfect first introduction to overnight camp! Owls, Herons, and Ospreys (ages 10-15) come to the overnight boys and girls camp for three weeks. Campers in this age group are excited for the next challenge. Those challenges might be more days at camp, a longer canoe trip, or an special project! Loons, Canada Geese, and North Stars (ages 14-18) are the age groups based in Leadership Expeditions. Each of these age groups builds upon the skills and experiences from previous years but also allows new campers to come in at any point as they travel farther and farther away from Chewonki Neck.
From the first moment you arrive at Camp Chewonki this summer, we want you to know you are a welcome member of the community! Your cabin leaders and cabin mates will greet you at the cabin and help you get settled in. In the opening days of camp, we establish community norms & expectations through collaborative work on the challenge course and through the creation of a cabin agreement. The goal: determine who we are as a group and how we want to be as members of the group.
Each day we will think about and work on a value or trait we wish to hold up in our community. At the end of each day, cabin groups will hold an evening meeting to share out how the day went and examine how the daily theme showed up in their experience.
In addition to our work as a cabin group, we build community through shared meals, weekly gatherings, and special events. In the dining hall seats are randomly assigned and we eat family style. We work together to make sure everyone gets the fuel they need, both nutritionally and socially, to maximize their enjoyment of the Chewonki experience. Each week we come together around the campfire and under the pines for entertainment and reflection to enjoy each other’s company while considering what the experience, at camp and on the trail, has meant for us.
At the end of each session, we spend our final day creating a cabin plaque and reflecting on our time together. The day culminates in a special banquet filled with songs, speeches and delicious food to commemorate our summer.
Part of creating an inclusive and sustainable community is an individual commitment to performing work and acts of service for others. Each day, campers work together to make their beds, tidy their shelves, and sweep the cabin to help maintain a clean and healthy shared living space. Campers take turns bringing trash and recycling to the dumpsters and delivering and picking up the cabin’s laundry. Every member of the group has a role to play. Chewonki days are special days focused around joyful service within the Chewonki Community. Campers participate in work programs together to benefit themselves and future campers, or value the members of their community. They may do this by writing “thank you” letters to the kitchen and facilities staff, making a nature-scape for the Owls, or building bat-boxes to put around campus. There are many opportunities to help out around camp on a volunteer basis, whether it be cleaning up after an all camp event, playing music for a camp sing, or sharing an appreciation during the Chewonki day community reflection. On trips, each participant rotates through the cook crew, fire crew, and campsite crew, helping to ensure that the campsite is properly set up, the fire is maintained safely, and the meal is prepared for everyone. At the end of each meal, everyone chips in on the cleaning crew so that no one person is responsible for keeping the campsite and gear clean.
Food at Chewonki
Whether eating in one of our dining rooms or having a meal around the campfire, mealtimes are an important time for building community at Chewonki. All meals at Chewonki are fantastic. Much of the food comes from our farm or is sourced locally. Food is the fuel that supports our work and play. Daily, shared acts of growing, preparing, and eating food are fundamental opportunities to responsibly fill one of our most basic needs as humans. Education is inherent in all aspects of Chewonki’s farm and food system. The Chewonki Food Philosophy guides how we interact with food from farm to table and back again.
Music at Chewonki is made with our own voices or on instruments that we play ourselves. We encourage campers to bring their own musical instruments to maintain their practice and find opportunities to perform for their fellow campers.
Campers may not have phones with them while at camp. It might be helpful to review this policy with your child before camp. If a situation arises that requires you to contact your child, please call or email the camp office directly. Leaders will collect phones from participants who arrive with them. They are then stored for the session.
One of the major benefits of attending camp is the opportunity to unplug from our increasingly connected world. Camp is a screen-free community – meaning that campers will be away from cell phones, computers, televisions, and other electronic devices. Campers are asked to leave electronic devices at home, any devices brought to camp will be collected and stored in the camp office for the duration of the camp program.