Summer Camps in Maine

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Summer Camps in Maine

Post by imyeti2 » Fri Feb 16, 2018 6:37 am

Hello Friends,
Thanks to some TV shows, my kids are asking about overnight summer camps in Maine. On paper, many of these camps promise a lot of good things that the kids can take away from camping. However, almost all camps have a hefty price tag - more than $1,000 per week. Was wondering whether anyone has had any experience with these ...

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Re: Summer Camps in Maine

Post by alec » Fri Feb 16, 2018 6:55 am

I went to a sleep away summer camp in NH for two weeks for 7 summers. It was great, but took a little getting used to for this introvert.
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Re: Summer Camps in Maine

Post by TomatoTomahto » Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:12 am

Two of my kids went to summer camp in Maine; another went in Vermont. They all liked it well enough, but one of my kids loved it. He made good friends there that he visited with during the school year, learned to sail, swam to his heart’s content, and was sad when the session came to an end. Kamp Kohut.
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Re: Summer Camps in Maine

Post by Viking65 » Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:31 am

Both my kids, now 17 and 14 yo have spent the last 6 summers at "sleep-away" camp in Maine and New Hampshire, respectively. Overall it has been a truly enriching experience for them and us all as a family. A few thoughts.
Yes, it IS expensive, and this certainly can pre-select (or pre-filter) for those with certain economic means. Many camps have scholarship programs to help increase economic diversity, but in general this is a limited to a comfortable middle-class audience and upward.
There are camps for almost every conceivable interest, and those for a more general experience. And each camp has a "feel" to them, arising from traditions and cultures that can vary from place to place. In our situation, both our kids ended up at different camps than the one they started with, before they found a good fit, despite our extensive research prior to selecting the original camps.
Because of the previous point, the more research you can do, the better. If you have the opportunity, visit several of your short list before making a final choice. We took a short vacation to Maine with the kids the summer before they were to start and visited about half a dozen places. This allowed us to knock out several for obvious reasons once we were on site.
It is not for every kid, but it can build independence and self esteem, and allow the kids to expand their social groups, and yes, even take risks (and I mean good risks) in an environment that can be more forgiving than in their school/home peer group.
And, oh yes, it can give the parents a few weeks of glorious alone time during the summer!
It definitely is not a on size fits all. You can PM me if you want the specific camps my kids went to that I would recommend (and one that I would not).
Good Luck!

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Re: Summer Camps in Maine

Post by fishmonger » Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:31 am

Not Maine, but check out Camp Takodah in southwestern NH. Longtime camp with a great reputation

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Re: Summer Camps in Maine

Post by Kow » Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:02 pm

I had the pleasure of attending and working at a summer camp in Maine. They can absolutely be pricey, the top ones may be 2x the price you mentioned but also were absolutely the best summers of my life. My parents afforded it in truly Bogleheads fashion by working their and having their kids go for free as they were teachers.

While some can be very competitive and sports focused, others are much more general and can allow most kids to thrive in whatever they like to do. Consider if you want a same sex or coed, I was much more a fan of coed but there definitely are situations for both. Just be careful as once your kids go, if they find a close group of friends, they won't ever want to stop going back. :D And definitely agree with the comment about the clientele, it can be a very high-end group of families that are accustomed to a different lifestyle. I always had trouble keeping up with some of my friends when we would get together outside of camp because they were used to a different lifestyle then I was.

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Re: Summer Camps in Maine

Post by Lars_2013 » Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:00 pm

I'm not sure what experience your kids are going for in wanting a Maine camp, since as others noted there's a lot of variety.

The New England camp about which I've heard the consistently best reviews (from friends who were campers, counselors, and parents) is Farm & Wilderness, but that might be selection bias based on my friendship group. (I attended a camp in the mid-atlantic that is kind of like Farm & Wilderness but smaller, fewer options, and way cheaper.)

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