Welcome to Chewonki!
I am so excited to welcome you to camp this summer. I have been coming to Camp Chewonki since I was 11 years old. Over the years I have continued to learn about myself, the natural world, and the ways that I contribute to a larger community. I have paddled a canoe, climbed mountains, shot a bow and arrow, and made a fire to keep me warm and cook my dinner. I can go for a walk in the woods and tell you the names of the trees by looking at their leaves and the names of the birds by listening to their songs. I have made deep friendships that continue to this day. And you know what? You will, too!
This camper guide will give you just enough information to get you excited and ready to join your cabin on the first day, find your way around, and provide some insider tips on how to make the most of your summer. If you have a question that is not answered in this guide, explore the rest of our website or send me an email (email@example.com). I am available to make sure you have what you need to be successful at camp!
Your time at Chewonki is going to provide you the space to choose who you want to be, to think about how you connect with the plants and animals that share your world and consider how you impact the lives of others with your thoughts, words, and actions. Get ready to try something new, see all kinds of wildlife, and learn more about how strong you really are as a person.
I can’t wait to get started!
Director, Camp Chewonki for Boys
Birds of a Feather
We divide the camp into age groups called “Puffins, Owls, Herons, and Ospreys”. As campers get older, they move up through the different groups.
Where is my Habitat?
The Lower Field
Puffins, Owls, and Herons live on the Lower Field. The Lower Field is a wide open green space where we play sports and other large group games. It also has many shady trees on the perimeter, perfect for escaping the sun and relaxing with friends and counselors. There are two tetherball poles, one for the Puffins/Owls and one for the Herons.
Osprey Circle is home to our oldest group of campers, ages 13-15. There are four cabins and two yurts located around the perimeter of Osprey Circle, as well as a tetherball pole and Osprey Lodge, where the older campers may enjoy games or table tennis during “Osprey Hangout Time” before Lights Out.
The center of boys camp is a square surrounded by buildings on three sides: the Wallace Dining Hall, the Allen Center, and the Farmhouse. You can come here to find out what’s happening for General Swim each day.
The Wallace Dining Hall
The Wallace is one of the buildings next to the Quad. We eat nearly all of our meals here throughout the summer. It will be important for you to wash your hands before you arrive to help keep everyone happy and healthy! Visit our Meals page to learn more.
The Health Center
Located below the dining hall, our health center staff is on call to help keep you on your feet and having a great summer.
The Allen Center is connected to the Quad by a wooden walkway. This is a common meeting spot and the home of the Chewonki Activity Bell.
This house has been around from the start of Camp Chewonki and is where a lot of important work gets done to help camp run smoothly!
Salt Marsh Farm
Where does your food come from? Most of the meals you enjoy at Chewonki will feature at least one ingredient from the farm. In fact, if you help with farm chores or sign up for the farm activity, you may help to harvest the food we eat that day! Learn more about Salt Marsh Farm.
Summer in Maine is not complete without enjoying time on the water. Whether joining the Polar Bears for an early morning dip or going for a Tent Day sail, the waterfront is a great place to spend time during your stay at Chewonki.
As you will learn later in the guide, Campfire Circle is a place of songs, cheers, and laughter on Saturday nights. It is also the home of our Outdoor Living Skills activity.
The Chewonki Bell is located on the bridge. It rings any time there is a change of activity.
Regular Daily Schedule
- 7:00 am Bell: Wake up, pull on your Chewonki T-shirt, and wash your hands before breakfast.
- 7:20 am Bell: Line-ups – Form a line outside your cabin before walking to the dining hall together.
- 7:30 am Breakfast: Fuel up for the day with homemade granola, pancakes, and fresh fruit.
- 8:20 am Cabin Clean-up: Make your bed, tidy your shelves, and help sweep the cabin for Inspection.
- 8:50 am Bell: Cabin Inspection – If your cabin is clean and you worked together, you could earn your inspection plaque.
- 9:20 am Bell: First Activity Period
- Sample Activity: Farm – plant, harvest, weed, work with the livestock, and enjoy stories in the hayloft. You can work toward getting a Master Farmer badge!
- 10:40 am Bell: Second Activity Period
- Sample Activity: Kayaking – learn the basics of equipment, safety, strokes, and work up to a wet exit.
- 12:00 pm Bell: Appetizer – Time to wash your hands and head back to your cabin before Lunch.
- 12:20 pm Bell: Line-ups
- 12:30 pm Lunch: Enjoy barbecue chicken, freshly baked bread, and a healthy salad with vegetables from Salt Marsh Farm.
- 1:30 pm Rest Hour: Take a breath before your busy afternoon! Write a letter home, read a book, reapply sunscreen.
- 2:30 pm Bell: Afternoon Activity Period
- Sample Activity: Nature – Waterfront Fishes: Net and trap some of the fishes (and other marine life) you swim with every day at the Chewonki Waterfront with Doc Fred.
- 4:00 pm Bell: General Swim – Join a pick-up game of soccer, shoot for your Yeoman badge at the archery range, play chess with a counselor, rehearse a skit for Saturday night’s campfire.
- 5:30 pm Bell: Appetizer
- 5:50 pm Bell: Line-ups
- 6:00 pm Dinner: Campers and counselors reflect on their day together, sharing grilled cheese and tomato soup with homemade cookies and farm milk for dessert.
- 7:15 pm Evening Activity
- Sample Activity: Choice Night: Grab your towel and head down to the waterfront for an evening float, visit the wildlife center to learn about nocturnal creatures, play a game of dodgeball on the tennis courts.
- 8:20 pm Minutes – Brush your teeth and put on your pajamas. Can you be in bed before the counselors complete the countdown to “Lights Out”?
- 8:30 pm Lower Field Lights Out and Goodnight
- 9:00 pm Osprey Lights Out and Goodnight
There are a few things you can do at Chewonki before the wake-up bell rings in the morning.
One of the best ways to greet the day at camp is to join the lifeguards at the waterfront for a quick dip before breakfast. Swim with the Polar Bears a few times and you will earn your Polar Bear patch!
Milk a cow, collect eggs; there is a lot of work to do on the farm before the sun’s up. Helping out in the morning is a great way to get involved before breakfast and work towards earning your Master Farmer badge.
The early bird catches the worm. If you want to see and hear some of our feathered friends on Chewonki Neck, you’ll want to join a bird walk or two. Walk with the birds enough and you could earn a bird buddy bracelet and your own binoculars!
Saturday Night Campfire
Every Saturday night, the entire camp comes together around a massive campfire. We cheer, perform, and sing for each other. If you have an idea for a skit or a song, feel free to start practicing now. Many campers learn new songs while they’re at camp to perform, too!
We start every Campfire with the Chewonki cheer. It’s a cheer you will hear throughout the summer on Chewonki Neck and beyond. You don’t need to memorize it before your arrival, but I’ve included it here so you can if you want!
Kenne-bec-bec, coec, coec!
Sag-a-da-hoc, a Hoc-o-moc!
Wiscasset Chow! Nequasset Chaw!
Chew ‘em up quick, Chewonki!
You can find the Chewonki cheer, other cheers, and Chewonki songs in the Chewonki Song Book.
Cabin Wilderness Trips
For some campers, the most memorable part of their Chewonki experience is their cabin wilderness trip.
Every camper participates in at least one trip, ranging in length from two to eight days, depending on the child’s age.
Our ten-day campers participate in a cabin overnight at one of our waterfront campsites.
Helpful Hints About Your First Time at Camp
- Label everything!
- It’s easy to lose things at camp, but if you want it back, it’s got to have your name on it. Label everything from your t-shirts to your tennis racket to your toothbrush. Use a permanent marker to label socks right on the toe.
- Leave electronics at home.
- Camp is a great time to unplug from electronics. Also, they can break easily and interfere with the new friendships you will be making.
- Tell your parents that you’ll be fine.
- Sometimes, moms and dads get a little sad or nervous to say goodbye before camp, so they’ll need an extra hug and maybe a promise that you’ll write.
- Send postcards & letters!
- Pack some pre-stamped, pre-addressed envelopes, along with paper and pens.
- Family members love to get mail and the more you write, the more you’ll get back. Put all your stationery stuff in a ziplock bag so it stays dry.
- Make a plan for homesickness.
Feeling homesick at camp is perfectly normal. Everyone experiences it to some degree, even me! Here are some tips to help you when you’re feeling sad:
- Make sure to stay busy with new games & activities.
- Let your counselors know how you feel.
- Making new friends is the best cure of all.
- Practice spending a night or two away from home. Have a sleepover at a friends house or with your grandparents.
- Write yourself a letter encouraging you to try new things, make friends, and have fun at Chewonki!
We’ll See You This Summer at Camp Chewonki!
Still want to know more? Visit our camp web site: http://boys.chewonki.org
Most of the answers to your questions are right there, along with photos and videos of the camp, and you’ll feel better if you know more about where you are going.
Can’t find the answer? Send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org!
See you this summer!