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. It is a wide-open greenspace where campers can spend their free time playing a pickup game of ultimate frisbee or soccer in the sun or relaxing in the shade of a tree with friends or a good book.
Osprey Circle is home to our oldest group of campers, ages 14 & 15. There are four cabins and two yurts located around the perimeter of Osprey Circle 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 will gather to find out what’s happening for free period 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!
The Health Center
Located below the dining hall in the Wallace Center, staffed by a team of nurses who keep you on your feet, 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.
Whether joining the polar bears for early morning dip or departing for canoe or kayaking trip, summer in Maine is not complete without enjoying time on the water.
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
Everyone follows the same 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
7:20 – Line-ups
At Chewonki, we begin all of our meals together as a community. Line-up by cabin in your age group area before walking up to the dining hall for the meal.
7:30 – Breakfast
After a food fact and a reading introducing the day’s theme, enjoy a delicious breakfast of granola and yoghurt, 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.
12:00 – Wash-up
Return to your cabin to change your clothes and wash your hands after a busy morning.
12:20 – Line-ups
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 – Activity Period 3
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 Monstweag Brook.
5:30 – Wash-up
5:50 – Line-ups
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 Camoflage.
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 Evening Meeting is over, it’s time to brush your teeth!
8:20 – Minutes
The 10-minute warning for lights out. If you haven’t brushed your teeth, used the bathroom one last time, and put on your pajamas – now’s your chance. Make sure you’re in your cabin by the time you hear “Lights Out!”
8:30 – Lower Field Lights Out
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.
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!
The entire boys camp community comes together around a massive campfire several times a summer.
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.
For some campers, the most memorable part of their Chewonki experience is their wilderness trip.
Each camper participates in at least one trip, ranging in length from two days to two weeks, depending on child’s age and length of stay.
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!