Sunday, May 6, 1-3 pm
Tour, refreshments, and program chat. Meet campers, staff, and directors.
2018 Program Dates
Welcome to Camp Chewonki for Boys. Summer is not too far away and we have some important details about camp to share. While the list of pre-camp details may seem significant, we know your efforts will be worth it. We hope that at the close of the season your son returns home with real skills that provide pleasure and confidence, an understanding of the power of integrity, a deepened sense of responsibility for self and others, and a genuine enthusiasm for the natural world.
Our CampMinder registration partner hosts the documents that can be completed electronically, including our health forms and travel information. To access these documents, please visit the Boys Camp page, under the “For Parents” section and click on the account login. This will take you to your forms & documents dashboard. The remaining documents are on our website, under the Chewonki Camp for Boys, “For Parents” dropdown menu.
CHECKLIST REMINDER: Please consult specific notes later in this bulletin.
- Contact family doctor; appointment for physical made, if necessary.
- Health Forms
- Health History – to be completed electronically as soon as possible.
- Physician’s form submitted to your child’s physician to be completed and returned to us. For those who have completed health forms, thank you. For those who are beginning this process, please take care of this as soon as possible.
- Final tuition payment May 1.
- Necessary items ordered through Summer Camp Supply by May 15 deadline.
- Introductory letter emailed to Garth for new campers, return camper follow-up, or other important changes or updates.
- Travel form completed online by May 15. Info may be found by clicking here. Please note the late booking fees.
- Chewonki strongly recommends purchase of travel program insurance to cover a last-minute cancellation on your part. Our registration policy does not allow refunds after May 15.
Please look at the Health & Safety info on our website. We have an electronic health history form for parents to complete and also require an additional paper form signed by a physician and faxed (207-512-1029), mailed or scanned and uploaded to your CampMinder account. This form may be downloaded from the Forms and Documents section of your CampMinder account. A physical exam by a physician or nurse practitioner is required within one year of the starting camp date. The camper’s health care provider must also document all immunizations. All medications are kept in the Health Center, and dispensed by a nurse or wilderness trip leader. Some families might choose to have their children carry their epipen or inhaler; doing so requires a special permission form to be submitted before camp begins. This form is available on your CampMinder account page. Health forms must be complete before campers may take part in activities. Please contact our Health Center staff with any questions.
The packing lists are available on our website. This link was previously sent with your enrollment email.
Each camper must bring 6 Chewonki shirts to camp. We recommend an equal number of green and white (or lighter color) t-shirts for camp games and events. Shirts can be purchased from Summer Camp Supply. Email email@example.com or call 207-232-7174. Remember the May 15 order deadline. Shirts are not for sale at Chewonki. Many of the other required items are also available through Summer Camp Supply. Campers are expected to wear only cotton or quick dry Chewonki t-shirts.
Asking participants to wear the same shirt is one way we help build a sense of community. It is a camp tradition for everyone to dress up on Sunday mornings and for our end-of-session banquet. Nothing fancy is needed but a nice collared shirt or polo is perfect for these occasions. Everything a camper requires is on the packing list; avoid the temptation to add to it. Campers receiving financial aid will also receive a loan of the required Chewonki t-shirts. Please contact us if you have any questions about what to bring.
Campers are expected to bring their own bedding. Please see the packing lists for details. International campers may borrow bedding, but must make arrangements in advance to do so. Contact Leslie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CLOTHING & LABELS
Please make sure all clothing and gear are labeled with your child’s name. Labels are available on the Summer Camp Supply site. Please do not send along valuable clothes and other expensive items that you do not want your child to lose or get ruined.
Chewonki will loan specialized equipment required for cabin trips. Campers are asked to bring enough supplies, stationery, postage stamps, toilet articles, batteries, etc. to last for their entire time at camp. Money is unnecessary at camp. We will bill any unanticipated expenses; this is rare.
Campers will not have access to power outlets for charging digital cameras. Therefore, we recommend bringing inexpensive disposable cameras. Please do not send smartphones to be used as cameras.
Headlamps/Flashlights and Batteries
Pack a headlamp or flashlight that uses rechargeable AAA or AA batteries. Label rechargeable batteries with the camper’s name.
Campers may bring small folding or sheath knives with blades under 3 1/2 “ long. Do not bring knives with serrated blades. Chewonki policy is to have knife use supervised by staff. For younger campers knives are stored with the cabin counselor. Remember to pack knives in checked luggage when traveling by air.
Music and singing are an integral part of camp life. Campers love to perform at campfires and Sunday Service and there are many informal opportunities to play and sing. If your child plays an instrument, we encourage them to bring it to camp. We will provide safe storage.
THINGS NOT TO PACK
Chewonki campers learn that many of the things that they feel are essential parts of their lives are unnecessary. Please do not bring electronic devices to camp. Some campers might bring a phone to assist with travel logistics; we will collect and store these during camp. Similarly please leave “Pokemon” and other game cards and accessories at home. Items such as expensive jewelry or watches and money are unnecessary.
Do not send any food with campers or mail food to them once at camp. Some campers have food allergies and food in cabins attracts animals. The food at Chewonki is simple, plentiful and delicious. We encourage but never force campers to eat a bit of everything at meals. Snacks are also available at various times during the day. We are interested in nutrition and want campers to learn about food and its importance. So, please do not send food and inform grandparents, relatives and friends of this policy. For birthdays in camp, campers receive a small cake that can be shared with cabin members.
A trunk may be useful for packing and shipping but is not required. A soft duffel bag is preferred and easier for storage. Campers arriving by car usually bring all baggage with them. Those arriving by plane, bus or van often plan to ship items ahead via USPS, UPS, or FedEx. Space is limited on the vans from Boston’s Logan Airport and the Portland, Maine Jetport so campers should bring only a few items of hand luggage. Remember to bring or mail keys for locked baggage. Whenever possible we unpack shipped baggage and place belongings on cabin shelves.
TRAVEL TO & FROM CHEWONKI
Whether you are traveling to/from Chewonki on your own or wish to use one of our shuttle services please COMPLETE THE TRANSPORTATION FORM. We require parents to enter their child’s travel plans into CampMinder before May 15. The transportation form may be found in the Forms & Documents section of your CampMinder account. If you have any questions on travel please contact Leslie Hunter, Summer Program Assistant at (207) 882-7323 x-104 or email@example.com.
For the first day of the session, please arrive between 12:30 and 3:30 pm. Plan on eating lunch before arriving. On the final day of the session, please pick up your child between 8:30 am and noon.
MAIL & PACKAGES
Letters are really the way to go! Participants really appreciate the thoughtful connection that letters can bring. Being away from home for an extended time is one of the key steps toward increased independence and self-confidence. The best letters offer news from home, express interest and enthusiasm for all the camper is experiencing and convey a sense of confidence. Avoid writing about how much the camper is missed to trigger or worsen homesickness. Plan to write at least once a week.
Campers write home on Sundays when they are in camp. You can let your child know you’re looking forward to their Sunday letters. It’s helpful to send a supply of properly self-addressed, pre-stamped envelopes with your camper. In this electronic age, we have found that many of our young participants are not familiar with the correct way to address an envelope. Please review and practice this life-skill with your camper as they prepare for camp. Cabin placements may not be confirmed until a few days prior to camp’s opening and therefore the cabin name does not need to be included on the envelope.
Send mail to:
Camp Chewonki for Boys
485 Chewonki Neck Road
Wiscasset, ME 04578
For international families, or families with special circumstances that make it difficult to mail a letter, email may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. These messages will be printed and delivered to your child, but your child will not be able to reply by email. Please limit email messages to no more than 3 per week.
Before camp begins parents are encouraged to provide a letter updating us on their child’s personality, interests, year at school, home situation or really anything that might help make the transition to camp go smoothly. We will share appropriate information with the child’s cabin counselors.
Our Camp Chewonki for Boys blog is updated regularly to highlight things happening at camp. At the end of each session, and also halfway through for seven-week campers, parents receive a brief note from their camper’s cabin counselors. We strive to promptly reply to all calls and emails.
Use of Telephones and Cell Phones
Campers may not have phones with them while at camp and we request that you do not call your camper or ask them to call you. 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.
Counselors will collect phones from campers who arrive with them; they are then stored for the session. Some cabin wilderness trips travel in areas without cell phone coverage. For all trips we make provisions for emergency communications.
AWAY FROM HOME
Your child may be going away to camp for the first time and this experience may be a turning point in their lives. As the time for camp approaches, they may ask you questions;
- What will camp be like?
- Will people be friendly?
- Will I like my counselor?
- What things will I be doing?
- What is it like to sleep outdoors on a trip?
Fortunately, these concerns disappear almost immediately upon arrival at Chewonki, where we are committed to helping one another. If your child experiences anxiety, parents and staff will work together to help them in a way that is sensitive, effective and avoids embarrassment.
In rare cases, a camper may experience homesickness. Homesickness is normal and we are prepared to sensitively and effectively address it. If you receive a letter from your child that concerns you – call us. We are likely aware of the situation already and by the time you call it may be resolved.
Discussing homesickness with your child ahead of time may be helpful. Above all it is critical to let your child know that homesickness is normal and that they should speak with a counselor if they’re feeling homesick. Your confidence and encouragement are essential. It is important that campers arrive committed to the entire session in which they are enrolled. Sometimes it helps a new camper adjust if they visit beforehand, and we encourage you to attend our Open House on May 6th.
It is critical that campers and their parents commit to the entire session at camp. Don’t make deals beforehand by making statements like, “See how it goes for a week.” or “We’ll come pick you up if you don’t like it.” Such arrangements start things out on the wrong foot, tie our hands in the process of assisting rapid adjustment and are unfair to the camper and their cabin mates. Chewonki is a friendly place; making a deal sends a subtle message that you don’t trust your child’s ability to succeed.
For some parents, having children away from home for the first time and, in come cases, traveling a considerable distance is a new experience and significant commitment. We look forward to helping you and your child with this transition. Please be in touch with any concerns.
Chewonki’s staff is exceptional. Each summer we hire close to 70 Counselors and Support Staff. Counselors live in cabins with campers and take part in activities while Support Staff frequently serve as activity heads, Waterfront Director, Program Director and other similar roles. All staff arrive at least a week before the beginning of camp to plan and train together. A smaller group including wilderness trip leaders, some activity heads and others have been on hand for at least an additional week for trip leader, wilderness first aid and other training. Many staff are Chewonki veterans with experience as campers and Counselors in Training while others have experience as teachers, coaches and outdoor leaders.
Chewonki staff may not accept tips or gifts. If you wish to recognize a staff member’s efforts, a tax-deductible contribution to Chewonki in their name is a good way to do so. Counselors focus on working with campers and are unavailable by email. Please call or email Garth, Henry or a member of the leadership team at any time with concerns or questions.
We do not have a specific visiting day. We ask that you do not visit camp during the first week when campers are settling in, or during the final week when many special events take place. If you do plan to come you must schedule your visit in advance. Please be aware that visits can be disruptive to the child’s integration into camp life. Contact the camp office to arrange a specific time. We need to confirm that your child will not be away on a trip that day. Most visitors come for an activity period and a meal. Monday through Saturday is the best time to experience the daily camp routine. Sunday afternoons should be avoided due to all-camp activities. Also, one day each week is reserved for all-day field trips or “Tent Days” to the beach and other locales.
We ask that campers do not leave camp with their parents. We want you to enjoy and get to know the spirit of the camp. Chewonki has a campus-wide no-smoking policy. We appreciate your understanding and support. Again, please call if you’d like to schedule a visit.
On Sunday mornings we have a simple, non-denominational, community gathering under the pines. A wonderful camp tradition is “dressing up” to show that this is a special time of the week. Sunday whites, a clean, white Chewonki t-shirt, is strongly encouraged, but a nice, collared button-down or polo is also fine.
DONATED CHEWONKI T-SHIRTS AND BOOKS
We would love to have Chewonki T-shirts in good condition that campers have outgrown. Also, we can also always use donations of good children’s books to supplement our library collection. Thank you in advance for your contributions.
OUR LEADERSHIP TEAM
Chewonki attracts amazing people and we have a tremendous team of leaders that share the many responsibilities of running our programs. Our leadership group loves the outdoors and Chewonki in particular. They are team players, and have a variety of rich life experiences and talents to contribute to the camp community. They are tremendous role models and mentors to the younger campers and counselors and possess a maturity that is reassuring.
- Garth Altenburg, Director of Chewonki Camp for Boys
Garth will be spending his 28th summer at Chewonki (13th as the Director) with his wife Heather and their three children. The Altenburgs are joining the ranks of camp parents once again with sons Will and Ben attending Chewonki.
- Henry Heyburn, Assistant Director, Chewonki Camp for Boys
Henry serves as our year-round assistant camp director with a focus on our activity program and waterfront operations. His background includes years as a teacher, coach, outdoor product designer and mountaineering instructor. Henry and his wife, Alicia Pulsifer Heyburn have two children who have both attended Chewonki. Their son Henry will be on a Chewonki wilderness trip this summer. This is Henry’s 10th summer at Chewonki.
- Nancy Kennedy, Director of Chewonki Camp for Girls
Nancy joins us for her fourth summer at Chewonki overseeing Chewonki Camp for Girls. Nancy has a PhD in Environmental Studies and an extensive background as a leader working with girls and young women.
- Jen Adams, Summer Wilderness Trip Coordinator
Jen is joining us for her 6th summer at Chewonki, and first as our Wilderness Trips Coordinator. Jen has lead a wide variety of wilderness trips for Chewonki. In addition to her extensive Chewonki experience, Jen worked for Maine Huts and Trails this past winter as a crew member. Jen is thrilled to work year round organizing powerful wilderness experiences for youth.
- Leslie Hunter, Summer Program Assistant
Leslie is an animal (and human) rights activist and has served as board president of the Coastal Humane Society as well as several other nonprofit boards. She worked in hospitality and marketing for many years before joining Chewonki and loves working with camp families. This is Leslie’s 5th summer at Chewonki.
- Summer Leaders
Garth and Henry are thrilled to be supported by a veteran team of summer leaders. This team is one the most experienced teams we’ve assembled. The roster includes Program Director Bryce Leary, Head Counselor Auggie Peterson-Horner, CIT leader JR Jennings, and Papas (age group leaders) Angus Fake, Tucker Evans, Ben Hinton and Griffin Gingrich.
We are grateful for your trust in selecting Chewonki for your child’s experience this summer and are confident that it will be a rewarding experience for all. We look forward to staying in touch.