Welcome to our new website! We hope you will visit our website on a regular basis as you plan for your next summer with Chewonki. While we all know that nothing beats a Chewonki summer spent on Chewonki Neck, we hope this space captures some of the power of the experience, while at the same time providing you with the needed details on our program.
I am often asked, “What does a camp director do all winter?” I use the metaphor of completing a 5,000-piece jigsaw puzzle to explain the winter work of a camp director. Over the Thanksgiving holiday, my family had a jigsaw puzzle out on the table. I couldn’t walk by without stopping to place a few pieces and found myself easily spending an unexpected hour with the puzzle. As I worked, I found myself thinking about the work we do at Chewonki to prepare for the summer camp season. I know many pieces are needed to make a camp season come together, like a puzzle, and I work diligently to complete several each day.
The most important pieces to the camp puzzle are our campers. I’ve spent so much time this fall traveling to visit with our veteran campers and meet new ones. I so enjoy this personalized approach; the connections made now help our campers be successful in the summer. These visits allow the campers to get to know me and gain a better understanding of the fun that awaits. Travels this fall have taken me to Boston (twice), New York City, Brooklyn, Baltimore, Washington (D.C.), Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, and there’s a trip to Denver planned for January.
Another important part of the puzzle is our staff. Assistant Camp Director Henry Heyburn and I spend much time recruiting and interviewing new staff and connecting with veteran staff to plan their return. Careful thought is given to the skills and talents of our counselors and how they can best contribute to our program. Our counselors are exceptional leaders with many options during the summer; we are thrilled that they are so dedicated to Chewonki.
A significant amount of “puzzle time” is spent on program administrative work and planning. I’ve been involved in the planning and design of this website for over a year. We are always looking at ways to improve our operations, from our health center to our food to our activity program. As we approach 2017, we are so excited to continue our planning for our new Chewonki Camp for Girls program here on Chewonki Neck. I’m honored to be a part of this team and believe we have an amazing opportunity to build the best girls camp around while also strengthening our program.
The winter holiday season in Maine brings time for outdoor pursuits such as skiing and skating combined with some time for quiet indoor activity and reflection. I know I will be working on another puzzle over the holidays, with excitement for the upcoming camp season growing as I put each piece in place. Thank you for being an important piece of the Chewonki puzzle as we build towards summer 2017.