By Maggie Nelson, former counselor & Meetinghouse director If you’ve driven past Friends Camp, the only thing you might notice is a double-doored old building whose pointed white gables peek out from the pines that line Route 202. This building is the Meetinghouse, where art lives at camp. It also happens to be the very first building at Friends Camp, originally a historic Quaker meetinghouse where Rufus Jones worshipped. The first campers ate, slept, and had their activities in the Meetinghouse, until camp grew too big for it and sprawled over the grounds of the place we now know and love. Eventually the Meetinghouse was turned into the arts & crafts building. Art doesn’t just live inside the Meetinghouse. It explodes from it! Walking through camp, evidence of creativity is everywhere. Hand-dyed t-shirts lay drying on a stone wall after campers had learned the art of shibori. In the Pine Grove, a camper sits finger-knitting a scarf. Spilling out onto the front lawn of the Meetinghouse lay a large, round, quilt-like blanket called “the Gift” on which campers sit comfortably, learning how to embroider. Inside the Meetinghouse, the walls are plastered with decades of history - collages ripped from antique National Geographics, murals celebrating camp values, drawings, poetry, andfaded photographs of campers past. Most who enter the Meetinghouse for the first time gasp from the overwhelming nature of the place. Packed onto shelves from the floor to the tall ceiling is more evidence of camper experimentation and imagination: half-dry clay bowls and spoons, paper mache animal masks, handmade wooden musical instruments, bottle rockets, even a 20-foot-long inflatable whale made out of trash bags. Lining the [...]
Costumes, Tents, Books, and More! Last year we got a mid-summer gift of 4 Magic: The Gathering card decks. They became "loaner decks" for camp, allowing more campers to play the game. This gift, a hand-me-down from our camp director's brother, inspired us to make a summer wish list. Maybe you have some new or lightly used items that we could use at camp this summer? Remember, all monetary and in-kind gifts to Friends Camp are tax-deductable.
Spring is a busy time at camp-- getting ready for the arrival of all our amazing campers and staff. We know it is also a busy time for families, so here's a handy list of dates and deadlines to help you keep on track during the spring madness. Spring Work Weekend: May 18- 20, 2018 (The work weekend starts with dinner on Friday night and ends after lunch on Sunday.) Spring Open House: Saturday, May 19th. Join us for a tour of camp at 11 am, and stay for lunch if you'd like! On-line Campership Applications Due: April 30, 2018 Tuition Payment Deadline: June 1, 2018 (Please post all checks on or before May 29th.) Health Forms Due: June 1, 2018. Don't hesitate to call Anna at (207) 445-2361 if you need some help with this!
Lauren Dennis, new co-assistant director. We are excited to announce a new leadership team for 2018! We have hired a co-assistant-director team of Lauren Dennis and Sebasitan Hilton to assist camp director Anna Hopkins during the summer months. Both staff member veterans at Friends Camp, Lauren will be entering her third year on staff and Seb his seventh. Please join us in congratulating these two great people on their new roles. Lauren will focus on camper support, especially for those who need some extra assistance working through homesickness or other concerns. Seb’s focus will stay on waterfront operation and safety, and he will also help supervise the Health Hut staff as well as keep an eye on other logistical matters around camp. Both Lauren and Seb will help Anna in supporting staff members in their work, ensuring camp adheres to all safety protocols, and making sure all campers have an amazing time at Friends Camp. Lauren is a soon-to-be graduate of Wellesley College, with a major in American Studies, and minors in Education and English. Having spent the year student teaching and studying up with other camp professionals in The Summer Camp Society, Lauren is looking forward to supporting campers in all of their joys and challenges. She will head off to teach at a K-8 school in the fall, focusing on social studies! Sebastian Hilton, new co-assistant director and waterfront director Sebastian has been our waterfront director at Friends Camp for the last few years, bringing great new ideas and helping double-check our safety measures with the American Camp Association standards. Seb is also certified in Wilderness First Aid and has worked as one of our Health Hut staff members. [...]
Why be a 17-year-old camper? A few thoughts from Anna Hopkins, camp director Friends Camp is the only camp I know about where you can be seventeen and attend a traditional session as a camper. Many camps “age out” their campers around age 14, sometimes offering counselor-in-training programs as a substitute. I believe in the value of being a seventeen-year-old camper; There is a special privilege inherent in summer camp that gets better each year—the privilege of just being a kid in a special camp world filled with joy, adventure, and belonging. Teenagers (and many adults, if we are honest with ourselves) are rarely offered an opportunity to slow down, to step back, and to ask themselves “who do I want to be?” Two weeks at Friends Camp offers teenage campers an opportunity, away from their cell phones and computers, to spend some quiet time in reflection. Teenagers crave our morning worship and evening vespers, as well as the moments of calm listening to frogs as you fall asleep, sitting in silence around a campfire, or reading a book under a tree. Our oldest campers, those who are sixteen or seventeen, often share reflective messages during our Quaker Meetings for Worship and our closing fire circle. They are thinking about building community, about equality and openness, about their place in the world, and about their values. Meeting for worship allows our campers a venue to be authentic and thoughtful, an experience that can be difficult to achieve elsewhere in a world full of social media & over-scheduling. Some of my favorite moments at camp this last summer were seeing mentorship between a young adult counselor and an older camper. The age gap of 2-5 years [...]
Some of the most frequently asked questions from prospective campers and parents are: "What activities are available at waterfront? What does waterfront look like? How do you stay safe?" Check out this video to learn a little bit more about our waterfront on China Lake. Keep in mind that the Friends Camp philosophy values camper choice. Some campers like to canoe during waterfront. Others learn to sail, swim, chill on the dock, play cards with friends, play volleyball, read a book, use a sketchbook, or play ping pong. When they first arrive to Friends Camp, campers do a "swim check" with their cabin group. Our waterfront director assesses campers' swimming abilities and assigns them to either the deep or shallow swim area. This method of checks helps us ensure that campers are taking appropriate challenges while being safe in the swim area. Swimmers and boaters use the buddy system at camp, and we keep track of buddies using buddy tags and checks every 15 minute. http://youtu.be/mFlfSBUgI3k
Seeking Summer Assistant Director For the first time in 18 years, Friends Camp is seeking a new Assistant Director for the summer of 2018. The core purpose of this position is to assist the Camp Director in the overall management and safety of Friends Camp and to act as the primary leadership and responsible individual when the Director is on a day off or away from camp. Friends Camp is a residential camp in South China, Maine founded in Quaker values. Some experience in a summer camp setting is a must, but we care more about your specific interests, skills, and personality than the number of years you have worked in camping. Skills required include communication with children and families, an ability to see the “big picture” at camp, passion for working with youth from many backgrounds, organization of schedules and large group activities, and desire to coach and assist counselors in their work. The ideal candidate will be someone who is eager to learn about the culture at Friends Camp, works well with our camp director, and wants to bring their own style & flair to the position. We can't wait to meet you! This position is full-time, residential, summer-only position, with competitive compensation for 10 weeks. This could be a good fit for an experienced counselor looking to gain experience in camp management, a teacher looking for meaningful and fun summer work, or anyone who wants to make a difference leading in an intentional summer camp community. To apply for this position, visit the employment page of this website. With questions, contact our camp director Anna at firstname.lastname@example.org or 207-445-2361. Seeking Summer Office Manager General responsibilities include managing office tasks over the summer [...]
With immense gratitude, I share that our long-time assistant director and summer office manager Jeff Adelberg won’t be back at camp in 2018—at least full time. He is looking forward to spending time in his cozy, new home in Holliston, MA with his lovely wife Tess and beagle Hazel. It is difficult to put into words the impact Jeff has had on Friends Camp over his 18 summers on staff, because his work has touched just about everyone and everywhere at camp. He has served as an office innovator, a guiding hand to counselors, the maker of many campfires, the mastermind behind many crazy themed days, and always a gentle and delightfully unique presence. We look forward to opportunities to celebrate Jeff in the coming months. Jeff and Hazel promise to visit camp this summer for some evening games, waterfront days, and cookies. Jeff would love for his many friends from camp to be in touch with him in the coming months and years. You can find him on Facebook, or email him at email@example.com. Jeff especially needs advice on what “normal” people do in the summer. Invite him to your backyard barbecue? Thank you, Jeff, for all the big and little ways in which you have loved Friends Camp over the years. - Anna, Camp Director
We will be gathering to connect and hang out as well as decorate cookies. We will donate our completed cookies Preble Street (an organization serving families experiencing homelessness). Who: Any Friends Camp community member. Bring a friend who might be interested in Friends Camp! Children should be accompanied by adults. What: Decorating cookies, snacking, and hanging out. When: Saturday, December 16th, 4-6 pm. Drop in any time. Where: Portland Friends Meeting (1837 Forest Ave) Why: To enjoy being together and engage in service. *********** Teenage campers are invited to stay from 6-8 pm and join the Portland Area Quaker Youth Group for board games and pizza! RSVPs for the teen gathering are appreciated, so that we can plan to have enough food. RSVP here, or check out the Facebook event. ************ We are looking for a few volunteer families to bring cookies (ready for decorating). Please email Anna (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are interested in helping out.
Top 10 Reasons to Work at Friends Camp (as told by the 2017 summer staff) You know your work matters, because impacting campers is so important. It feels like even the little things you do help people. Bonding with people from all around the world and creating lasting friendships with fellow staffers. Your bosses and coworkers care about you as a whole human and value the things you are good at. The food rocks. (Plus, if you’re lucky you might get some yummy cookies). Stretching your creative boundaries—if you can come up with the program idea, you can usually make it happen. Alien invasions, bottle rockets, the list is endless. A summer job where housing and food is taken care of for you. We even do your laundry and give you basic first-aid. Summer in Maine. The weather is lovely, and there’s lots of beautiful outdoor, relaxing, or culinary adventures you can explore on time off! Emphasis on Quaker Values—everyone contributes and has value. It is incredibly motivating to be trusted and appreciated by campers! Develop skills that will help you in almost any career, including teamwork, planning, thinking on your feet, communication, and more. Many employers love to hire former camp counselors, because they know they are dedicated, creative, and caring. To apply to work at Friends Camp, visit the employment page of this website. You can also contact the camp director, Anna, at (207) 445-2361 or email@example.com.