Camp Nashoba Featured in Maine Women Magazine

“These aren’t as good as the waffles at camp,” my son says as I put the previously frozen fat stack in front of him.

Not one to often share details about his school day or thoughts after losing a soccer game, he does pop out with sweet commentary about summer camp. Sending him to camp is the only guaranteed way to get him overflowing with stories. The month he goes away fills him with enough memories to keep him chirping until the following June.

When I was growing up, sleepaway camp was a luxury only a few kids I knew got to experience. I did get sent to Matoaka up north in Oakland when I was 15 because of an advertising barter my Don Draper-esque dad made with the owner (although I think it was more to give my newly divorced parents time to try their hands at dating).

That was not the ideal time to be dropped into a cabin of wealthy teen girls who had been summering together for eight years already. But the other shy, black sheep soon found me and we spent a lot of time hiding in the rafters of the boathouse talking about how we wished we could be like the girls in Heathers. So, when my son started begging to go sleepover camp when he was 8, I was hesitant. That’s a lot of money so he can hide. Yet a few weeks all to myself felt deliciously gluttonous, so I promised to think about it.

Over the years, our family friend Linda Manchester had gushed about how much her son loved going to Camp Nashoba North on Raymond’s Crescent Lake. It was a “real Maine camp,” she said. Not like the country club camps that are popular with New Yorkers, with air conditioning and celebrity kids getting out of limos at drop-off. Intrigued, I signed up for a tour with director Sarah Seaward.

Nashoba has rustic cabins, archery courses, chores involving raising baby farm animals and an entire Arts and Crafts building–which, TMI, my son calls Farts and Craps because he sneaks in there when he has to go Number Two. There’s fishing, nights around legit bonfires and the kitchen uses local produce for meals.

Somewhere around the pen of bleating baby goats, I decided this camp was about building good people.

I sighed, “I want to come here,” to Seaward so many times, my son was terrified they might actually make an exception to let me in.

If I had more than one child, my guess is I wouldn’t have been all-in on overnight camp, for the doubling of expenses alone. Camp isn’t cheap. But since he is an only, I could justify the cost as a tuition of sorts, so he could learn to co-habitat with other people in very intimate quarters for more than one night. It’s good to have to learn to find private places to poop, right? That’s a major life skill. And kids love choice! Between picking his camp courses, making new friends and eating food I don’t have to make, it seemed like a win-win for both of us.

I was nervous that first year that he would want to come home after his counselors asked him to pick up his wet towels for the tenth time. Then the director called to inform me he was begging to stay the rest of the session. We settled on one additional week. When I picked him up, really ready to see his wet towels strewn about again, my no-crying-ever kid collapsed into sobs as he hugged his bunkmates farewell. Choking back my own tears, I promised he would be back here before he knew it.

In the camp spirit of trying new things, I use his time away to travel solo. Last year it was France and this year I am going to Belgium. If nothing else, I can learn how to make waffles as good as the ones at camp.

Maggie Knowles writes about all things kid. She and her family live in Yarmouth, where she gardens, keeps bees and refuses to get rid of her stilettos.

View the article on Maine Women Magazine HERE.

Sing, Dance, and Act this Summer at Camp Nashoba North!

Each Saturday night, campers at Nashoba North come together for a one-act play, and twice each summer, campers put on a full-length musical production. Jess Smith, whose daughter has attended Camp Nashoba North for several years, enthusiastically leads the theatre program. She says, “every time I dropped my daughter off at camp, I was really yearning to stay. I loved camp growing up, and being theatre director lets me share that passion!” Jess also says that she has many ideas for the productions this summer, but is equally excited for the variety of classes available at Nashoba North. “Throughout the week, we teach campers acting, vocal, makeup, lighting, and other production skills. The camp has both indoor and outdoor lighted stages, so the kids have so many options,” she adds.

As Jess looks forward to the summer, she will build on her background in musical theatre. She says, “I’m truly a camper at heart, and I am so excited to bring my music theater experience to Nashoba North.” Jess graduated from the Boston Conservatory, and has more than 20 years of experience as a vocal coach, director, and teacher. She also owns The Studio For Musical Theater (Studio FMT) in Danbury, CT, where kids and adults alike learn musical theater skills in both private lessons and groups. She resides in western Connecticut, and is fiercely proud of her Massachusetts roots.

Jess’s passion shines through in every conversation. “I am so excited to be back at camp! I’m a little bit of a goofball at heart, and it feels so good when a group reaches our goal together.” Although eager to share her enthusiasm, she wants the campers to find out about the planned musicals at camp. “I don’t want to give anything away, we have some really great shows coming up this summer!”

If you’re looking for an incredible performing arts camp experience for your child, we hope you’ll consider Camp Nashoba North this summer where your child can try new activities, make new friends, gain confidence, and experience their best summer ever.

Weave Your Dreams at Camp Nashoba North!

At the Arts and Crafts building, Camp Counselor Andres Gutierrez shares his passion for weaving with campers. Using traditional techniques he learned weaving in Mexico, Andres encourages each camper to embrace creativity.

First, campers start with the basics of using a loom. “One of my favorite parts about camp is seeing the kids work together—older kids usually learn faster, and help the younger campers master weaving,” says Andres. “The looms we have at camp are perfect for learning, and the kids get really creative,” he adds. By starting small, Andres gives every camper a chance to learn this art form. From there, campers often work together on new projects.

Andres has worked at Camp Nashoba North for five years. While he’s not at Camp, Andres works with his family in Oaxaca, Mexico, weaving mainly in wool. “The looms I work with are quite big, and the materials are heavier. At camp, I get to be really creative with smaller projects.” Campers benefit from Andres’ positivity, enthusiasm, and extensive knowledge.

Camp Nashoba North’s Arts and Crafts building has a dedicated area for weaving, making it accessible to groups large and small. It also features a wide selection of cotton string colors, which allows for independent inspiration.

“Once the kids know how to weave, I like to say, ‘now you can weave your dream!’ They have so many ideas for creative and unique designs. They can use many colors, and it’s totally up to them. Sometimes, they will use six or seven colors in a single piece, which is really difficult.”

Campers enthusiastically weave away, imagining new and different patterns, colors, and shapes. Everyone is encouraged to explore their artistic boundaries, expand their skills, and build up this new ability. Through weaving, campers at Nashoba North develop teamwork, creativity, and artistic skills.

Ready to experience summer as it’s meant to be? We hope you’ll join us this summer to try new activities, make new friends, gain confidence, and experience your best summer ever.

No Child Left Inside

At Camp Nashoba North we believe that one of the great benefits of the camp experience is providing our camper with the opportunity to connect with the outdoors and gain an appreciation of nature and our environment. Along with the No Child Left Inside Coalition and the Earth Day Network, we want to encourage all parents to celebrate Earth Day on April 22nd by taking your children outside to enjoy nature and our environment. The theme for Earth Day 2017 is Environmental and Climate Literacy.

Below are 2 videos that have been developed by the partnership of the No Child Left Inside Coalition and the Earth Day Network in support of getting children outside on Earth Day.