Archery Aims High!

When he was just six years old, Spencer first went to an archery range. He was hooked. “At first I started small, but then as a camper at Nashoba North, I really fell in love with archery,” he says. Years later, he leads Nashoba North’s program. When teaching archery, Spencer emphasizes skill development, camaraderie, and healthy competition. He describes the program as a learning experience: “My favorite aspect of archery at camp is the progress campers make. Because we have class every day during the session, I start with teaching fundamentals, and then have time to focus on each individual camper’s improvement.” As campers become better archers, they get to set their own goals, and establish independent habits. This develops confidence and ownership.

Spencer says that he wants every camper to have the same opportunity he had to build his archery skills at camp. “As a camper, archery put me in touch with others who share my interests, and that let me continue after camp was done”. Archery became a passion for Spencer. Today, he competes regularly at local tournaments. He has become an excellent archer, and shares his passion for the sport with campers. Last year, he participated at the archery indoor USA nationals, where he scored in the top 25% of all contestants. “Developing my interest and skills at Nashoba North was an important experience for me,” he adds, “it got me started competing in Olympic Archery”. Spencer encourages campers to dream big, pursue lofty goals, and aim high.

According to Spencer, archery helps campers feel more engaged, active, and calm. He affirms, “I like doing it to relax—it is so peaceful.” Campers of all ages participate in archery, allowing for a sense of togetherness; older campers often guide younger campers. Spencer adds that archery is for everyone, saying, “it’s a sport anyone can do well with practice—everyone should try it!”

Beach Tennis—The Best Camp Game Since Tetherball!

By Ryan Kennedy

“Beach tennis is super exciting,” Tennis Director Jeff says, “it combines tennis, badminton, and beach volleyball.” This unique sport, which started in Italy during the 1970s, is growing rapidly around the world. At Nashoba North, campers have the chance to explore this new, fast-paced, and accessible game. “It’s the best camp game since tetherball!” Jeff says.

So what’s beach tennis? It is played with soft paddles and a low-compression tennis ball that never touches the ground. You can set up a beach tennis net on a sandy beach, a beach volleyball court, a grass field, or even indoors. “We played it on the camp volleyball courts as well as on Seneca Field, which was absolutely perfect for a game,” Jeff says. Beach tennis nets are portable and easy to construct. “Last year, on a few rainy days, we actually set up beach tennis in the Rec Hall”, Jeff says. It’s also a terrific way for every camper to participate in a game together. As Jeff explains, “What’s great is that girls and boys love it, and the campers are often better than the counselors, which is a fun experience for them. It gives a lot of confidence and has a short learning curve”. This makes it easy for anyone to play.

Outside of camp, beach tennis has become an international phenomenon. Jeff describes the sport as “fast paced, with an international tournament and a community of players around the world.” Played in more than 53 countries and growing quickly; the sport has a strong global following. In the United States, it is most popular in California and Florida. You can even find online videos of players braving a snowstorm in Buffalo, New York for a game. Jeff adds, “it really is unbelievable fun!”

If you would like to experience beach tennis and so much more this summer, we invite you to learn more about all of the incredible activities Camp Nashoba North has to offer.  Come have your best summer ever this year in beautiful Maine.

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.

PEAK Program is back

Camp Nashoba North is proud to once again participate in the PEAK (Promoting Environmental Awareness in Kids) program and to bring it’s important message to our campers and staff.    Last summer Nashoba North campers were introduced to the PEAK program through a variety of games, skits in Plummer Hall, and discussions on trips.  After a great start last year we plan on doing even more with the program this summer.

The PEAK  program is the result of a unique partnership between REI and the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics.  PEAK is based on the seven principles of Leave No Trace and is designed to educate children about the outdoors and responsible use of our shared public lands.

The seven Leave No Trace principles are:

  1. Know before you go
  2. Choose the right path
  3. Pack your trash
  4. Leave what you find
  5. Be careful with fire
  6. Respect wildlife
  7. Be kind to other visitors

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The goal of the program is to increase awareness of Leave No Trace principles and to promote the stewardship of outdoor recreational resources in today’s youth.  Speak Spanish?  No problem, the program is also available in Spanish.  You can learn more about the PEAK program here.