The more things change, the more they stay the same—that famous quip seems to define the summer camp experience. This was expounded up recently in a great article by Maine Summer Camps recently that looked at a few older camps in the Pine Tree State. While technology and modern advancements have influenced camp life in both form and execution, old-familiars still rule the roost.
At the all-girls Camp Wyonegonic, owner and operator Carol Sudduth told the writer that one of the camp's biggest selling points is their "no phones policy" and that "group living skills, the ability to share, respecting and appreciating individual differences, and making friends are all key elements of the camp experience, she says. And while the world is changing, Sudduth says that, as a camp, Wyonegonic is committed to holding onto its primary values." Suddoth also told Maine Summer Camps:
"Women write to say that camp taught them independence, decision-making, and respect for differences. Maybe those things happen at other places,but they certainly do happen at camp.”
Meanwhile, the all-boys Camp Timanous takes a similar approach. Camp Directors Dave and Linda Suitor say that they use technology to allow parents to follow campers via "websites and blogs" (the more things change) while still affirming that campers are not allowed phones (the more things stay the same). Dave Suitor told Maine Summer Camps that "The idea that we’re sort of maintaining our roots is important to us. The things we were doing 100 years ago are more relevant than ever."
A third camp group highlighted in the article was the all-girls Wohelo Camps. Of owner and operator Louise Gulick Van Winkle, the article quoted her as saying:
Camp traditions have endured, she says, even when they thought “kids are not going to stand for this. They wanted things just the same.”
The article closes with a word from Jean McMullan, former camp director for Alford Lake Camp in Hope. It says:
Kids “need love and safety and backing.” Maine’s camp professionals know that will never change.
If you missed the link above, you can give the article a read at mainecamps.org/ways-maine-camps-contribute-to-kids-growth-and-development/