Parents, do you ever log onto your computer to check out the camp photos for the day, see your child painted in blue from head to toe or maybe wearing a crazy wig and big nerdy glasses and wonder, ‘What in the world?’ The answer probably has something to do with your summer camp’s special events and evening activities. For fifty plus nights (and some days) summer camps entertain your children with some of the zaniest games and wackiest contests that they can come up with. Why? Because it’s fun to be painted in blue from head to toe…seriously. Or at least it is when your cabin is performing a dance to the Smurfs theme in front of the entire camp and you’re Papa Smurf—or Smurfette. And seeing images of your children and their counselors slipping, sliding, and splashing around in what appears to be multi-colored goo…it’s a camp thing…a really fun camp thing. Eye patches are always fun. So is spending a day pretending to be pirates and searching for buried treasure. Becoming a secret agent and collecting clues to decode a message or pretending to be wild animals is also a great way to spend that occasional non-program day. From trivia contests to talent contests and everything in between, some of the greatest moments of summer camp happen during the crazy days and wacky nights!
If you know Camp Laurel or Laurel South, you’re familiar with Mount Vernon or Casco. You might think of them as way stations on your way to or from camp – but they’re much more than that.
Mount Vernon is a gem in the Kennebec River valley. The tiny beach next to the community center; the former church with Victorian stick-work; the 200-year-old gristmill; the brick general store selling everything you could possibly think of (from bait to pesto) – all make it worth more than drive-through on the way somewhere else.
Filled with artists, writers, educators, farmers and retirees, it’s got a quirky, eclectic but very real community feel. It’s also got plenty of history. Elizabeth Arden built a health spa here. Her guests included Eleanor Roosevelt, Judy Garland and Ava Gardner.
Mount Vernon has a “hippie sensibility” – really a spirit of independence and self-reliance – that dates back to the 1700s, Downeast Magazine has written. With only 1,500 residents – along with moose, deer and bald eagles — the town packs a lot into its hilltop meadows, wooded valleys, ponds and lakes.
If you have time for only one thing in Mount Vernon, head to the Olde Post Office Café. It’s the unofficial town center for breakfast or lunch. You won’t regret it.
Casco, in the Sebago Lakes Region, also dates its founding to the 1700s. It too was a mill town. In the 1840s, steamboats on Sebago Lake and the canals carried tourists and freight. The lake – since 1938, part of a state park – helps shape the town’s character, and provides plenty of recreational opportunities.
Point Sebago Resort offers many of the amenities of Laurel South (for those who are not of camp age), while the town itself – about the same size as Mount Vernon – has a variety of good restaurants. One of our favorite stops is Webbs Mills Variety just down the road from camp. It’s meatloaf sandwich is a favorite. And how about Crescent Lake? It is truly one of southern Maine’s most beautiful. There’s really nothing like it.
Casco’s not far from Portland – providing a nice counterpart to city and ocean tourism for anyone heading back and forth from Laurel South.
So, join us at camp this summer for a visit…and get a taste of the local color in Mt Vernon or Casco.
It appeared to be any other casual lunch on Tuesday afternoon. As we finished eating our delicious meal, we headed back to our cabins for any other Rest Hour. Suddenly, a roar was heard all over camp. It was our amazing CIT’s breaking the 2011 Spirit Days!!! For the next day and a half, the Green Ninjas and Blue Pirates battled it out in friendly competition from CIT CHAOS to the Moosehead Relay, the Tug of Ohana to the Closing Ceremonies with songs and Cheers, an amazing time was had by all. In the end, as the camper’s put so well in their cheers, “Blue and Green are one big team!” Today, our 8th Graders departed for their new trip to North Conway, New Hampshire. Our 6th Grade girls embarked on their overnight camping trip. Everyone is getting psyched for a full day of program today and then Canobie Lake on Saturday. Yes!!!!
What an amazing Independence Day we had. The day started off with our movie morning, as every camper was able to choose an appropriate movie to watch with their friends and counselors. We arrived back at camp just in time for lunch, and followed that with a relaxing “S” Day Elective afternoon. At 4pm, we had our annual Camper Variety Show, and what talent we had on display!! Campers sang, danced, told jokes, played instruments and impressed the crowd with their unbelievable talent. Dinner was a Fourth of July picnic, followed by Ice Cream Sundaes. Of course, tonight will be the greatest fireworks show in all of Maine. It was a great July 4th at Camp Laurel South!!
With all of the amazing offerings within camp, it’s hard to believe that anyone would want to leave. But some of the greatest fun children have at summer camp is actually away from camp on one of the many out of camp trips that are arranged throughout the summer. Some are small, an evening or afternoon, while others are overnight camping or hiking expeditions. For many campers, the culmination of their camp experience each year is the multi-day trips that take place toward the end of the summer. Regardless whether it’s one night or many, some of the unforgettable summer camp memories made away from camp include…
From evenings spent eating hot dogs while cheering on the local pro or semi pro sports team at the ballpark to friendly competition on the bowling lanes, lacing up the skates at a local rink or catching a movie at the cinema, campers enjoy a “night out” a few times during the summer. . Sometimes instead of nights its days spent relaxing in inner tubes as they float lazily down a river, enjoying the adrenaline rush that comes from riding the water slides at a local waterpark, or braving the roller coasters of an amusement park. Enjoying some of the most breathtaking scenery in the northeast is always a pleasure on an out of camp hike or nature walk as well.
One of the best parts of camp is the overnight camping program….spending a night or two at a campsite in a tent with all of your camp friends! It’s no secret that campers love to camp! Tents, campfires, s’mores, hikes, canoes, and a night dedicated exclusively to spending time exclusively with other campers within their own age group are all reasons why overnight camping trips are some of the most eagerly anticipated out of camp trips.
Campers don’t merely look forward to these trips all summer, they look forward to them from the very first day they step foot into camp as second and third graders. As campers grow older, the trips get bigger, and each one is a rite of passage that campers anxiously await. Amusement parks, national parks, and major cities are just some of the places that campers visit on multi-day overnight trips. Sometimes they travel no further than a few hours from camp. Older campers venture across the country to places like California or even over international borders into Canada. Even with such exciting destinations, for many senior campers, it’s the journey with their camp friends and not the place that make multi-day out of camp trips the pinnacle of their camp experiences.
Whether it’s one day or several, some of the most exciting summer camp offerings aren’t in camp at all. But they’re still very special parts of camp because they’re shared with people who can only be found at camp—camp friends!
The first week of the 2011 season has been packed full of action and fun. Our 8th and 9th Graders just pulled back into camp after awesome adventures at Acadia National Park and White Water rafting on the Kennebec River. Our first “S” Day was a rousing success as Saco/Kineo had a blast at Splashtown…the Allagash/Baxter Beach party was one for the ages, and the 7th graders had a ball at Joker’s. Of course everyone enjoyed Bumper Tubing in the morning with Roger driving one of the new Mastercrafts. We look forward to another great “A” Day tomorrow. It’s hard to believe we‘re are a week into the season. The fun just never stops…
Even though we arrived just a few days ago, the action is in full swing at Laurel South! Regular program is in full force. We had our first rotation of “A” and “B’” Days, and we can’t wait for our first in camp “S” Day when our 8th Graders head out to Acadia National Park for an awesome camping experience…our CIT’s are getting ready for their exhilarating White Water Rafting Experience…Intercamp games and tournaments have begun…The sun is shining, and, as always, it’s a beautiful day in the state of Maine!!!
Camp Laurel South is a proud member of the Maine Camp Experience. We think Summers and Camp Belong in Maine…And So Do You! Enter to win a Maine Vacation by visiting the Maine Camp Experience website…just follow this link: www.mainecampexperience.com/visit.
Lakes…Pine Forests…Even Moose
There’s a reason people talk about Maine in such reverential tones. The state has 2,200 lakes. Warm, inviting, crystal clear bodies of water that make most other lakes look like swimming holes. There are hundreds of thousands of acres of pine forests.
Temperate days and comfortable nights, where you feel you can touch the sky. And more miles of beautiful coastline than California. Even mountains — Mt. Katahdin is one of the highest peaks in New England. It’s the perfect setting for summer, one that can’t be matched anywhere.
As Forbes noted, there’s something unique about summer camps in Maine. From our acres of prime waterfront to our unspoiled wilderness, Maine has been the only destination of choice for thousands of camp families, with friendships that stretch from generation to generation.
Our summer camps feature the finest facilities, the most sought-after staff and the most unique range of off-site trips. And with more than 100 Maine camps, there’s something to suit everyone.
The lure of Maine extends way beyond the Northeast. Our campers come from throughout the U.S., some from all over the world. (More than 20,000 campers live in 30 states, and several countries!)
Your children will learn to stretch their boundaries and experience life through the eyes of someone whose life is not a mirror image of their own.
Easy To Get Here…Hard To Leave
Maine is a lot closer than you think. An easy drive or flight from most places in the Northeast– about the same distance as a winter ski trip. A great vacation for the entire family.
Whether you’re looking for the famed seaside resorts of Bar Harbor and Camden or a lodge on one of our pristine lakes, Maine has something for everyone — especially kids! Come and visit our Maine Camps and you’ll never want to leave.
After our final Morning Cove of Staff Orientation, busses, vans and cars from all over began pouring into camp. Excited campers met eager counselors until, finally, the entire Laurel South family was together again. After tonight’s delicious cook-out dinner, each campus has their own active evening program. Tomorrow is Moosestomp, when campers will pick their schedule, have a S’more at the outpost, play games, bumpertube and get acquainted with their new friends and reconnect with their returning ones. We can’t wait until Saturday when full program begins!
Parents: Camp is near. You’re packing bags, making last minute preparations, and listening to endless stories with increasing enthusiasm about what happened during the summer of 2010 in eager anticipation for summer of 2011 to begin. You’re checking and re-checking to make sure all of the paperwork has been submitted and the bag pickups have been scheduled. So we figure now is the perfect time to talk about the importance of maintaining good communication with your Camp Directors—now and throughout the summer.
Camp is a big deal for your children and for you. Whether you’ve planned a quiet summer at home or have an awesome vacation planned, we know that your top priority is to know that your children are having an amazing summer. You can help, simply by being informative.
We’re first and foremost concerned for your child’s safety and well being. Some of you probably wonder why we ask for photos of your children prior to camp. It’s so that we can show them to your children’s counselors when we discuss your children’s activity preferences with them so that they can greet campers by name from the moment they step off the bus and have full knowledge of how to make their summer successful.
We can’t emphasize enough the importance of communicating medical issues. Whether it’s an allergy to certain foods or insects, perhaps a dietary restriction, asthma, a vitamin deficiency, or wetting the bed, your camp directors need to know so that these matters can be handled appropriately as situations relating to them may occur throughout the summer.
We also want to know what your children’s interests are. If we know your child can’t get enough soccer, for instance, we can make sure that he/she gets maximum exposure to soccer during the summer. Knowing what your children like only helps us guarantee they have the summer of a lifetime.
Personal family matters are never easy, but if there is something happening at home—a divorce, illness in the family, academic issues, etc. it helps us to know. Perhaps it’s a positive development. Your child has landed a new role in a film, has made a particularly competitive athletic team, has earned a special honor at school. Whatever IS your children’s lives at the moment they come to camp, we want to be able to channel it into an amazing summer for them. And we’re confident we can. Otherwise, we wouldn’t ask. As your child’s “summer family”, we want to know how we can help them be at their best.
If anything comes up between the time you put your child on the bus or plane to come to camp and the time we put them back on the bus or plane to come home that might affect his or her summer, please call us. We want to know what’s happening. We want to understand how we can make your child’s stay at our camp effortless and memorable. Even if it’s minor, if you have any reason for pause, please call us. We want to be proactive in making your child’s experience memorable.