Rafting Trips & More
From the days of Henry David Thoreau, Maine has been one of the most favored regions for camping in the country. With its great stretches of unspoiled forests, its thousands of clear, sparkling lakes, its fine fishing and lofty mountains, it's the perfect answer to a boy who yearns for the opportunity to explore, to hike in the woods, to spy on God's creatures in the great out-of-doors. Every boy is invited to participate in Kawanhee's Tripping Program, and practically all campers are eager to accept the exciting challenges.
This club was started in 1993. Thirteen boys demonstrated great interest in trips and completed a number of requirements ranging from knots to outdoor knowledge, making them the first "Kawanhee Mountain Men". Members of this exclusive club are awarded 150 points for their team.
In 1994 a second level was added, Mountain Man II. Available only to those who are already Mountain Men, this rigorous achievement, worth 250 team points, was reached by only 3 boys.
In 1995 there was a 3rd and final level added to the Kawanhee Mountain Man Club.
Since the implementation of the Mountain Man Club in 1993, many boys have become members, many of whom have become part of Kawanhee's awesome staff!
The three-day trip to Monhegan, for boys 10 years of age and older, has been so popular it has been necessary to schedule two trips each summer.
Monhegan is twelve miles out from the mainland at Port Clyde, and abounds in history, romance and new adventure.
Captain John Smith landed here in 1610.
We plan to visit Cathedral Woods, the Boars Head, and the sea-going tug that went aground in '42, and also enjoy deep-sea fishing.
We leave Port Clyde on the "Laura B". She's a trim little craft, and seaworthy in every respect. She is 60 feet in length, has two 225 HP. diesel engines, automatic steerer, radio compass, depth recorder, radar, and radio telephone. Captain James Barstow, a skillful skipper with many years experience is in charge. He likes boys and boys like him. When it's not too tough, he lets them stand by him at the wheel.
There's fun, thrills and good fishing at Monhegan. You never know what the catch will be-Cod, Pollock, Haddock, Mackerel or maybe a Tuna. All equipment is furnished by the skipper, including necessary bait.
For those boys who prefer to remain on the island and work with some of the local artists, arrangements have been made for the 2003 Monhegan trip to offer this alternative if boys wish to do water colors and receive art instruction instead of joining the deep- sea fishermen.
Mt. Katahdin Trip
Across from camp, at the end of the lake, rise the peaks of Tumbledown, the Jackson's, West, and white-topped Blueberry, There's always a thrill on Tumbledown, from a crawl through "Fat Man's Misery", and the "Lemon Squeeze", to curling up in a sleeping bag near the summit on a moonlit night.
Mt. Katahdin Trip
There is no trip in New England that surpasses the one to Mt. Katahdin, Maine's highest mountain, and declared by experienced mountain climbers the most spectacular and beautiful elevation east of the Rockies. Thrusting its spruce-clad slopes and rocky summit a mile into the clouds, this giant of the East is the first spot in the United States to greet the morning sun.
A short distance from camp and easily climbed over a trail one and one-half miles in length.
This is a favorite trip for many of the younger boys in camp especially those who wish to "train" for the more difficult climbs later in the season.
In 2012 for the twentieth time, Camp Kawanhee offered boys who are excellent swimmers and 12 or over in age the opportunity to participate in a whitewater rafting trip down the Kennebec River. Tripping Counselors headed up a group of 40 older campers. They reported spectacular scenery, a hearty steak lunch, and tons of whitewater. They all got a taste of big water and tremendous waves. Professional whitewater personnel accompanied and guided the group. This trip will be scheduled again in 2010 only with special permission from parents. It is an extra charge one-day trip.
The Kawanhee Trips Program run such a variety of trips that we can only list the most common ones. The state of Maine is truly blessed with all its outdoor pursuit possibilities, and Camp Kawanhee is located in the heart of most of them. The Trips Program lead campers down rivers and on lakes, sea kayaking at the coast, mountain biking and hikes on mountains with and without trails. Come join the adventure with Kawanhee Trips!
Kawanhee is unusually rich in natural beauty, with plant and animal life in abundance. "Learning by doing" is the Kawanhee way and nowhere in camp is this more observed than in the Nature Department. Acquaintance with wild life is gained by caring for pets in camp, pursuing birds on trips afield, and observation of the beaver colony a short distance from camp.
Overnight trips are made occasions for study of the stars, simplified by the "stellarium" in the Nature Museum which flashes familiar constellations later to be identified under the open sky.
Microscopic observations, study of ferns and fungi, moth and butterfly propagation, nature photography and other fields of original research voluntarily chosen, are open to boys who wish to become "Naturalists," the highest honor the department confers. Such activities aim to quicken appreciation, awaken interests and develop resources which will in many cases continue throughout the boy's life.
A splendid collection of minerals was mined at Newry, where boys go to add to their rock collections. Each specimen was identified, carefully labeled and placed in a mineral box. Every boy has the thrill of finding beautiful green tourmalines and clear quartz crystals. The more fortunate may emerge with pieces of beryl, rose and smoky quartz, green, black, and pink tourmaline, or even amethyst.
The strange fascination that rocks and minerals possess for many boys is given added stimulus by the lapidary equipment which is part of the Nature Department's expanded interest in the geology and mineralogy. The equipment consists of diamond saws for slicing or cutting horizontal metal disks for rough grinding, and a series of wood and metal wheels for polishing.
The Campcraft program appeals to boys who enjoy the fun of camping out. Preparation for trips is an important part of the program learning the safety rules, cooking over an open fire, making rainproof shelters, using a map and compass, predicting the weather by reading the sky, wielding an axe safely and effectively. Passing the Campcraft levels is also excellent preparation for the Junior Maine Guide program.
The Junior Maine Guide program is open to boys 14 years and older. Participants learn all the necessary skills to lead a group of people in the wilderness: in-depth orienteering, cooking for a large group, identifying trees, canoeing, building personal shelters, first aid. After four weeks of intensive training, the candidates leave for the testing area on Swan Island in the Kennebec River, where they remain for four days, taking twenty separate practical and written tests. Winning this award is a coveted accomplishment of which any boy may well be proud. Usually, two summers of preparation for J.M.G. are needed.
We have been offering since the 1998 season our own fly-fishing school, where novice and intermediate fly-fishers can develop and refine the many skills involved in this challenging pursuit. The school is a structured, comprehensive curriculum, with small groups meeting at regular intervals throughout the season. Boys who choose to participate will receive approximately 15 hours of instruction in groups no larger than six, with the program culminating in a trip to one of the region's better trout and salmon rivers. Topics covered will include: fly-casting, tackle and accessories, knots, wading, river ecology, stream entomology, fly-tying and angling ethics. Campers will be able to hone their skills in pursuit of the bass, perch, and pickerel that thrive in Webb Lake, enticing the fish with flies they have tied themselves.
Involvement in Kawanhee's fly-fishing school entails a commitment of time and the diligent practice of a variety of skills; a camper who attains even the most basic proficiency has accomplished much. In recognition of this, a boy who completes the school will have a "Black Ghost" streamer fly painted on his paddle. The addition of this famous Rangeley fly signifies commitment, learning, and a demonstrated proficiency in a number of skill areas.
John Bell, a Kawanhee veteran of 30 seasons, will be conducting the school. John was a sales associate with L.L. Bean Fly-fishing Department in Freeport for 15 years, and models his school closely after Bean's highly effective curriculum.
Note to Parents: Camp furnishes all the equipment for the school instruction and for the fishing trip to Rangeley. John would be happy to advise any camper before or during camp season regarding the purchase of his own fly outfit. L.L. Bean has an excellent value in an introductory level outfit at around $100.00. Other reputable companies, such as Orvis, Martin, or South Bend, also have beginner outfits at similar or more modest price level.
The state of Maine is a fisherman's paradise, and Camp Kawanhee enjoys the good fortune of being situated within striking distance of some of the best of Maine's fly-fishing waters. The Kennebec, Androscoggin and Kennebago Rivers, Upper and Middle Dams are amongowages where Kawanheeans have cast a fly. The mystique of the Rangeley Lakes region, and the challenges aesthetics of fly-fishing have held an appeal for many Kawanhee boys over the years; in fact, interest in fly-fishing has been on the rise.
Kawanhee's Challenge Course, which encompasses a 40 foot climbing tower and multiple high and low elements, was constructed by Project Adventure before the 2000 camp season. The course is a model of experiential learning that involves participants in a variety of group and individual activities aimed at developing group trust, problem-solving skills, and cooperation within a team.
In addition, it provides individuals with opportunities that focus on personal challenge and constructive risk taking as ways to build a healthy self-concept. An integral component of the program is the "Challenge By Choice" concept which empowers participants to make decisions that are correct for them while utilizing this completely safe environment with trained professional leaders.
Fly Fishing Program
Ropes & Challenge Course