Camp Kawanhee is located on a mountain lake in the Maine woods. The local mountains are of the Longfellow Range, a part of the venerable Appalachians, some of the oldest mountains on the planet. Our view up the lake to the northwest takes in Tumbledown Mountain, one of the premier hikes in Maine. Mount Blue, former home to a fire warden’s cabin at its summit, is to the east. The local high school is named after this peak, as is the State Park located across the lake.
Fourteen miles to the south is the Androscoggin River, one of Maine’s primary waterways and home to a rich logging tradition and the ghosts of nimble river drivers who busted-up logjams on the river a couple of generations ago. About thirty miles to the west is the New Hampshire border, and forty-five miles to the northwest is the Quebec border.
Our home is the small town of Weld, a supportive and proud place where time seems to have stood still. This community of 419 year-round residents observed its bicentennial in 2016, and our campers and counselors joined in the summer portion of this year-long celebration. Sean Minear, our camp chef and a year-round resident of Weld, chaired the Town’s Bicentennial Committee. This group put together a calendar of events any city would have been proud of.
Kawanhee folks quickly come to appreciate a profound sense of community and place…a place where people feel lucky to be…a place defined by the whisper of the wind in towering pines, the dramatic sunsets in the Tumbledown gap, the eerie cry of loons, the grandeur of bald eagles and moose, the clarity of a night sky lit with stars, the chortling of chickadees, the singular aroma of cedar, the summer squall pounding down the lake, and on and on…a place to realize we are all stewards of the natural world.