For many, “camping out” is one of the great joys of boyhood. Many first-time campers arrive with the dream of sleeping in a tent or under the stars and preparing meals over an open fire. Our campcraft program offers instruction in these arts of outdoor living. Boys learn how to prepare for a trip, choose a campsite and set-up camp, build a fire, use a map and compass, cook a meal, and so on. Skills learned at camp can be applied during overnight trips in the outback.
At a camper’s option, this instruction can include traditional skills employed by Native Americans. Every summer, we contract with the founders of the Koviashuvik Local Living School (www.koviashuvik.com) to offer instruction in the making of wooden spoons and bowls, packbasket weaving, moccasin-making, kindling fires without matches or accelerants, and other primitive arts.
A natural extension of an interest in camping is participation in the Junior Maine Guide program, sponsored by the State of Maine and available to campers at least fourteen years of age. Kawanhee is one of about a dozen camps in Maine that sends JMG candidates to a remote testing camp for several days, to be evaluated by registered Maine guides. Testing camp is the culmination of several weeks of intensive preparation in camp, building skills such as first aid, axemanship, orienteering, wet-weather fire-building, personal shelters, canoeing, menu-planning and campfire cooking, among others. Although JMG is considered a two-summer endeavor, some candidates are able to pass the requisite number of tests and earn their JMG in one summer. Among Kawanhee accomplishments, JMG is considered one of the most prestigious.