Camp Is a Joint Venture
Our campers’ parents are critical members of our community. We understand and appreciate the commitment families make to the Kawanhee experience. The decision by parents to enroll a child at camp begins with a recognition that camp can impart value that cannot be replicated at home or at school. Having decided to take that leap of faith, parents are then called upon to make dear sacrifices, not only by covering the cost of camp, but also by forgoing their son’s good company for several weeks. We understand that enrolling a child in camp is a profoundly selfless and loving act.
It is for this reason that we consider families, a camper’s parents, siblings, grandparents and step-parents, to be part of our greater community. During a camper’s first two weeks of camp, we have a policy against phone calls and personal visits between a camper and his family members in preference for unlimited emails and letters. Phone calls and emails or letters with camp staff are always welcome as well. We find that this policy promotes a camper’s smooth adjustment to camp by developing a boy’s ability to draw support from those around him.
After two weeks, we welcome visits to camp by family members at any time, and phone calls between campers and parents are supported. We do not have designated visitation days, as we believe that family members should be made welcome when it is convenient for them to visit. If it is raining, or if a camper’s lodge is less than tidy, so be it. Parents deserve to see an unfiltered view of the camp experience.
The health and safety of campers is our paramount concern. We have a Maine-licensed registered nurse on site at all times staffing our infirmary, as well as staff members with Wilderness First Responder and Wilderness First Aid certifications. In addition, all staff members receive CPR training and those working in water-based activities have Red Cross Lifeguard Training.
In addition, we have a contractual arrangement with a pediatrics practice about thirty minutes from camp, should a physician’s attention be necessary. The local hospital is also about a thirty minute drive from camp.
Kawanhee provides varied and nutritious meals, serving breakfast and dinner to lodge groups family-style and serving lunch buffet-style, affording campers and staff the opportunity to sit with whomever they please. To the extent possible, we accommodate individual dietary needs, and a vegetarian option is always available. Our chef of the past twenty-five years or so is Sean Minear, a year-round resident of Weld. Sean teaches culinary arts at the local high school and serves as President of Weld’s Historical Society. Each summer features several special dining events, including the mid-summer lobster bake, various outdoor barbeques, homemade pizza cooked in our outdoor wood-fired pizza oven, and our season-ending banquet.
Campers reside with boys of like age in weatherproof log cabins, most of which are located on the lake shore and each of which is staffed by two senior counselors. The cabins are wired for electricity. The common bathroom facility is handy to the cabins and features unlimited hot water, reasonably private individual bathroom and shower stalls, and a laundry. Our campus features over two dozen rustic buildings, various athletic fields and courts, an outdoor gathering place for Saturday evening campfires, and a state-of-the-art ropes course and climbing wall. Our waterfront offers a dedicated swimming area, a fleet of sailboats, canoes and kayaks, two motorboats for waterskiing and a slalom skiing course. Our campus and facilities are maintained by Wallis Tyler, a Weld resident and our year-round carpenter and handyman.