An Overnight Summer Camp in Hartford, Maine
When it comes to the perfect setting for a great summer, all roads lead to Maine, but only one leads to Camp Wekeela – the premier overnight summer camp for boys and girls age 6-16 located on Little Bear Pond in Hartford, Maine.
Our goal at Wekeela is to provide a fun, exciting summer camp experience that helps your child discover new talents and interests, builds self-esteem and confidence and gives them the opportunity to establish lifelong friendships.
What makes Wekeela special are the strong, loyal bonds we create. Our campers become like family. Long after camp ends for the summer, we remain in touch. Year after year, the vast majority of Wekeela campers return to renew the close friendships they have made and many of them return as counselors.
If you have any questions about our summer camp, please do not hesitate to call us. We look forward to speaking with you!
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- End of Summer 2019: What a special year! Posted on Sunday 11th August, 2019
At Camp, it’s quiet. There is an eerie sense of calm. We are “campsick.” We miss the children and staff, the smiles, hugs and laughter that we enjoyed all summer.
August is like the Sunday of summer. It is almost impossible to believe that another year of camp has come to an end! Reactions from some of the parents I’ve spoken to range from “Why so fast?!” to “Where did it all go?!” to “WAHHHH!!” Because even though all parents miss their kids while they’re gone, it is also a rare opportunity in the world of parenting to be alone, recharge, or spend time with just one kid at a time (or two, or three … it kind of depends on how many kids you have).
For the campers, it’s a very different kind of experience. Sure, they missed their families, but for a lot of children, leaving camp leaves them deeply saddened. Their hearts are full of a thousand amazing experiences from the summer – making new friends, trying new things, color war events, field trips, campfires – and their hearts are wrenched from knowing the last few days of camp are upon them. Then come the goodbyes, the ride home, and those first few weeks back home, back with screens, away from all their new friends … it can be a tough transition. Some campers experience something called “campsick.” It’s the opposite of homesick (medically, you’re not actually ill). Intense longing to be back at summer camp. Afflicted persons may show a variety of symptoms, including melancholy, reminisce, and attempts to incorporate camp culture into “real world” life. This diagnosis is all too real. Now that summer Twenty-Nineteen is complete, we are here to help children and their parents make the smooth transition from Camp Wekeela to home.
Here are some tips to help ease the re-entry home if you have an out-of-sorts or “campsick” camper:
Ø Let your child rest! Camp is such a busy, active time and campers need lots of rest after they get home. Make sure they don’t have much on their schedule when they return and let them have several days to “chill” and get caught up on sleep. Many emotional and behavioral issues can be solved by a good night’s sleep.
Ø Encourage your child to talk about camp and share stories. Ask open-ended questions about camp (if they seem open to your inquiries).
Ø Have them teach you a camp song or game.
Ø Use the photos on Waldo and the camp’s website to spur conversation and help them remember. Print some photos and make a collage or album with camp memories.
Ø Encourage your camper to keep in touch with camp friends. Some campers like to write “real” letters to each other to keep the communication “campy.” Phone calls and video chats are also a great way to continue the more “face-to-face” connections they made at camp.
Ø Help your child make plans for a visit or reunion with camp friends (or a video chat if that’s all that works).
Ø Suggest your camper write a thank you note to a counselor at camp who made their stay especially fun. Doing something kind for someone else, like writing a thank you note, will make your camper feel happier.
Ø Have a “campfire” in your backyard and roast a s’more.
Ø Plan and do a family outdoor activity together.
Ø Kids and their parents all have transitions – both as camp begins, and as it ends. A positive adjustment back home means kids not only stay connected to camp friends, but also display skills and values for a lifetime.
Ø Talk about camp plans and start a count-down calendar to next summer!
The trick is to keep those memories alive all year round. If you do it right, the glow of camp stays with you until you’re ready to pack up those duffel bags again.… Read More
- Color War 2019 and Matt Damon! Posted on Sunday 4th August, 2019
See Wekeela in the news recently? A recent article published by former camper Francesca Bacardi gave Camp Wekeela a shout out for our very special Fake Break featuring movie star Matt Damon! The buzz has been pretty great.. but we all know that Color War only happens when the Green and the White Hatchet are crossed. As grateful as we are that Matt did us that favor, it wouldn’t truly be color war until we broke it here at camp!
To read the article, you can click here.
The theme of the break was Lion King! Scar overtook the Wekeela Pride and only Simba, with the help of Timon and Pumba, could defeat him and take his rightful place in the circle of life. However, after Scar smashed it on Pride Rock it looked like Color War would never come, but Mufasa showed Simba that he had to look inside himself and complete the circle of life.
Now arguably the best part of the summer is underway! The Green and the White teams are battling hard in activities, but having a great amount of fun!
Color War at Camp Wekeela is something you can feel in your heart and soul. It is all encompassing. It can bring laughs and tears. You lose your voice from cheering and you get swept up in the excitement and the teamwork. It is all at once exhausting and exhilarating. It brings friendships and friendly competition. It makes campers and staff play hard, fight for their team, and feel alive. It makes campers and staff have pride. It should make everyone feel important and included. In the end, win or lose, all camp unites as one and feels the strength having gone through it together.
Good luck to the Royal Green & White Legion!
- Mid-Point: Moments to be present during summer camp Posted on Tuesday 16th July, 2019
College Weekend has come and gone. It was fantastic! And now, mid-summer weekend is a few days away! Sibling Overnight is this Thursday and so is the much- anticipated production of Shrek! And did I mention Visitor’s Day is this Friday?!! Summertime always go way too fast. It’s hard to believe campers depart this Saturday and our second session starts this Sunday. But first, let’s talk about this Friday, Visitor’s Day! It’s an opportunity to welcome our campers’ parents onto our magical world for the day. Visitor’s day allows our campers to reconnect with their families and for the families to meet the staff that have taken care of their children this summer. It also gives our guests time to enjoy our beautiful campus and to experience what their children have achieved thus far at camp. We will discuss mid-summer weekend further at our upcoming staff meeting. Mid-summer is a great opportunity to remind our staff to not take their time here for granted and to present in the moment. Here’s what else we shared with them.
Moments to Be Present During the Summer Camp Season
Remember that first night at dinner with your new cabin? The nervous excitement of your campers? The antics the campers did to figure out how they were going to fit in?
The campers … but what about you as the staff member in charge of these kids?!
Well, you made it! Nice work — you are still standing and in one
piece. Congratulations! Now it is time to ramp up for the last three weeks. You are tired, hungry, haven’t been on social media much, and you probably need to call home and maybe pay a few bills. Your campers presented you with a wealth of challenges, headaches, moments of greatness, and some serious conversations that you never dreamed of having — especially with children.
You have a few hours off and in addition to getting some serious (necessary) sleep, you can’t get the parting words from one of your campers out of your head. As they were leaving, they came up to you and shook your hand and with tears of exhaustion and a huge smile, they hopefully said “thank you, I had the best time of my life.”
You probably didn’t expect that, especially from that particular camper. But you had a tremendous impact on that camper and so many others. Your campers watch everything that you do and while their actions may not always show that, your kids cared about you and admired your greatness. You are their camp hero and you mean the world to them.
So, stop, breathe, listen, and look around. Pause to reflect on your work. All your hard work and sacrifices paid off. You have enriched a child’s life . . . forever. Best of all you get to do again for a whole new group starting camp this Sunday and keep making memories and keep it going with the our full season campers. So here’s to the final and best three weeks of the summer!!… Read More