They must be camps. There are cabins in the woods. There is a lake nearby. And there are lots of kids having a great time. But then in these New England Boys Overnight Camps there is so much more that there almost should be another name for them besides “camp”. These camps have gone way beyond the traditional idea of a summer camp as a place to go to learn to swim, play some baseball, make a lanyard and sleep out under the stars. There is a whole new look and feel to today’s camps. These three New England boys overnight camps may be upper end in what they offer but they have become what kids are looking for today when they talk about going away to camp for the summer.
Camp Androscoggin. Located about 20 miles from Augusta, Maine, Camp Androscoggin is hard to pronounce but easy to love. The camp sits on a spacious lake for which the camp was named. In the eyes of parents and campers, at first sight this seems to be what people think of when they think of a traditional boys camp in the Maine woods. It’s all there – the sparkling waters, the cabins in the pines. But on further examination there is just so much more.
Each year the camp hosts about 270 boys from 8-15 years old with the mission to help them develop skills and self confidence while having the best summer of their lives. To man this operation there is a staff of some 75 including a resident nurse and doctor.
Camp Androscoggin has offered its services for a full 100 years and prides itself on the great summers it has provided for its campers. The camp has grown and developed but always the goal has been to offer boys lots of activities and lots of opportunities to develop the skills they most enjoy. This summer boys going to Camp Androscoggin will find themselves looking at 5 instructional sessions for different sports and skills each day and 2 free choices for other activities as well.
Of course the activities that they are offered do include swimming, baseball and crafts, but there is also so much more. One finds that things like ropes and wall climbing, radio broadcasting and windsurfing are presented as possible activities for consideration. The camp makes an effort to see that younger boys get a chance to experience all of what is available here. Older boys are given more options to select how to spend their day.
All have at their disposal a Playhouse for drama, an Art Center and a Field House with a regulation size basketball court. Young people sleep 6 to a cabin with a supervising counselor.
For more information about Camp Androscoggin visit www.campandro.com. and prepare to be impressed.
Camp Bauercrest Among the American Camping Association accredited overnight boys camps in New England one finds Camp Bauercrest. This camp is distinctive because it is offered as a summer camp for Jewish boys. The camp can be found on Lake Attitash in Amesbury, MA and it annually draws boys who come not just for the sports and overnight experience but also because with their parents they have recognized Camp Bauercrest as a place that respects and supports their Jewish faith and identity.
In addition to announcing its religious distinction, Camp Bauercrest makes it clear that it also is in business to help boys build “sportsmanship, teamwork, achievement and responsibility”. The camp believes it provides the kind of safe and secure environment and the right kind of role models to help boys to grow and mature. One of the most attractive things about the camp may be that it lists as its number one mission : “that kids have a healthy and enjoyable summer.” This is not a place for 8 year olds who want to get ready for Major League baseball. It’s a place for kids to come and enjoy their childhood. For parents that should be a comforting thought.
Like many of the top level camps, Camp Bauercrest has a collection of new and diverse facilities to offer campers. There is a new gym, but there is also a new computer lab with Internet access. There are ball fields but there is also lake frontage. You can visit the batting cage or go off to the music room. The summer is even nicely broken up with outside trips to amusement parks, ball games, beach trips and movie sojourns. This camp runs for 2 four week sessions or campers can opt to come for the full summer. More information about Camp Bauer can be found at www.bauercrest.org .
Camp Tecumseh. There is a very interesting history to Camp Tecumseh. The camp was founded in 1903 by three young men who were all Olympians from the greater Philadelphia area. They put their efforts together to build and run a camp on the shores of New Hampshire’s beautiful Lake Winnipesaukee. Today that camp stretches along 2 miles of shoreline on what is the largest lake in New England and continues to do what its founders hoped it would do: “make good boys better”.
What is offered at Camp Tecumseh is an unusual blend of activities presented for about 170 boys ages 8-16. Some of what is offered at Camp Tecumseh is not surprising at all. There is a very complete program of athletic activities both on the water and off. Because the Camp is located near the White Mountains of New Hampshire a variety of hiking and climbing activities are included in the summer program according to age and ability. But uniquely Camp Tecumseh has its own “Opera House” where camper skits are performed regularly. At the end of the season the campers take part in the production of a Gilbert and Sullivan Operetta. That’s just a little bit exceptional.
Another specialty offered at the seven week camp is that during the last two weeks campers are invited to participate in what is called “Clinic” . For older campers the time is used to help campers prepare for fall sports. A variety of sports specialists are brought in to get boys in shape for football, soccer and track while still being present for the rest of the camp experience. During “Clinic” younger campers get the opportunity to select their favorite activities and get to put in extra hours as they choose. There is a real effort made here to meet the needs and stretch the imaginations of all campers. If this is a camp you would like to know more about contact www.camptecumseh.net.
If these camps seem too good to be true, contact the websites and you will see some incredible pictures of kids living the dream. You will also find that in some cases Financial Aid may be available. Or go on location, these three boys overnight camps in New England really do need to be seen to be believed.