CHEWONKI FOUNDATION INC

Rating: 4.97 stars   200 reviews

Issues: Education, Environment

Location: 485 Chewonki Neck Rd Wiscasset ME 04578 USA

Mission: Chewonki inspires transformative growth, teaches appreciation and stewardship of the natural world, and challenges people to build thriving, sustainable communities throughout their lives. Chewonki serves people of all ages throughout the year. The living is simple and our communities are always small. We teach and learn in settings that take advantage of indoor and outdoor classrooms, the woods and water of Maine and beyond, as well as the land and buildings of our 400 acre campus.
Target demographics: Students from K-12, adults, families, active senior citizens.
Direct beneficiaries per year: 20,000 young people have an educational experience that taught them about the natural world.
Geographic areas served: Maine, New England, United States, Abroad
Programs: a semester school for high school juniors, summer camp programs for boys and girls, wilderness trips for teenagers, outdoor classroom programs for school groups, traveling natural history programs.
2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 01-0269460
207-882-7323
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I worked for Chewonki for three summers at their boys camp. It changed my life. It's hard to put into words, but I will never forget my experiences there.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Absolutely nothing.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I participated in their semester program as a junior in high school, and I've gone to visit several times since -- the organization encourages development of an authentic self, and they still remember me and treat me like family. The experience taught me to believe in the inherent value of my individuality, and to recognize my capacity to work for socially responsible changes in the world. It drove me to alter my list of colleges to apply to, switch majors, and pursue a career path I wouldn't have considered before.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Give them a lot of money and increase their social media presence.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Chewonki has had a profound influence on my life and three of my children as well.

When I think of my years as a camper and counselor two words come to mind joy and core values. From its very beginnings in 1915, the people who serve this incredible organization as teachers, volunteers, cooks, managers, etc. have found ways to expose participants to the joy of being with and learning from the lessons nature provides. We have all benefited from the experiences of jointing together in community to become better responsible citizens.

I recommend a Chewonki experience to anyone seeking a safe place where people genuinely care for each other while providing ample room for joyful experience and personal growth.

Not many organizations stay in business for a hundred years. I takes a successful track record to stay in business this long. And with the continuing support of all those who are touched by its good work I pray for another successful 100 years.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I have been associated with Chewonki for over 50 years as a camper, employee, board member and now an advisory board member. Operating a boys camp, girls camp, co-ed wilderness trips, a semester school for high school juniors and an outreach natural history program that reaches thousands of students each year school,the organaztion provides a foundation for young people to grow, mature, learn and interact in the natural world around them. Lessons learned here have been passed on from generation to generation as well as world wide.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Continue to insure its financial stability and impact on young people.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I have been volunteering since November 2011. I come to Chewonki for one day(sometimes two) a week to help create The Chewonki Archives. Chewonki was founded almost one hundred years ago. It is a really fun project as we have amazing albums, photographs, the papers of the founder Clarence Allen, plus movies, audio and memorabilia. All the staff at Chewonki are so positive and enthusiastic, it is a joy to be part of the organization. As I am there so much, I have gotton to know many people and work together. Chewonki lives the values that it is teaching, and being part of that is what makes volunteering at Chewonki great. We listen to each other and respect each other. The people that work at Chewonki are cheerful, caring and always ready to help each other and pitch in. We have dish crew where everyone takes turns cleaning up after lunch. Usually 5 people have signed up and its actually really fun, because everyone is working together in harmony.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Raise enough money to have a climate controlled Chewonki Archives. Right now we are part of the library, which is good but not perfect.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

We discovered Chewonki for our sons through Boys Camp and Wilderness Trips. Not only did the boys have a great time through repeat programs but they also learned about themselves, the natural world, and the community of people - especially counselors and program directors - who loved their company and their universe, who formed honest, personal relations with the boys. We now have personal experience with nearly all of Chewonki's programs through the friends and family we have introduced to its programs. I became involved to give back but it's Chewonki that gives back so generously to me. My hope as a board member is that we can keep Chewonki strong - and help make it even stronger - while making its programs available to even more children, teens and adults. Chewonki is a superb advocate for a joyful but also a thoughtful, intentional relationship to social communities and the natural world. The world needs Chewonki and I am so very honored to be a small part of such a powerful and transformative organization. There are many best parts of Chewonki but one of the very best of all that superiority is the people.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Be absolutely certain it does not lose sight of all of its constituencies (boys and girls, teens, adults, families) and their needs and the unique ways in which Chewonki does - and can continue to - introduce all of them, especially young people, to the natural world and their own highest potential.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

What makes Chewonki a great organization is the people who lead it, and the space where you are when you help at Chewonki. My most memorable afternoon in recent years was when I turned myself over to the staff at the farm and did what I was told. I had a chance to help prepare a field (and learn the difference between rock walls in New England), collect eggs from the hens (and have one for breakfast the next day) and milk a cow! The sky above us that beautiful afternoon is not one I will soon forget. And the lessons I learned from Megan are not soon forgotten!

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of advisors?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Chewonki is an amazing place where children and adults can learn more about the natural world and the future of sustainability while also learning more about themselves! The organization is filled with dedicated professionals who spend endless amounts of time and energy improving the environment around them.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

myself and my family and students I have worked with in my job as a school teacher.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

work with the experts who are already there.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

their dedication and enthusiasm is infectious!

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

amazing!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

do anything!

Ways to make it better...

we had more money, as usual!

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

budget and program size.

One thing I'd also say is that...

I am biased as a member of the founder's family.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Chewonki simply does good work. My experience with Chewonki includes attending the Chewonki Semester School, leading wilderness trips, and serving as an Advisor. More than any other organization I have encountered Chewonki does one critical thing very well. It is conscientious and intentional about pursuing programs that achieve its mission. While this may be a high-level success, it is extremely rare among non-profits and for-profits alike. Luckily for its students, the adherence to Chewonki's mission comes without pretension or dogma, and it translates into extremely impactful, educational, and fun experiences in the outdoors. I don't know anyone who has left their Chewonki experience without feeling enriched and challenged to live a more intentional and conscientious life of their own.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of advisors?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I'm the parent of a Chewonki Semester School student - that was over 20 years ago. Chewonki changed my son's life. He learned what it means to be a trusted member of a community, learned to be a steward of the natural world, and found an outlet for his quirky sense of humor. I'm happy to say that he never recovered from the experience. He returned to work as a camp counselor for many years, a math intern, and the IT person. My husband and I have been Chewonki enthusiasts for years, and two years ago I became an Advisor to the organization. I've heard wonderful things about the girl's camp, and look forward to seeing granddaughter become a camper. Chewonki manages to stay true to its mission while at the same time keeping pace with changes in technology, educational pedagogy, and environmental pressures. It is just a magnificent organization!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Somehow, take it across the country!

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of advisors?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

My daughter was part of semester 46 and it changed her life. The opportunity to meet 40 other top students and learn to live with and for each other and our planet resulted in a wonderful self confidence that has and will serve her well for the rest of her life. Chopping the wood for their cabin wood stove, gathering eggs and milking the cow for breakfast, working on global warming issues - forming a community of caring, well educated stewards to lead their generation in finding solutions to problems my generation and prior have wrestled with is a great outcome of the Chewonki experience.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

make more families aware if what their children can gain by participating in a Chewonki program.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful?