Chewonki offers campers and students opportunities to unplug, reflect, learn and grow. My sons have had the challenging and rewarding experience of participating in Wilderness Trips. And we have a soon-to-be-Semester student in the house!
I had the privilege of volunteering in the Development Office for about 3 weeks. I remain impressed w/ Chewonki's crystal clear mission statement, generous scholarship awards and the exceptional quality of people that Chewonki attracts and retains.
Chewonki fosters an appreciation for the simple things, for the environment, for meeting a challenge head on, and for living and working in community with others. This appreciation often shifts a person's (especially a young person's) entire worldview. This is the magic of Chewonki. You hear over and over and over again: former Chewonki participants say that Chewonki has changed their lives. It changed my life.
Chewonki is a fantastic organization that I hope to stay involved with. One of their programs is a Semester School for high school juniors, of which I was a student this past spring. It was one of the best things I've ever done!
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.
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.
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.
Chewonki changes lives. I first became involved with Chewonki as a young teacher more than twenty years ago, and I think of the lessons I learned there as my second graduate degree, or far better, the place that best taught me about how to treat other people, how to pursue intellectual passions, and how to better live in balance with the natural world. I was always an outdoorsy person, but Chewonki taught me to look at and listen to the natural world with more precise senses just as it taught me how to be a caring teacher and a hardworking colleague. Chewonki is always my gold standard for what it means to work in a healthy job, but more than that, it defines what a strong, vibrant community can be.
Chewonki changed my life starting at age 9. My first experience was as a camper and it left me with a profound appreciation for nature and a significant boost in self-confidence. It was the first place that I ever strapped on a backpack and hiked several sections of the Appalachian trail. They also took me to remote island off the coast of Maine with a naturalists who could identify just about everything we saw, from plants to birds, to species in tidal pools. I later returned with a school group and then worked there as a counselor. With each step I've taken deeper into the organization, I have been more and more impressed. The quality of education they provide, the sincerity and drive of the hard working staff and the vision that they both teach and live is inspiring and impact-full. Chewonki is a spectacular, top-notch organization, well deserving of every accolade it receives!
Chewonki Foundation consistently walks the talk of sustainability. It finds and retains some of the most energetic and compassionate staff of any organization, whether nonprofit or for profit. Sometimes, the experience of being on site seems almost magical. With self-deprecating humor, the Chewonki staff and campers refer to the comforting "Chewonki bubble" to remind themselves that the experience is to be shared and enlarged beyond the confines of Chewonki Neck, not only to be enjoyed while there.
Chewonki shapes the lives of future leaders in conservation and sustainability. Lessons learned at Chewonki translate into more conscientious life choices that are better for human and natural communities.