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  

23 people found this review helpful

I worked at Chewonki and my brothers did trips and were campers there. It has changed the way we all think about the world and our place in it. My favorite part of Chewonki is the summer camp. It is amazing to see the creativity and energy kids exhibit when they are away from their computers, i-pods, cell phones, etc. If we want to make this world better we need to start teaching kids how to live low-impact lifestyles at a young age and Chewonki does this in a fun, interesting way. On a more personal note, Chewonki has introduced me to some of the most amazing people I have ever met and I continue to be close friends with many of those I met at Chewonki.

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

great!

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

the sky's the limit

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

25 people found this review helpful

I worked at Chewonki for a number of summers and my brothers attended the summer camp there. It has changed our outlook immensely, especially in terms of how we view the world around us. Chewonki teaches us that we can live simply and happily with very little negative impact on the environment. My favorite part of Chewonki is the summer camp. Immersing kids in the outdoors and taking them away from their computers, i-pods, Nintendo, etc. is becoming increasingly important. If we want to make this world better we need to start teaching kids how to live low-impact lifestyles at a young age and Chewonki does this in a fun, interesting way.

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

the friends i have made

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

28 people found this review helpful

I love Chewonki. I worked for 3 years on the Environmental Education staff and 3 more leading wilderness trips for the summer camp. I have worked for many other schools and organizations and few have had the forward-thinking educational integrity that Chewonki has. It was a marvelous workplace and I refer back to what I learned there frequently in my science-teaching career.

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

the sustainability movement and throughout New England educational institutions.

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

be very proud.

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

The wonderful people and deep commitment to Maine's environment.

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

spectacular.

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

be an incredible gift to the region.

Ways to make it better...

I could have stayed for longer sustainably.

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

Staying on an appropriate scale to serve the students that come throughout the year.

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

Chewonki is a beautiful model for many organizations.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2005-1-01

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

30 people found this review helpful

Chewonki is doing amazing work. Their commitment to educating people in the outdoors in unmatched in the field. Never one to shy away from new ideas, Chewonki is an innovator in renewable energy and wilderness travel.

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

The growth of their students.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-8-01

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

29 people found this review helpful

I worked at Chewonki for five summers and during the year, too, which gave me ample opportunity to be a first-hand witness to the life changing moments that both children and adults experience at Chewonki, whether braving rapids in a canoe on the Moose River or steering a boat through a fog bank on the Maine Coast, or getting down and dirty on the organic Salt Marsh farm and helping bring local food to our table--only 800 feet away or so! It's amazing to see how much the boys learn at summer camp--they build solar-powered battery chargers, learn the difference between compost and slop, practice sustainability on their wilderness trips, learn about animals in Maine up close through Outreach programs, and generally become caught up in the spirit of generosity towards people and the Earth so essential to Chewonki's core mission.

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

the way both children and adults who have been through Chewonki programs view their responsibility toward the environment, whether is is a small step (summer camp kids go home eager to compost) or a bigger step (former MCS students rallying together to donate money to buy a solar panel for Chewonki).

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

lots of laughing, crazy kids, a willingness to change, and great coworkers.

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

caring, kind, fun-loving, outdoors-loving, smart, eco-conscious, and dedicated.

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

save the world. Without a doubt.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

31 people found this review helpful

My experience at Chewonki as a high school student was the most formative time of my life thus far. Everything that I have done since has been at least in part driven by the interests and passions that Chewonki helped me to uncover. My dedication to sustainable living and my career in environmental stewardship and conservation are both the result of the model that Chewonki set for me.

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

training individuals to become environmental stewards and leading the way with sustainability initiatives and technology

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

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

everything! I have been so impressed with every facet of what the Chewonki Foundation does.

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

incredible - intelligent, passionate, committed and kind

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

Increase financial aid to enhance their commitment to making their services accessible to low-income families and students, make a larger imprint on the surrounding community and do more on regional sustainability and conservation initiatives. From what I know of Chewonki's drive and leadership, the question is rather, what couldn't they do!

Ways to make it better...

I don't think anything could have made it better.

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

Financial - for Chewonki to advance to the next step and continue achieving such great heights, the biggest challenge is the financing.

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

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2000-1-01

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

27 people found this review helpful

I went to Chewonki as the math teacher in the first year of the Maine Coast Semester, the semester long, academic program for high school juniors. I had a good deal of experience in teaching and outdoor activities, but not much environmental knowledge. I became very aware of man aspects of the environment such as global warming- this was in 1987-solid waste management, wood lot management, farm management and such. Especially, I saw the impact that this kind of program had on the students, making them aware of the environment and willing to do something to instigate changes in behavior after they returned home. I have kept in touch with many of those students over the years and find that the feel that MCS was a defining point in their education. Although I am no longer working at Chewonki- I am over 80- I return regularly to visit and keep in touch with what is going on there. All of the programs seem to have a similar impact on the students. I have a granddaughter returning for the second year as a girl's camper. I loved my experience a Chewonki and have tried to follow through with teaching others what I learned there.

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

the lives of the students after they have left the Maine Coast Semester and in their dedication to the program.

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

always dedicated to what they were doing and eager to teach others and pass on their passion for the environment and how to care for it.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-1-01

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

24 people found this review helpful

The Chewonki Foundation is truly a special organization, and one that has greatly impacted me personally and professionally. As a beginning teacher many years ago, I first experienced Chewonki for a week long environmental education teacher workshop. The experienced and passionate instructors from Chewonki instilled in me a deeper appreciation of the natural world, which I transferred repeatedly to my students over the years. The Chewonki mission of sustainability and earth stewardship is more than lip service. Through environmental outreach, bringing students to Chewonki, wilderness experiences for girls and boys, and promotion of environmental education in general, Chewonki is recognized as a leader internationally in the field of earth stewardship. I am a life long teacher of geography, human and physical, and my long standing relationship with Chewonki has enhanced all I do with students.

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

the experience of students who study the natural world through Chewonki programs and who later implement the Chewonki mission in their lives and careers.

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

Try and expand the opportunities so that more students and adults could benefit from the programs Chewonki offers.

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

the dedication of the leadership in the organization to fulfilling the mission of earth sustainability and community building in all that they do.

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

Without exception, highly motivated, intelligent and dedicated to conservation and stewardship of our planet.

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

Expand its programming to touch more peoples lives. It could start a k-12 school that would reflect the Chewonki foundation mission of earth stewardship. It would be very powerful.

Ways to make it better...

I could have spent more time working with the Chewonki Foundation.

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

raising the funds necessary to maintain the high quality of offerings.

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

This organization is like no other in that it truly reflects its mission. My experience with Chewonki when I was in my early twenties and still strong in my late fifties.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-4-01

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

27 people found this review helpful

Chewonki Foundation is an absolutely dedicated Environmental Edcation and Green Machine. They Walk the Walk, and Talk the talk, sponsoring community involvement and environmental awareness in all the programs they run and in all that they do.

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

Wiscasset and throughout Maine and the USA

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

hand it over to Don Hudson.

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

Their complete committment

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

Engaged, and active

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

change the world

Ways to make it better...

I'd paid closer attention.

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

sufficient funding to accomplish their work

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

they're the best. Go Chewonki!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-5-01

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