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

The Chewonki Foundation has educated and inspired young people for almost 100 years! I was a student in a year-round program in 1975, a wilderness trip participant, a wilderness trip leader and now a board member. Much of what I did in my professional and academic life hails back to what I learned about myself and the interests I developed at Chewonki. The foundation has a wonderful, vast campus and fantastic staff. Its teachers lead by example to impart their reverence and knowledge of the natural world, high school academics, wilderness adventures and leadership - the list goes on. I, like most folks who've had the good fortune of being in a program at Chewonki, was transformed by my experiences there.

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

Reach more young people.

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

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  

I have been involved on the board for over 10 years and was a camper in the 1960s. My sons have been wildness trippers and my daughter a semester school graduate. I can say unequivocally that Chewonki changes lives and it does so in all of its programs. It reaches thousands of young people every year and instills in them a love of nature; teaches them responsible stewardship of our natural resources; leadership skills and respect for others.

There is something for every young person at Chewonki. They will be a better person for it.

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

Find ways to raise the profile so more could benefit from their programs.

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  

27 people found this review helpful

I worked at Chewonki supervising the kitchen & dining room and then doing the bookkeeping as well for 10 summers. It was during that time that family prgrams and then school-year programs were started. Chewonki was, and remains, a vibrant place to be. A few years later I became a Board Member and finally had some other advisory responsibility. But there really is no "finally" with Chewonki. It is a place that imprints values on young people and adults alike. I have an Ed.D. in Sociology of Education but none of the lessons learned in all that schooling is as important as one of the basics learned at Chewonki: the human body is water-proof! And we humans are respon-sible for the mountains, the forests, the lakes, and the rivers~~as well as our fellows.

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

getting young people to enjoy all aspects of nature and taking on responsibility for their surroundings.

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

the life-long friendships made.

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

dedicated.

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

fully assume all aspects of responsibility for the increasing number of islands and wooded areas in Maine which it has been asked to care for.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

23 people found this review helpful

My first job when I graduated from college was with Chewonki's Maine Coast Semester program. It launched me into a career in teaching and working with students that has given me great joy for the last eighteen years. Chewonki changes lives through its demonstrated commitment to community and the natural world. It teaches environmental stewardship, positive human interactions, and instills a sense of possibility and responsibility in its participants. It is, simply, an extraordinary place that draws exceptional people to it.

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

the hundreds of MCS students I worked with and in the influence they have had in schools and professional settings worldwide.

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

build a more active alumni network.

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

the exceptional people I have met through Chewonki.

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

the kindest, most dedicated, most innovative educators around.

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

be a national lab for innovative teaching practices and sustainability issues.

Ways to make it better...

I had spent more time on the farm.

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

budgetary and marketing hurdles.

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

Kenn-e-bec-bec!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-4-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

28 people found this review helpful

I have been a part of Chewonki in one way or another all of my life. I have helped and watched Chewonki grow through the efforts of many dedicated staff, trustees, and participants. It has encouraged participants to grow to know themselves better and seek improvement, and to explore their relationship to others and to the natural world. In this effort it continues to do a fantastic job.

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

the personal growth of the individuals it has touched and in the impact they have made on the world through their work and applying what they learned at Chewonki.

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

the challenge of leading, the joy of working with dedicated colleagues, the satisfaction of watching others grow through their experience.

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

dedicated, committed, strong positive role models.

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

extend its reach to touch more people, expand its offerings, create more opportunities for the under-served, offer international semester/programs, expand its endowment.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-4-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

24 people found this review helpful

My exoeriences at the Chewonki Foundation span a period of over 60 years. First as a camper, then as a counselor, then as a parent and now as a trusteee Chewonki has historically set the bar in natural history studies, environmental studies and sound environmental practices that include a bio- diesel plant, hydrogen power,energy conservation and monitoring, recycling, organic gardens and more. Chewonki not only engages in good practices, more importantly it shares and teaches everyone around them Recognized worldwide for their contrinbutions, Chewonki will only continue to blaze the trail and be on the cutting edge in the years ahead.

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

the community it serves including campers, families,trustees students, teachers and faculty and staff.

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

carefully and considerately expand the teaching horizons into metropolitan and inner city environments.

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

the rich history and traditions that have been passed down from one generation to the next.

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

enthusiastic, knowledgeable and most of all commited to their careers.

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

be a learning center for the world, and set the bar for environmental stewards in a fully appropriate facility.

Ways to make it better...

I had only been able to take advantage of the opportunities offered;travel made it difficult.

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

continiuing to raise the funds necessary to take on the challenges of educating others and providing continuing education opportunities for the faculty and staff

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

expanding the current offerings and programs should be considered carefully so as to have them make the most impact and reach the most people.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-4-01

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