If you are looking for an organization dedicated to environmental education for students of all ages, look no further than the 501(c)(3) Chewonki Foundation in Wiscasset, Maine. It will meet your highest expectations (as it has mine), whether your interest is in a summer camp for boys or girls on a 400n acre Roger Tory Peterson Sanctuary on the Maine coast, or to study up-to-date methods to conserve energy. Programs, led by well trained knowledgeable leaders, stress community building and foundation owned properties throughout Maine offer many ecological habitats for study. They are reached by hikes, boats and kayaks.
It has been a pleasure to be associated with Chewonki for over over 70 years as a camper, counselor, board member and advisor. My time there led to advanced degrees and professional positions in environmental education.
Thanks for being our 200th reviewer Renny!
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!
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.
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.
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!
Currently I have 58 years of Chewonki under my belt. My outlook on life and personal rules of community were learned and developed from my experiences at this organization. I have had children who have experienced and been changed by Chewonki. Currently, I have a grandson who took up white water kayaking at Chewonki only now to find himself accepted by professional kayakers on the west coast. His ability to interact, learn from and be fully accepted by these professional is due to the lessons from Chewonki. I have also helped several Maine islanders to take various programs at Chewonki and have been amazed by their professional development and love of learning due to this organization. Through the years I am continually amazed to watch how the Chewonki experience seeps into the psyche of all who experience this amazing organization.