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.
I attended the Maine Coast Semester and it was the first time I had ever been away from home. I honestly did not think I would make it because I was so homesick and scared to do the solo that is part of every Chewonki experience as a Maine Coaster. But through the unfailing support of my teachers and new friends I made it through and absolutely loved it. I learned so much about what it means to be independent and yet rely on others and be able to contribute to the community as well. I would never trade my Chewonki experience for anything because I learned that I had the capability to adapt to so much. Even today, several years after graduating from Chewonki, I am always happy to help when the opportunity presents itself.
I attended the camp and participated in two summer long wilderness trips in the early 1970's. I subsequently worked there for 2 summers both in Wiscasset and in the field. Those experiences formed the foundation for my appreciation of the natural world and the communities which depend on it. Chewonki also demontrates on a continuous basis how a nuturing and focused community can drive innovation - especially in the area of sustainability. Chewonki has remained steadfast in its commitment to the original and core values established by its founder and the Board while at the same time it has continued to develop new ways of teaching old lessons through expanded program offerings and outreach far beyond its origins as a summer camp. I believe that it is this history of commitment and innovation that attracts a very talented and motivated staff year after year. It is exciting to me that society is beginning to catch up to and respond to issues of sustainability and the interdependancy of human and natural ecosystems that I was exposed to 30 years ago at Chewonki. I am proud to be a part of the Chewonki community and to offer it my support.
Chewonki has long been an innovative leader in camping, the study of natural history and communities, education, sustainability and non-profit organization. I have not directly participated in Chewonki programs for nearly 30 years but the impact Chewonki had was huge and I continue to support the Foundation.
The Maine Coast Semester a program of the Chewonki Foundation transformed my daughter's life and has made her a committed and very thoughtful environmentalist who plans to major in biology and minor in environmental studies.
Because my two sons went to Camp Chewonki (and subsequently my two grandsons) I became a member of the Board of the Chewonki Foundation many years ago. Reluctantly, I had to resign 26 years ago when I moved to California. The Foundation is an extremely impressive organization. Not only does it teach young people a love and respect for the natural world, it also sponsors environmental programs and engages in practical activities that further environmental protection. Top to bottom, it's a highly dynamic force for the environment.
I've known Chewonki for almost 25 years. To my knowledge it has always been environmentally friendly, but has now become an proactive advocate for the environment. My two sons attended summer camp for many summers and later as counselors. Both have become responsible citizens and advocates of sustainability.
My daughter Kate attended Maine Coast Semester at Chewonki and was profoundly affected by her experience. Chewonki's interdisplinary approach to education helps all students see that, like nature and the world wide web, knowledge is intervoven and learning is best approached not by isolating disciplines but by interconnecting them. Maine Coast Semester's curriculum does just that. With her classmates at Berkeley's Masters in Journalism school a couple of years ago, Kate won a national award for her radio reporting on global warming--her story was on Mt. Kilimanjaro. Her passion for the environment and environmental issues was ignited, at least in part, by the teachers and experiences she had at Chewonki.
I have been a donor, an attendant at a workshop, and a member of the general public. In every way, I am impressed with Chewonki, not only how it has stayed true to its original mission as a camp for young people, but also in how it is constantly exploring ways to live more sustainably on this earth and educating others as to how to do so. I will have three grandchildren at the camp this summer, and look forward to more attending in the future.
What I found most exciting about Chewonki is that they are constantly working to be an environmentally responsible organization and are most importantly passing this goal on to students and campers. They are influencing and changing lives of so many young people. My daughter attended the Maine Coast Semester at Chewonki and because of her experience there, she has decided to major in Environmental Science at college this coming fall. I know many parents whose children have attended Chewonki in one form or another and it is always a life changing experience for them. They become much more aware of the world around them and their impact on the earth.
I was a parent of a camper years ago and have watched Chewonki develop from a boy's summer camp into a year-round environmental educational organization that impacts people of all backgrounds and ages, including girls and families. It has been been having a serious impact for generations, ever since Roger Tory Peterson was the nature counselor. My son devloped such a respect for nature and for ecological processes while there that he shaped his life around the precepts he learned at Chewonki. Ne now lives in Maine.