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Apr 30, 2020

Coronavirus and summer camp

On expedition 2019
On expedition 2019

What a trying time, and an amazing time to be alive. I know that you, like we, are experiencing the highs and lows of uncertainty as we navigate new waters. Some of you may have gone from being donors to being receivers, and if that's the case, I hope you'll reach out to the organizations around you who are volunteering their time and revamping their programs to meet need related to COVID-19. Expanding Opportunities has joined multiple local efforts to help feed and provide resources for our neighbors in Maine. We hope Camp Forest will also continue to be a vital resource for children and families.

Coronavirus update

According to our latest update from Maine's governor, Janet Mills, Maine Summer Camps may be allowed to continue starting on July, 1st! This means that our camp may be able to proceed as planned, since our schedule begins in July, and Camp Forest is well set up for social distancing:

  • We have small camp sizes (8 or fewer campers per counselor)
  • Our programming is 100% outdoors
  • We can accommodate multiple stations at a time where everyone can be supervised and still keep their distance
  • Our outdoor setting demands that we already have rigorous protocols in place for observing and carrying out hygiene and sanitation
  • We cater mostly to a Maine-based crowd, so attending camp won't require travel for most of our campers

What we need to do:

  • Adjust our knife safety protocols for smaller groups, since this activity requires constant vigilance
  • Engage the children in more small-group activities to allow for proper distancing
  • Prepare ourselves for even lower camp numbers due to fears and the Corona-related late start/hindrance to our marketing campaign

How you can help:

  • Help us get the word out to campers throughout Maine (and, later, in other areas allowing travel, if restrictions loosen): We have camp weeks available!
  • Continue contributing to our campership fund: now more than ever, parents are in need of educational, outdoor, inspiring childcare while they work from home or ease back into their jobs.

Thanks so much for your ongoing support.

Social distancing debris hut (2019)
Social distancing debris hut (2019)

Links:

Feb 4, 2020

Reintegration in full swing

2019 JWHS crew
2019 JWHS crew

We have had a busy end to 2019 and a really exciting start to 2020! Thank you all for your support as we transition children to their own communities and bring more children under our care.

As of February, 2020, three of our JWHS confederates (the top 3 in the group picture) have transitioned into the community. Stephanie is living happily with an aunt in Njoro, Samuel with a grandmother in Molo, and Imam, nearly a man, is living nearby JWHS and helping us out with shamba work (gardening). We remain with 10 children after the arrival of 4 small ones at the tail-end of 2019. We are also supportung 10 children in their education in the community.

We achieved another major milestone with our longtime donors' support when we finished the fence this year! No more unwanted visitors and stolen goods. Hello, security!

Unseasonable rains also mean our grounds are flourishing with peppers, eggplants, spinach, and herbs. I officially came on as organizational director and the Kenyan board met in Nairobi in January to discuss reintegration and income generation. We heartily welcomed Chege, Sammy, and Johnny onto the team!

For upcoming priorities, we are serious about our outreach to the community and healing our kids' trauma with access to social, psychological, and emotional resources in addition to basic needs. Please help us access quality care for our remaining 10 children today by providing money for counseling ($150/month), for home visits (varies, but ~$50 per visit), and for basic needs ($100 per child).

The fence was completed in January!
The fence was completed in January!
Jan 2, 2020

Camp Schedule for 2020

Thanks for helping low-income campers experience the outdoors! Please join us for Summer 2020!

Camp Forest sessions are weekly. Campers may attend as many weeks as desired. Our program is a mix of individual and group work so campers can attend any week to advance their knowledge, skills, and experience towards their next badge level.

June 29 - July 3 | TRAINING WEEK

Join with Camp Forest Staff and learn about teaching and mentoring children in and about the Natural World. Learn about the deeper levels of Nature Therapy used at Camp Forest. Learn about Coyote Teaching, direct experience, safe space, mentoring, free form scheduling and finding one’s inner passion for learning. Adam Stone, with over 10 years of experience working in this field, will help you develop the skills needed to work in a wilderness camp.

July 6 - 10 | WATERSHED EXPEDITION and DAY CAMP

Join with Camp Forest in this unique combination of Day Camp and Expedition for youths and adults. A camper, youth, adult, or family can spend the week on the river or choose some days in which you only attend Day Camp on the river. Learn about the local watershed by hiking, canoeing, navigating, tracking, studying ecology, learning survival skills, and working on the badges of Camp Forest and Maine Woodsman. Open to Families, adults, and youth ages 7-17.

 

Morning Meeting
Morning Meeting

July 13 - 17 | FOREST BASICS WEEK | JUNIOR MAINE WOODSMAN

Introduce yourself to nature and the forest. Learn basic plant identification, build a shelter, identify animal tracks, learn to navigate in the woods, make fire and gather around it to play nature games and sing songs. Gain understanding of nature and respect for all life while working on the first badge level, the Osprey Badge. Campers who have already received the Osprey Badge or who want to work on their Junior Maine Woodsman badge can further develop their skills to advance to the next level. Open to youth ages 7-17.

July 20 - 24 | MAINE WOODSMAN WEEK

Camp Forest participates with the State of Maine’s Junior Maine Guide Program. Start by learning skills for the Maine Woodsman Badge and advance to Junior Maine Guide level. Campers experience a week in the woods learning the basics of outdoor living: building their own shelters, cooking outdoors to sustain themselves, developing mapping skills, treating advanced first aid issues (fainting, stomach aches, sprains), developing an awareness and appreciation of the outdoors, and perfecting their water-based skills: canoe paddling, fishing, fish identification, and more. Once Campers have developed sufficient skills, those ages 14 – 18 can take test for their Junior Maine Guide from the State of Maine during Maine Guide Testing Week. For information on the Junior Maine Guide program, visit https://juniormaineguides.org/. There is a required sleepover for this week. Open to youth ages 7-17.

July 27 - 31 | ANIMAL WEEK 1                                            August 3 - 7 | ANIMAL WEEK 2

So many animals live all around us here in Maine, but we hardly ever see them! Spend a week or 2 getting close to our animal neighbors in every way. Learn to walk like a fox, see like an owl, hear like a deer. Starting out with painting our faces like our favorite local animals, we’ll go on to track and find sign of all the animals in our woods, make crafts from animal bones and furs, learn bird calls and frog sounds, and even get to see all kinds of animal skulls, pelts, track casts, and photos. Every day, we’ll play sneaking games so that we can get closer to the animals, walk like the animals walk, and learn where to sit and hide to watch them. By the end of the week, you’ll know what kind of animals live around you, where to go look for them, and what kinds of tracks and signs they leave behind. You may feel like you’re a fox or a rabbit yourself by Friday! Join us for an animal adventure and go home ready for the next level – biology, hunting, photography, or just seeing lots of animals! Open to youth ages 7-17.

August 9 - 16 | HILLS TO SEA EXPEDITION AND DAY CAMP

For adults and youths, this is a special overnight expedition and day camp combination. The Trail is 47 miles long and passes through private property. Camp Forest has been given permission to conduct this expedition under the guidance of Maine Guide Adam Stone. We will traverse 10 or fewer miles per day to make it possible for young children to participate. Any member of the public is invited to participate provided they are able to navigate the trail. Camp Forest will provide drop off and pick up spots if you want to participate on a daily basis rather than sleepover each night. The expedition begins Monday morning at a designated point along the trail and ends Friday afternoon in Brooks, Maine with optional sleepover and group hike to Belfast on Saturday morning. Families are welcome! Open to youth ages 7-17.

August 17 - 21 | EAGLE AND BEAVER SKILLS WEEK

Camp Forest’s unique badge system challenges campers to a high level of skill and accomplishment. Eagle and Beaver Week is a week for digging deep into the part of your badge journey that inspires you! During this self-directed week, you’ll have lots of access to one-on-one and peer mentoring to make progress towards your next badge level. Learn survival, shelter, navigation, carving, basket-making, natural arts, tracking, plant identification, cooking fires, ecology and community skills. Make baskets, ropes, tools, leather bags, and gear off the landscape. Mixed in with the usual games, swimming, songs, and skills, you’ll help each other finish those primitive projects that take more skill and focus. Navigation, map and compass, and emergency medical skills required for the Maine Woodsman Badge will also be included. Osprey Badge skills or equivalent is required. Skills for the Eagle, Beaver and Maine Woodsman Badges will be learned. Required two night sleepover Wednesday and Thursday night. Open to youth ages 7-17.

August 24 - 28 | HARVEST WEEK and DINNER

Nearing Fall and the time of harvest, we will be in natural abundance. Harvest blueberries, apples, hazelnuts, and fish. Learn forest harvest skills, play games and prepare for the community harvest meal. Families welcome. Open to youth ages 7-17.

August 28 | HARVEST DINNER

A Harvest Dinner will be enjoyed at Camp Forest from 4:30pm to 7 pm. All community members are welcome to attend. A Free Will donation jar will be available with proceeds applied to the campership fund of Camp Forest. Please bring a fresh harvest dish. REGISTER NOW!

 

Click here for our Expedition Schedule

Hours: Day Camp is 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday to Friday

Cancellations: A camp session may be cancelled if there are less than six registered campers. Register early to ensure your spot!

Refunds: A refund will be issued if camp is cancelled due to low registration. Camp fees will also be fully refunded if cancellation request is made at least one week in advance of the first day of the registered week. Camp fees are non-refundable after the Friday before Camp Week.

Registration: Camp space is limited. Spots fill up quickly. Register early to ensure your spot at your requested week(s). Requested week(s) are considered secured upon receipt of full payment. Full payment must be made by the Friday before the Camp Week.  As usual we will accept last minute campers on a space available basis.

Visitors: Parents or guardians are welcome at any time. Other adult visitors are welcome with parent or guardian permission. PARENTS: JOIN US FOR CAPTURE THE FLAG AND AWARDS CEREMONY ON FRIDAY! Bring your  lunch.

Camp Forest Camper/Counselor Ratio No greater than 1-8 (maintained at all times).

 Call (207) 930-8012 to register or donate today.

Camp Forest is a Day and Expedition camp in Maine to preserve, teach, and honor primitive and wilderness living skills from around the world.

Links:

 
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