We had a populous and wonderful 2021 camp year, and we were able to provide over $2000 worth of scholarships to deserving Maine children to attend camp, thanks to your generosity! Thank you for supporting the great work of children learning in the woods, gaining skills and confidence in their own abilities and exploring the interconnectedness of this world.
From watershed week, where we traveled by canoe down the Passagassawakeag river basin from Ellis Pond and camped out on Hogback Mountain in the rain, to Harvest week when we pressed our own cider and made acorn flour, Camp Forest provided survival and interpersonal skills, and, of course, valuable time just being in the woods.
Campers traversed the Hills to Sea trail, swam across Half Moon pond, learned to start fires and stick fight, and earned Junior Maine Woodsman skills and badges. From all of us, a big hearty thanks for all these experiences!
By Catherine Sanders and Bev Gilbert Stone - Director and Founder
Some of our older girls in the kitchen
JWHS has become a go-to crisis center for abused, abandoned, and neglected children in our area. Children’s officers rely on us because we are a secure location, we accept emergency placements, and we assist the children with loving personal attention and professional counseling.
Because of this, we sometimes receive young men and women close to adulthood who are critically undereducated due to poverty and childhood neglect, and yet conditions in their native homes remain unsecure or even life-threatening. Once they are 18, they get kicked out of our home whether or not they have “caught up” in school. One of our girls approaching 18, for instance, is only in Class 7 (7th grade). This is not unusual for Kenyan’s vulnerable child population, and indeed, 30% of JWHS residents are in this position.
We are working on a solution that would provide intermediate housing, technical skill development, and employment for girls and boys on the brink of under-prepared ‘aging out’. In the Hatua Moja Juu ("A step up") program, girls will continue their education in a separate part of the JWHS lot and work part-time at JWHS fulfilling needed role model, mentor, and cooking/landscape positions. Written contracts will include a budget to help them manage their money and time, and JWHS will facilitate their apprenticeship in a desired field one day per week.
The estimated amount for Hatua Moja Juu startup is $6,000. This covers the cost of renovations to the building, furnishings, establishment of an income generating project, and support for the girls for 6 months.
Thank you for all you've done to support our work in Kenya! Help us ensure that our hard work and care for Kenyan children can be sustained into their adulthood. With 39% of Kenya’s youth unemployed (KCB 2020), a solid educational and skills foundation can mean the difference between independence and the cycle of poverty.
Dear lovers of the outdoors, campers, potential campers and cravers of oxygen and trees,
Well, we didn't quite know if we would make it, but spring is in full force here in Maine. The gardens are planted, the chickens are broody, and the bugs have emerged. You know what this means: it's almost time for CAMP! After a year-long hiatus we are ready and rearing for a wonderful summer of canoeing, backpacking, fire-making, swimming, wild edibles, and connection to the land and people on whose knowledge and relationship to nature we rely on a daily basis at Camp Forest.
We are on Wabanaki land, and during Camp Forest we will take a close look at the principles of stewardship and knowledge of the environment our Wabanaki brothers and sisters have fostered, and because of whom we still reap earthly bnenefits. We will seek out and honor ancestral knowledge of Camp Forest woods, streams, living and non-living things. We will look to a diversity of human relationships with nature to guide us as we build competency in the Maine woods.
As always, we thank you for making this possible in the lives of campers who would otherwise not benefit from this immersion in the outdoors. Help us make a difference in young nature stewards lives by offering camperships to one of the weeks of camp we offer above, starting at $225/week.
Watershed expedition is the first week of camp
Harvest dinner celebrates local cultural knowledge