Maine Camp Experience

Drop Off, Pick Up, Repeat.

MIT Museum capability mom …or What I Did On My Summer Vacation. Vacation? No. Staycation? Not quite that either. Call it The Day Camp Diaries. Take your regular children, add other people’s children in a carpool for maximum scheduling confusion (but you don’t drive every leg), add towns near and far, throw in some not-so coordinated start and end times and a smattering of schedule changes (Can you make a pick up in Weston and one in Cambridge with only a half hour in between? Yes, yes, you can) and you have my summer.

First world problem? Definitely. Gratitude problem? Quite possibly that too. However, I know I’m not alone in an increased summer driving requirement. Many of my friends (the ones whose children are not at sleep away camps, note to self, time to look at Maine Camp Experience) have a full component of children at home and/or in day camps. Once your kids are in different camps and have specialty (read one or two week programs) camps, you are doomed to drive way more than you ever thought possible. On the up side, you get to explore new lands with exotic food (off campus lattes and baked goods always taste better). capability mom meringues from flour bakery cookbookWhat is considered off campus? Anything that is out of your regular route.

Some off campus activities included the Boston waterfront and a visit to flour bakery + cafe which inspired the baking of meringues made by daughter and a friend – they even upped the meringue meter by adding raspberries, blueberries and chocolate (all were delicious but raspberry was the favorite). A carpool route went by Sofra so that was a must, we also visited the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum and lunch in the cafe, the MIT Museum and another flour location) and the Wellesley Farmer’s Market (we did find a closed but pretty Whole Foods food truck – it was parked behind the Wellesley store (mysteriously, I can’t find any info on it – if you know something, send me a note!) and Captain Marden’s Seafoods has one, too, it was parked in the old Whole Foods parking lot on Washington Street. Follow them on Twitter @codsquadtruck for hours and locations./codsquadtruck captain marden's seafood capability mom

Whole Foods Food Truck capability mom blog
Mystery Whole Foods Food Truck


flour bakery + cafe cambridge capability mom

The Maine Way – Maine Camp Experience

One thing I love is when worlds collide and I get to connect the different parts of my life, real and virtual. Here is my most recent find from a soccer sideline conversation with another mom which led me to a new friend and this fantastic site – Maine Camp Experience.

Got to say, we love Maine for family vacations and weekends, it is only a short drive away and we always have great food like…lobster rolls…Fore Street…sorry, I got distracted.

So anyway, this site groups together almost thirty Maine camps which is wonderful in that it is easy to navigate and full of helpful information like camp readiness tips and how to choose a camp.

Here is a page from their website:

Child Readiness

  • Is your child physically and emotionally ready for overnight camp?
  • Has your child had a successful sleep over at a friend or relative’s house?
  • Can they handle a longer program day?
  • Is your child no longer finding his or her day camp fulfilling?
  • Is your child ready to experience new programs not offered at day camps?
  • Does your child have friends who are beginning to discuss overnight camp – If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, it’s time to begin looking at an MCE Camp.


Selecting a Camp

There are all types of summer camps. How do you find the right one? Here are a few helpful tips:

  • Match the environment to your child
  • Don’t assume because a friend or relative went to a particular camp that it’s the right fit for your child
  • Speak personally with a camp director about your child
  • Ask the camp for references and make an effort to speak with current families
  • Inquire about staff selection, background and training

A New Englander by birth,  I know quite a few people who have either gone to Maine camps themselves or who send their children. In my opinion, Maine camps set a high standard with an enviable combination of natural beauty, strong traditions and values, and robust offering of activities. Best of all – MCE is offering two camp tuition giveaways – yes, camp tuition!

The first drawing is May 15 – so you still have time to enter to win.  Here is the scoop:


Maine Camp Experience, the organization of premier camps for children in the best state for summer camp, is putting its money where its mantra is.  It will award two tuition giveaways of up to $5,000 each for use at member camps in the 2012 or 2013 seasons.  Families with prospective or returning campers can log on to to enter, as well as find a variety of tools to help them learn about Maine sleep-away camps.

Drawings are May 15 and Sept. 15

Our summer camp plans are almost finalized for this year (yes, I promise, honey, right after I finish this post) and I used the site to plan a family summer trip to Maine. This is a fabulous resource even if you aren’t sending someone to sleep away camp this year. Go to the well-organized and pretty site and follow the prompts to find great places to stay in Maine. We’re going to Portland and Fore Street for dinner with the mussels to start.


Added bonus,  I also get to offer three copies of the best-selling author Michael Thompson’s  book, Homesick and Happy (he also wrote that critically important book on boys, Raising Cain).

From the author’s website:

In Homesick and Happy, Dr. Thompson shares a strong argument for, and a vital guide to, this brief loosening of ties. A great champion of summer camp, he explains how camp ushers your children into a thrilling environment—an electronics-free zone, a multigenerational community, meaningful daily rituals like group meals and cabin clean-up, and a place where time simply slows down. In the buggy woods, icy swims, campfire sing-alongs, and daring adventures, children have emotionally significant and character-building experiences. They often grow in ways that surprise even themselves.

Leave a comment below to enter to win one of the three books and go here to get more info on the $5000 camp tuition from Maine Camp Experience.

Disclaimer: I received no compensation for this post, opinions, as always are my own. I did receive three copies of the book, Homesick and Happy for this giveaway.

Three winners will be chosen using the super plug-in called…And The Winner Is. Winners will be contacted by email. For additional chances to win, tweet this or share it on Facebook and leave a comment confirming that you did so!

Sorry I forgot to close this out!! Winners will be contacted by email and the books will be sent out next week! Congrats and thanks for commenting!

And the Winners are…

Kim L

Ann S

Jeanette N

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