YMCA Camp of Maine was founded on the tagline of "Camp of Character." Back in 1915, Jeff Smith traveled around Maine and gathered support for a place that would teach it's campers about leadership, community engagement, skill development, and living with good character.
By intentionally welcoming all kinds of people, from all walks of life, and encouraging everyone to share their uniqueness, YCamp is a place to belong. At YCamp, there is a deep caring for one another that starts at the highest level of the leadership team, and continues through all of the layers. This culture of care, of embracing the uniqueness of each YCamper and staff member, is YCamp.
In our world, where technology is everywhere, youth do not know what it is to live without it. At YCamp, we do use digital cameras, and have music during Dining Hall cleanup, but on the whole, YCamp is a technology free space. No phones, no social media. This creates an environment completely foreign to today's youth. While strange at first, many youth express that they feel a sense of relief.
At YCamp friendships begin easily and connections are strong as campers live unplugged. People look each other in the eye, listen to one another and learn from each other. At YCamp campers truly connect.
Campers also connect with nature. Most of the day is spent outside, on the lake, on the courts and fields, around a picnic table drawing, in an adirondack chair twisting a friendship bracelet, walking in the woods. Days spent in the Maine woods, by a beautiful lake, with caring role models. The ideal setting to teach it's campers about leadership, community engagement, skill development, and living with good character. Over a hundred years later, YCampers are still connecting, growing and belonging at the "Camp of Character".