It’s hard to imagine finding a place better than Maine to spend a summer as a child, sleeping away at camp and soaking in everything the state has to offer.
The big struggle parents have when choosing summer camps has nothing to do with having too few to pick from, but there are so many.
Every year kids from around the country and the world come to Maine to spend the school break. They stay at any one of the hundreds of camps dotted throughout the state, some with histories that stretch back more than a hundred years.
Best Summer Camps In Maine
Boys and girls ages 7-17 are welcome at this sleep-away summer camp in Poland, Maine. Camp North Star Maine teaches children life and wilderness skills and exposes them to outdoor adventures. You can enroll your children in camp sessions ranging from 2 to 7 weeks in length.
Campers participate in various camp activities across more than the 200+ acres this overnight camp encompasses, plus its own private lake. Kids can participate in fun camp activities like rock wall climbing, water skiing, basketball, arts and crafts, paddle boarding, ropes courses, team sports, and much more.
The camp emphasizes necessary 21st-century life skills like collaboration, critical thinking, and communication. Camp North Star Maine challenges participants to step out of their comfort zone regularly, encourages them to learn, and build new relationships.
For over 100 summers, campers have been drawn to the beauty and magic of Camp Kingswood, located on the beautiful and secluded 500-acre Woods Pond in Bridgton, Maine.
Campers can look forward to a warm and welcoming community with experienced and accessible leadership. Kids can enjoy the fun activities, and all the choices they have throughout a day to “choose-their-own adventure” at camp.
Between the waterfront, arts, sports, nature, and adventure, there are endless opportunities for children to learn new skills and excel at what they like. A perfect balance of individual growth and community-building, Camp Kingswood offers an unplugged, authentic and overnight Jewish camp experience.
Camp Kingswood offers 2, 3.5, and 7-week sessions and a First Time Camper Grant of up to $1000 for all new campers.
For more than 90 years, boys have been coming to Birch Rock Camp on the shores of Lake McWain in Waterford. At his boys camp, campers learn about the outdoors, adventure and learn how to become a complete gentleman through the unique traditions, rituals, and history.
There are thrilling activities like bushcraft, archery, canoeing, riflery, wood working and much more. A handful of sessions each summer allow for a maximum of 90 boys staying at the camp at a time. This guarantees a 1:2.5 ratio of counselor to participants and provides a smaller and closer-knit experience than other camps out there.
Birch Rock’s daily program promotes a boys’ well-rounded personal development by helping build character, inspiring cooperation, confidence, and a willingness to try new things. Emphasizing its motto: Help The Other Fellow, they challenge children to take responsibility for their lives and to appreciate the needs of others.
4. Debate Camp
If your child is looking to improve their debate skills, check out Debate Camps at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. Their day camp lasts 5 days from 9 am to 3:30 pm. The residential camp is 7 days, and transportation is available with their purchase.
Kids in 5th through 10th grade can receive instruction on public speaking and debate. A mixture of fun indoor and outdoor activities and games also take place every day to get a true camp experience.
Children get a well-rounded experience with debate skills as well as life skills like critical thinking, problem-solving, and much more. A typical day involves debate rounds, and debate workshops, with breaks and snacks in between.
You don’t need to have previous experience, and groups are divided based on their skill level so they can get the most out of camp. They want all kids to feel comfortable and welcome, so their staff works hard to create an encouraging atmosphere for everyone.
5. Camp Micah
Camp Micah is a Jewish overnight coed summer camp in Bridgton, Maine. They have various solo and group activities that children can participate in involving athletics, creative arts, hiking, performing arts, and aquatics. Not to mention their unique facilities like the heated pools and ninja warrior course. Kids between 7 and 17 years old will make lifelong memories at this sleepaway summer camp.
Some of the session length options include two weeks, three weeks, and a full season lasting seven weeks. At Camp Micah, older and first time campers are encouraged to challenge themselves and step out of their comfort zone, which leads to personal growth, form new friendships, and gain new life skills.
Neighboring states camps: New Hampshire
Hidden Valley Camp has been hosting exceptional arts and outdoor programs for kids 8-14 for over 70 summers. Campers choose from over 50 classes in the visual arts, dance, theater, music, ropes course, horse-riding, archery, water sports, and more.
Hidden Valley Camp is located on 350 acres in mid-coast Maine with a private lake, a heated pool, and blueberry fields. Facilities include 12 art studios, 4 dance and theater spaces, stables, and spacious playing fields. The camp is home to a variety of animals, including a small herd of llamas.
Professional staff take part in a two-week training process and cultivate a positive, supportive community throughout the summer. The food is great, and allergies are accommodated. Camp directors have lived on-site for over 25 years. HVC offers 4- and 8-week sessions, with 2-week intro sessions for younger campers.
7. Camp Wekeela
Camp Wekeela is a sleep-away camp for boys and girls between the ages of 6 and 16 and has a fantastic staff to camper ratio of 1:2.5. The family run camp can be found in Hartford and has been around since 1922.
Diversity and new experiences are a huge piece of the puzzle for sending children here for the summer, with staff and campers from several U.S states and 20 countries. Younger campers can do all kinds of things like rock climbing, backpacking, horseback riding, performing arts, tennis, sports, paddle boarding, and several other waterfront activities.
A wide variety of sports and activities, outdoor and environmental education programs, performance and culinary arts programs, and so much more are offered. The team is always updating and adding new things to their summer programs.
Camp Chewonki offers overnight camps in Wiscasset, Maine. Campers can learn essential outdoor skills while making friends and creating long-lasting memories. They can participate in exciting activities like archery, kayaking, woodworking, hiking, performing arts, and much more.
Camp Chewonki has both a boy camp and a sister camp located on opposite sides of the campus. Kids ages 8-15 can have a traditional camp experience in their ten-day, three-week, or five-week sessions, depending on their age.
For older campers, they also have a leadership expedition program where kids ages 14-18 can go on three-week-long or five-week-long trips. It’s a great place for kids to gain a love for the outdoors. Camp Chewonki aims to inspire personal growth in boys and girls, appreciate the natural world, and form friendships with their peers.
9. Camp Caribou
Camp Caribou was founded back in 1968 and since has helped boys develop outdoor skills and knowledge. Boys can develop leadership skills and communication skills that will serve them well in the future at this all boys overnight camp.
Kids have an opportunity to explore, learn skills that range from water sports to culinary arts and everything in between. At this boys camp, campers are encouraged to take part in daily “electives” that they have total control over picking – and that change daily guarantee that their experience is entirely unique.
Camp Caribou has been described as an outdoor classroom, a camp that wants to teach boys staying for the summer lessons that will pay big dividends the rest of their lives. It’s located in Winslow, ME, and spreads across 200 acres.
10. Maine Arts Camp
Maine Arts Camp is a small, inclusive camp community, led by a staff of experienced instructors and dorm counselors established in 2004. It has a 3:1 camper/staff ratio and is located at The White Mountain School in Bethlehem, NH.
They have two or four-week sessions in July for ages 9-17 and extensive programming in film making, visual arts, theater, dance, music, culinary arts, writing, and more. With a limited enrollment of 90 children, attendees receive a lot of personal attention from staff who go through a selective hiring process.
There are many camp counselors, excellent facilities, healthy meals, and a nurturing camp community. It provides a place where creative campers can be themselves, meet new friends and have a life-changing experience.
11. Camp Kippewa
This all-girls sleep-away summer camp is located directly on the shores of Lake Cobbosseecontee in Monmouth. This beautiful lake forms the backdrop for their warm and caring environment, helping girls grow and gain independence all summer long.
Individualized scheduling allows girls to choose their activities, ranging from individual sports and athletics to fine and studio arts programs, outdoor adventures, ropes course and performing arts opportunities, waterfront, and water sport activities, as well as a top-notch equestrian facility. They also offer a family camp option in August and a 12-day horseback riding specialty camp, Kippewa Equestrian Academy.
History and tradition are a big piece of the puzzle at this all girls camp. Girls return year after year to see their friends and enjoy the beauty of Maine.
You should also read our New England camps guide.