Why Attend Summer Camp?

LIVE IN THE PRESENT! Researchers agree that good, old-fashioned playtime is essential for the physical, emotional, social, and intellectual development of children. "Traditional summer camp," says Tufts University child development expert Dr. David Elkind, "is an oasis for children who are so focused on preparing for the future and have no time for enjoying the moment."

EXPLORE THE ARTS! Connecting young people to the arts at camp provides Expression, Persistence, Identity, Observation, Reflection, Innovation and more... Visit our Arts section here to learn more about our philosophy of the arts.

GET OUTSIDE! See links below about why people feel exposure to nature has become so crucial.

TRY SOMETHING NEW! 74 percent of campers reported that they tried new activities at camp that they were afraid to do at first. And, those activities often leave lasting impressions. In the same survey, 63 percent of parents reported that their child continued new activities from camp after returning home. Check out our programs.

INTERPERSONAL SKILLS GALORE Read more here to learn about 7 skills - Working with Others, Responsibility and Ownership, etc. - your child gains at a good camp. (Written by a former HVC camper.)

READ MORE about why time at HVC is so meaningful here.

I can't tell you how gratifying it is as a parent to be able to place your child in an environment so carefully orchestrated to provide freedom, camaraderie, acceptance, opportunity to create and perform without fear - a place a child can be completely themselves within an atmosphere that balances warmth and support with challenge and responsibility - and pure fun.
- HVC Parent

Research Shows

The success children experience in getting along with other children is the single best indicator of how they will fare as adults, according to recent research. We believe that summer camp - one that stresses the building of community and meaningful friendships - provides wonderful opportunities to help children develop their relationship-building skills.

What We're Reading

Independent time at camp allows children to "try themselves out" and grow as a result, developing resiliency and acquiring tools to use as they mature and take on greater responsibility.

...Challenges present the opportunity for 'successful failures,' that is, failures your child can live with and grow from. To rush in too quickly, to shield [young people]...is to deprive them of the tools they will need to handle the inevitable, difficult, challenging and sometimes devastating demands of life.

Raising Successful Children • By Madeline Levine
Read more here.

Camp staff and parents complement one another...

Then there are those things that, as a parent, you cannot do for your children, as much as you might wish to. You cannot give them self-esteem and confidence (those come from their own accomplishments); you cannot pick friends for them, and finally you cannot give them independence. The only way children can grow into independence is to have their parents open the door and let them walk out. That's what makes camp such a life-changing experience for children.

Why Camp is Great for Children • by Michael Thompson
Read more here.

And we take a break from our plugged-in life to enjoy all this in Maine's beautiful outdoors...

...a study found that people learned significantly better after a walk in nature than after a walk in a dense urban environment, suggesting that processing a barrage of information leaves people fatigued.

Digital Devices Deprive Brain of Needed Downtime • By Matt Richtel
Read more here.

Why Spend Time In Maine?

  • Maine provides a varied peaceful setting that has appealed to summer visitors for centuries.
  • Temperate climate: Warm comfortable days. Clear, star-filled nights.
  • Lovely coastal villages.
  • Classic Maine: Lobsters, Acadia National Park, LL Bean!
  • Bon Appétit about Portland: The "foodiest small town in America."
  • Wonderful outdoors: Breathtaking wilderness, mountains and rivers, sandy beaches and the striking coastline.
  • Maine Tourism adds: "Dozens of National Historic Landmarks, exceptional kayaking, antique stores that know few peers, nationally ranked golf courses, and whale watching trips that are all but guaranteed to succeed."

Camp purists point to Maine camps as the most traditional, sought-after experiences, mostly because of Maine's abundant wilderness and pristine lakes and beaches.
- Forbes Magazine

Planning a visit to Maine?

Go to our Vacation Page here.

Maine Facts

  • Maine has over 5,000 miles of coastline, more than California.
  • Maine is the only US state whose name has one syllable.
  • Maine's produces 99% of all wild blueberries in the U.S.
  • Maine produces 90% of the country's toothpicks.
  • Maine is the only state that only borders one other state.

Crazy Maine Laws

  • It's illegal to blow one's nose in public in Waterville, Maine.
  • In Portland it is illegal to tickle a woman's chin with a feather duster.
  • Advertisements may not be placed in cemeteries in Wells.
  • It is illegal to stroll down a street while playing a violin in Augusta.
  • While over Maine, you may not step out of an airplane while in flight.
  • Dog leashes may not be over eight feet in length in Waterboro.

It's Official!

  • Maine State Animal: Moose
  • Maine State Fish: Landlocked Salmon
  • Maine State Cat: Maine Coon Cat
  • Maine State Treat: Maine Whoopie Pie
  • Maine State Gemstone: Tourmaline
  • Maine State Fossil: Pertica Quadrifaria

Summertime, oh, summertime, pattern of life indelible, the fade-proof lake, the woods unshatterable, the pasture with the sweet fern and the juniper forever and ever...
- E.B. White, recently named "Maine's Best Writer" 

Learn more about Maine's camping tradition here.