5 Tips for Great Summer Camp Reunions This Fall and “S’more” from Maine Camp Experience

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Thanksgiving/fall is popular timing for summer camp reunions, giving thousands of kids the opportunity to reconnect and reminisce. Here are 5 tips for successful reunions from Maine Camp Experience plus tasty variations on S'mores for a taste of camp now.

Photo credit: Maine Camp Experience

When campers and staff get to reconnect in the fall or middle of the winter, it brings the camp community back together for a few short hours. This time together brings the memories and special moments shared in Maine each summer flooding back.

Thousands of kids will keep the proverbial (camp) fires burning this fall and winter when they reconnect at summer camp reunions, many of which kick off around the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Whether it’s an official camp reunion or more informal meet up, play date or sleepover, these get-togethers are an ideal way for kids and teens to reunite, to continue to build friendships, and reminisce about the fun times, experiences, and skills learned at summer camp.

Here are five tips to make the most of camp reunions and enjoy some tasty variations on S’mores, the classic campfire treat, provided by Maine Camp Experience, a community and resource of more than 30 premier, traditional sleepaway camps.

Tip 1 – Be inclusive. Try to invite and include everyone (from the camp, the division, or the bunk). Consider which/if photos should be posted from the gathering before putting on social media so others will not feel left out.

Tip 2 – Have an icebreaker. It may take a little time to warm up again since everyone’s been apart and back in their own hometown environments. Sharing pictures, a highlights video or yearbook from camp can be a good way to get everyone comfortable and back in the mindset.

Tip 3 – Have both an activity and free time; consider including social action. A combination of a planned activity (e.g., a craft, a sports game, favorite camp movie) and free time for campers to just hang out, talk, and catch up with each other is ideal. And, consider including a meaningful social action initiative. For example, several Maine camps have reunion attendees donate used sneakers to help raise money to fight pediatric cancer through Maxcure Foundation’s Dunk Your Kicks program, which they learned about at camp this past summer.

Tip 4 – Unplug. Encourage kids to put down the cell/smart phones and tablets, and interact with each other like they did in the summer at camp, a relatively tech-free environment. Personal relationships and quality time spent is what the magic of camp is all about.

Tip 5 – Have proper supervision. Camp directors and camp staff or parents should be present to help facilitate the fun and ensure kids stay within the designated area.

“When campers and staff get to reconnect in the fall or middle of the winter, it brings the camp community back together for a few short hours. This time together brings the memories and special moments shared in Maine each summer flooding back,” shares Mark, a Maine Camp Experience Camp Director.

S’mores – the classic treat that says “camp” more than anything else! Enjoyed around the campfire and in camps’ nature or cooking classes, S’mores are traditionally made from melting marshmallow and chocolate between two graham crackers. Here are some delicious S’mores variations (provided by Maine Camp Experience summer camp directors), which can be made at home (supervised by an adult) on the stove, in the oven, or by the fireplace:

  •     Use chocolate chip cookies instead of graham crackers
  •     Use Nutella instead of chocolate
  •     Use a flavor-filled chocolate like mint

Remember some attendees may have food allergies so check ahead first.

Fall and pre holidays area a great time to research and enroll children for summer camp 2015. Some camps offer early bird incentives, while others may fill up by year end in certain age groups. Visit http://www.mainecampexperience.com for information about the camps and for free, personalized assistance finding the right camp match from the Maine Guide. Other helpful resources on the site include the Select-A-Camp Tool, self-posted testimonials by families and staff, and insightful blogs. Maine Camp Experience has more than 30 camps to choose from where kids ages 7-17 can go for sessions from 1-8 weeks. Maine summer camps provide the ideal combination of natural beauty, strong traditions and values, and top-notch instruction and activity.

Contact: Laurie Kaiden, Maine Camp Experience
laurie(at)mainecampexperience(dot)com

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Laurie Kaiden
Maine Camp Experience
since: 03/2012
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