We’re always happy to see articles that promote Maine summer camps, as in the Kennebec Journal/Morning Sentinel’s recent piece, “Central Maine’s summer camps a getaway for the well-to-do.”

I would like to add three points to the information in the article, however.

First, camp is not about the amount of money any particular parents have to provide camp for their children. What is important about camp is the experience it offers children to build personal competencies — self-identity, self-worth, self-esteem, leadership and self-respect — qualities that lead to success in life. Maine camps have more than 100 years of tradition in youth development.

Second, the list of camp tuitions included in the article does not give a complete picture of the options. Maine has many wonderful camps for families of all income levels, not only those with ample financial means. Many affordable options are sponsored by YMCAs, 4-H groups, Scout groups, religious organizations and non-profits. Some of these camp tuitions are less than $200 per week, and most are in the range of $200-$500.

Maine also has several camps that offer free camp to qualifying children whose families cannot afford to give them this excellent developmental experience.

Finally, about half of the children who attend Maine camps are from Maine. A searchable website of more than 100 Maine camps, of all tuition ranges, can be found at www.mainecamps.org. We encourage families everywhere to check out the many options for a camp experience here in Maine.

Mary Ellen Deschenes

Maine Summer Camps

Portland

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