Sense of Place
At Camp Chewonki, summer is about more than simply having fun in the sun (though that is a super important part of it!). Chewonki is a community where campers and staff come together to develop their sense of place. Through the lens of Chewonki’s mission, we are focused on three types of relationships:
- Relationship to Self – fostering a sense of self-discovery and developing a growth mindset
- Relationship to the Natural World – exploring the environment around us with a sense of wonder and deepening our understanding of how we connect to the plants and animals we share the world with
- Relationship to Others – building a cabin community that is accepting and affirming and learning about how to be an active participant in a team and practicing joyful service to others.
Our values of Self-Discovery, Environmental Stewardship, and Community Development are not isolated silos of practice, but rather overlapping ways of thinking and being that lead to a better understanding of sense of place and fostering the confidence in each individual to be able to say: “I belong here, there, everywhere!”
Camp Chewonki strives to deliver Chewonki’s mission during the summer months:
“Chewonki inspires transformative growth, teaches appreciation and stewardship of the natural world, and challenges people to build thriving, sustainable communities throughout their lives.”
We are also committed to Chewonki’s diversity, equity, and inclusion goal of providing a place where all participants and staff can flourish. For more information on Chewonki’s mission and diversity, & inclusion statement, please visit our mission webpage.
In alignment with the principles of our mission, we work to promote the following values in our participants and staff:
- Growth Mindset – Our skills and abilities are not static qualities. With a growth mindset, individuals have the understanding that with hard work, reflection, and perseverance we can develop our abilities and grow as people.
- Healthy Risk-taking
- Intentional Reflection
Appreciation for the Natural World
- Leave No Trace – We recognize that we are inextricably linked to the natural world around us.
- Unplugging – We believe in the power of leaving behind the connected world, if only for a little while, to reconnect with the animals, plants, other humans, and most of all, ourselves.
- Cabin Contracts
- Meaningful Work
- Family-style Dining
From the first moment you arrive at Camp Chewonki this summer, we want you to know you are a welcome member of the community. Your cabin leaders and cabin mates will greet you at the cabin and help you get settled in. In the opening days of camp, we establish community norms & expectations through collaborative work on the challenge course and through the creation of a cabin contract. The goal: determine who we are as a group and how we want to be as members of the group.
Each day we will think about and work on a value or trait we wish to hold up in our community. At the end of each day, cabin groups will hold an evening meeting to share out how the day went and examine how the daily theme showed up in their experience.
In addition to our work as a cabin group, Camp Chewonki builds community through shared meals, weekly gatherings, special events. In the dining hall, everyone is randomly assigned a seat and we eat family style, working together to make sure everyone gets the fuel the need, both nutritionally and socially, to maximize their enjoyment of the Chewonki experience. Each week we come together around the campfire and under the pines for entertainment and reflection to enjoy each other’s company while considering what the experience, at camp and on the trail, has meant for us.
At the end of each session, we spend our final day creating a cabin plaque and reflecting on our time together. The day culminates in a special banquet filled with songs, speeches and delicious food to commemorate our summer.