Beyond Tradition

The tripping program has also been expanded beyond the overnights the camp does on its island. Now there’s a different trip for each age group. When they’re 15, for instance, they can look forward to a three-day whitewater rafting trip. When they’re 14, they climb Mount Washington.

“I got such resistance at first. They complained the whole way up, and laughed all the way down,” Marcy recalls. “When we first bought the camp it didn’t have a reputation for outdoor adventure and land sports, and it took time to build that up.”

Camp Mataponi offers soccer, softball, basketball, volleyball, field hockey, La Crosse and water skiing, among a large range of sports. Wake boarding was the big hit this past summer on the lake.

About three years ago the camp built a large indoor recreation room, bringing in some outdoor sports indoors, like roller hockey, which includes an event called Girlie Death Hockey. The girls dress up and play amid strobe lights and music.

Marcy says the girls can be as competitive as they want. They can participate in intercamp games, where they travel to other camps for competition, like swimming, basketball, soccer, tennis and sailing.

Staying on top of what’s popular, and keeping things exciting, is really about personal attention, Marcy says. “We take every situation and every camper for what it is and who they are. I go out and meet with every family that wants to send their camper so I can know the girls,” Marcy explains. “We’re very on top of the contact with the parents all throughout the year about what to anticipate and expect so they can be proactive with their girls to minimize any problems.”

An important part of keeping up is minimizing time and paperwork. Mataponi employs a bevy of camp-specific time-saving tools, including camp search engines, database management and registration. The camp has recently moved registration and database management to CampMinder, which Marcy says helps free them in the off-season to work remotely from Florida and keep up with the camp office in Maine.

“We can be on the database at the same time in different areas, working on staff, registrations, and everything else. Whatever’s going to make my life the easiest and concentrate on camp… I just want to get in there and just do what I need to do,” Marcy says.

Camp Mataponi has an interactive DVD for campers and staff. The DVD includes a general video about the camp, video highlights on particular aspects of camp, and even a Q&A section.

“I think I have the best job in the world; I love it. I like to be the one out there meeting the people who come to camp. It’s always fresh for me because I’m hiring the staff and meeting the parents,” Marcy says. “I don’t want it to be necessarily bigger and better. I want to take advantage of where we are in Maine.”

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Related posts:

  1. Tradition & Foresight
  2. The Joy of Both Gender Camping!
  3. Sailing the Seas
  4. Access to Adventure
  5. Cascading Along

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