Let’s Go To Summer Camp!

Camping, like many Y programs, is about learning skills, developing character and making friends. But few environments are as special as camp, where kids become a community as they learn both how to be more independent and how to contribute to a group as they engage in physical, social and educational activities. Camping teaches self-reliance, a love for nature and the outdoors, and the development of attitudes and practices that build character and leadership—all amidst the fun of camp fires, bugle calls, canoeing, archery, talent shows, and meaningful relationships. Y counselors are dedicated to making sure camp is an amazing experience for every camper.

At Camp Lincoln, programs for younger campers are more structured while older campers have more choices about the activities in their day. Traditional day camp activities include swimming lessons, arts and crafts, archery, sports, and more. Specialized camps for older campers offer the choice to participate in off-site activities such as golf or horseback riding. Campers, from ages 11-15, can also participate in 5-day overnight adventure camps throughout New England, from Cape Cod to the White Mountains, and beyond to Quebec City.

YMCA Camp Lincoln offers a variety of affordable summer camp programs with transportation and expanded camp times for working families. No camper has been turned away for inability to pay in 89 years. Scholarships are available for campers in need.

Online registration for summer camp at YMCA Camp Lincoln is open and filling quickly! Since 1926, campers have developed friendships, discovered new talents and built self-confidence at YMCA Camp Lincoln. Families with children ages 3 to 15 can learn more about a day at camp – and register – on our website.


A Mother-Daughter Y Story

My Y story begins like this; a wintry night, a movie night, and a late arrival during the college winter break. My daughter’s good friend was late to our house for the gathering because she had been at an interview for a position at Camp Lincoln. She oozed enthusiasm about the camp. I mentioned that since Sarah had secured a job there, it would be great for Kayla to apply as well, in an effort to help with college costs. We felt that eating tuna casserole five nights a week was becoming intolerable.

Being quiet and reserved, my daughter immediately focused on the dreaded interview, which meant that she would have to talk to a “stranger” (I may have drilled that to the core in childhood.) Nonetheless, I forced her to call Camp Lincoln the next day to arrange for an interview, thus negating a full day of holiday spirit.

She wanted the job, just not the interview. Silence on the way over on her part, and “helpful” interview tips from mom. We left an hour early. We arrived at beautiful Camp Lincoln 40 minutes early. We sat. Finally, with 20 minutes to go until the interview, I told her to go in. She refused. I cajoled, demanded, begged, and, finally said, “Get out of this car now!” I was reminded how mean I was with a slamming of the car door.

While Kayla met with Jeff Gleason, I waited in the car and mentally reviewed all of my childrearing mistakes over the last 18 years. Finally, she emerged with a bounce in her step, and hopped into the car. “I love it here!” she exclaimed. “I would so love to work here!”

She was hired. She left our house every morning an hour earlier than her start time. She loved the activities and the kids. She taught responsibility, kindness, and the value of teamwork. She learned how to have and love a job. Above all, Camp Lincoln reinforced what we had taught her over the years, and she passed it on and blossomed. I cried at the first Family Night at camp, and at the night that she was named Counselor of the Year. Camp Lincoln had turned my child into a mature young woman. She looks forward to going back for her third year.

Sandy Janowski is a Camp Lincoln parent from Stratham, NH who also volunteers her time for Southern District YMCA.

Sandy & Kayla Janowski

Sandy and Kayla Janowski

Fall Homeschool Picnic

Last week Camp Lincoln hosted roughly 120 children and parents at the annual Homeschool Picnic. Much more than a picnic, these families participated in a day of camp activities including the ropes course, archery, fall crafts, boating, candle making, and pumpkin decorating. The event was a complete success, and we are already looking forward to this winter’s Homeschool Winter Festival. Winter Festival will include ice skating, snowshoeing, winter survival skills, sledding, and more! Homeschoolers, we hope you will join us!

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A Camp Lincoln Summer

Camp Lincoln’s 87th summer was a huge success. Almost 5,000 camper weeks were accumulated this year. Over 1,400 campers attended. Campers learned how to swim, shoot arrows, play games, make friends, lead groups, gain confidence and have fun! Thank you to all our campers and families for the enthusiasm and energy you brought to Camp Lincoln this summer!

To the Camp Lincoln summer staff, you made this summer memorable for so many campers. Remember your goals, your ambitions and the friends you have made. Camp Lincoln would not be the same without you – you have helped make us stronger. Thank you.

Yours in Camping,
Jeff Gleason

Phillips Exeter Serves at Camp Lincoln

Hundreds of employees from Phillips Exeter Academy participated in three major community service projects in the local area on August 29. Offices closed as PEA employees gave back to their local communities while building and enhancing connections among its diverse employee population. A team worked tirelessly at Camp Lincoln to paint cabins, install and repair benches, install stairs in the Amphitheater and Lakeside Stage, and more. Thank you, PEA employees! We couldn’t do it without you.

Thank you, Phillips Exeter Academy faculty and staff, for extending the life of our cabins, making our footpaths safer, putting fresh life into weathered tables, and bringing your vibrant spirit of community to Camp Lincoln. Camp kids and staff are very appreciative!

See more photos, show your appreciation, join the conversation: #PEAserves

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Spirit Week at Camp Lincoln

YMCA Camp Lincoln was a sea of color yesterday as campers and staff wore team-unit colors that corresponded to the YMCA core values. Caring, Honesty, Respect, and Responsibility were the name of the game as campers competed in a variety of color-themed events. Spirit week is a high point of a Camp Lincoln summer, and it doesn’t end with Color Day. Other special days include Superhero Day, Celebrity Day, Mix n Match Day, and Career Day. Wow- what a week! Enjoy these photos from Spirit Week! And remember you can stay up to date with daily camp photos on Facebook.

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Staying Active, Staying Cool

While summer might mean no school and plenty of free time to spend outdoors, this heat can get the best of us! Here are some tips to protect your family during heat spells and keep everyone entertained.

Evenings are the best time to spend outdoors. Turn your backyard into a mini campground! Set up the tent, build a (contained) campfire, toast up some s’mores, and enjoy the fresh air while the sun is low. Teach your kids how to set up a tent, and discover summer constellations together.When it’s too hot to be outside, discover your local library. Most libraries have summer reading programs that help motivate kids to read certain books or several books in return for prizes.

Make cool and easy snacks in your own kitchen! Popsicles are simple to make, fun to eat, and will cool your family down! If you don’t have a popsicle mold, simply use small cups or ice cube trays with a popsicle stick frozen inside.

Of course, if you still have to work during the summer or you want your kids to be involved in physical activities or summer camps, the YMCA always offers ways to keep your kids entertained and active during the summer months. It is not too late to sign up for summer camp. Check out the camps that still have space, and sign up today!