Posted by: Birch Rock Camp

It can be tough raising boys. Everyone gets worn down by the usual parent/kid flashpoints: too much time on computers and phones, foot-dragging over cleanup and chores, reluctance to play outdoors, incivility toward family members. What’s a loving, concerned parent to do? How about what parents have done for a century in this country—find your son an old-fashioned sleepaway camp like Birch Rock for the summer!

Birch Rock Camp in the Maine woods is the perfect place for your boy to disconnect to reconnect for emotional health. Our campers don’t miss technology for a minute as they experience thrilling outdoor adventures on our campus and on wilderness trips. Birch Rock was founded nearly one hundred years ago by educators determined to foster character and well-being in campers. Now more than ever, boys need the nurturing yet challenging environment of Birch Rock. Since the COVID pandemic, kids continue to struggle with serious mental health issues. Our fervent belief and our mission have never changed: let the Maine woods work its magic on boys. Our campers pack clothes and some basic gear at home, and leave behind computers, phones, watches, and other devices. Everyone needs a break from electronics! Everything about Birch Rock is a welcome break from the real world and its pressures and anxieties.

Birch Rock believes in old-fashioned, back-to-basics boyhood, with campfires and canoeing and Capture the Flag. Plenty of fresh air, refreshing swims in pristine Lake McWain, and exuberant games are restorative. We believe youngsters (and their parents) benefit when kids get a taste of independence from their parents while at camp, and return home more self-reliant and confident.

We’re all well aware that educators and mental health professionals are deeply concerned about anxiety and depression in our young people. Fortunately some basic strategies are known to support emotional well-being. Birch Rock offers them all. First, we Disconnect to Reconnect to the wondrous natural world, and to constant face-to-face contact with people of all ages (Birch Rockers from preschoolers to octogenarians are here during the season). We help campers make friends with other boys through small cabin groups, family-style meals and non-competitive activities. We give boys rest periods to relax and make sure they get plenty of sleep. We put engrossing books into their hands (and card games and chess pieces) to show how wonderful that can be. Birch Rock even has its own historic library!

Kids benefit tremendously from cultivating friendships, playing with abandon, and experiencing gratitude for the simple pleasures in life. At Birch Rock we emphasize simplicity, civility and mutual support. It’s our goal to help build strong character, so your son will return home a bit more resilient, capable and ready to cope with everyday challenges.

Birch Rock campers learn that the best stories are lived, not posted. Their most memorable experiences are invariably wilderness trips that fire their imagination, test their endurance and turbocharge their self-esteem. Authentic thrills beat out virtual ones every time!

On Sundays the campers participate in a beautiful, bygone activity—letter writing. What a joy it is to be Birch Rock parents and receive actual snail mail from our sons with tales of their adventures! These adventures and the rare opportunity to disconnect to reconnect for emotional health are a priceless gift you can give your son this summer.

Check out the rest of our website to learn more about this life-changing camp. Email us at [email protected] to get in touch with one of our team and sign your son up!

by Francie Campbell