- Do I get to choose my activities?
Yes! In three out of the five daily activity periods, you'll be able to decide how you spend your time. For the boating period, you can choose between sailing, kayaking, canoeing, waterskiing, wakeboarding, and fishing. For individuals, you can pick things like ropes course, rock wall, archery, arts and crafts, tennis, or woodsman.
You'll also have swimming everyday and team sports – where you will have fun practicing soccer, basketball, football, lacrosse, ultimate frisbee, baseball, and street hockey. During free period, there are many fun and new activities offered, or you can go back to your favorite activity from earlier in the day--like more waterskiing, tennis, or arts and crafts.
- How does Christian Science fit in at Camp?
Those who love Camp say that they love the environment of Camp. True, that environment includes opportunities to try new things, make new friends, and have a fun time in a beautiful place, but what people mean when they talk about the environment of Camp is that it is a place where Christian Science is lived. Brotherly love and unconditional support permeate the atmosphere of Camp.
You'll have time to read the Bible Lesson every day and share ideas at Morning Meeting, Wednesday testimony meetings, and in Sunday School - all activities that set your day and its activities on a firm spiritual foundation - and then you get to go out and demonstrate it. Each day you will have opportunities to overcome fears, challenge seeming limitations, and turn to God in prayer for guidance. You’ll experience and witness fast, complete healings, and the best part is that you can turn to the person next to you, no matter who that is, and know that he is willing to prayerfully support and encourage you.
Watch this video about Christian Science at Camp
- What will my cabin be like?
The cabins at Owatonna circle around a grove of pine trees, which can almost make you feel like you’re staying in a tree house. They're not fancy, but most people think the simplicity of our cabins really adds to the natural feeling of camp.
Most cabins will have anywhere from four to eight campers, who are grouped by age and grade. You'll have your own bunk and a place to keep your things. The bathroom, showers, and lodge are all just a short walk away.
- What’s a typical day like?
On weekdays, you'll wake up, have breakfast, clean up your cabin, and study the Bible Lesson before heading off to Morning Meeting, where the whole camp gathers to share spiritual insights and discuss plans for that day. Then it's off to two hour-long activity periods (like swimming, waterskiing, or archery) before lunch and rest hour.
In the afternoon, you'll have two more activity periods, followed by a free period, where you have lots of different choices of what to do each day, like more waterskiing, writing poetry, board games, or playing a game of soccer. Every night after dinner, there's an evening activity – which can be anything from cabin night to "sock attack" to capture-the-flag. The day comes to a close by sharing gratitude, highlights, and daily acts of good with your cabin mates before climbing into bed.
Saturdays are team-oriented, with everyone participating in a team project in the morning and in team competitions in the afternoon. On Saturday nights, we gather together for Owatonna's weekly council fire.
On Sundays, you'll get together with the girls from Camp Newfound for Sunday School in the morning, and then all have a big beach party – with bumper tubing, paddle boarding, and jumping off the rope swing – in the afternoon. Sundays end with cabin night--a favorite camp night where cabins do special activities together that could be playing board games, going down the slip and slide, bumper tubing and making s’mores, baking cookies, or doing a treasure hunt.
- What’s the food like?
The food is awesome! Pancakes, scrambled eggs, and sticky buns for breakfast. Spaghetti, chicken nuggets, and tacos for lunch. Not to mention a cookout every Sunday night! There's always a cereal option in the morning, and peanut butter and jelly at lunch if you don't happen to like that day's meal. But trust us, the food is good. And we haven't even mentioned the desserts!
- Who are my counselors?
You'll have at least two counselors in your cabin, and they'll be college students who love to work and play with kids. Cabin counselors also run the different activities around Camp – so you'll see them on the tennis court, teaching you how to roll a kayak, and overseeing your swim lessons.
Our counselors are good at what they do, which means they'll be able to show you how to get up on one waterski, how to rappel down the rock wall, or make the coolest craft project ever. They also happen to be really nice people.
- Will I go on trips?
We offer a huge variety of trips: day trips, overnight trips, hiking trips, rock climbing trips, canoeing trips, and sea kayaking trips. There is always something that appeals to everyone – from hiking to kayaking to shooting down a rock waterslide. Camp Owatonna is located near some of the most amazing natural features in New England, so it's pretty hard to resist exploring them. We are an hour from the White Mountains and an hour from the Atlantic Ocean. Plus, our trips usually end with a stop for ice cream. Who can say no to that?
- Where is Camp?
Camp Newfound is located in the beautiful Lakes Region of southwest Maine, right on Long Lake. It's about three hours north of Boston, and a one-hour drive from Portland. About one hour to the east is the beautiful coast of Maine and about one hour to the west is the White Mountains National Forest.
- How do I get there?
View driving directions here.
The closest airport is Portland International Jetport (PWM), about a one hour drive from Camp. You can also fly in and out of Manchester Airport (MHT) in New Hampshire and Boston's Logan Airport (BOS) – both of which are about three hours away.
We can pick up and drop off campers at any of these three airports for a fee. Before you book your child’s flight, be sure to read about what days and times you need to book in our “Parent Resources” section.
- At what age can my child start coming to Camp?
Children are usually ready for camp at the age of six. Because we know it can be helpful for younger campers and their families to get acquainted with Newfound before signing on for a longer stay, we do offer a special two-week session to first-time campers.
Regular camp is available to children up to the age of sixteen. Students who have finished their sophomore year of high school are eligible to participate in our Counselor in Training program.
- How can I stay in touch with my child while he is at Owatonna?
You'll hear all about how much fun your child is having through the letters that campers write twice a week. You will also see your child in action through the photos posted on our website.
The best way to communicate with your child while he's at Owatonna is to send him letters. Mail from home is always greatly anticipated and very much appreciated. Phone calls can be arranged when necessary, but that is not announced to campers, so no call is always good news! Please do not send packages unless necessary--the campers are very busy and happy and have everything they need. If they run out of toothpaste or lose their comb, the camp mom will purchase one for the camper.
- My child is a picky eater and/or has dietary restrictions. Will he get enough to eat?
Food at camp is plentiful and varied – from pasta to roast beef to abundant bowls of fruit salad. Our kitchen staff has ample experience in cooking for children, and it's a rare camper who cannot find something to eat at every meal. In addition to the regular daily offerings, there's always a cereal option at breakfast and peanut butter and jelly at lunch.
- My child is not a very strong swimmer. Will he be safe?
Every camper at Owatonna is given a swim test to determine his level of proficiency. Daily swimming instruction is always supervised by certified instructors and, in keeping with Maine law, a life jacket is required whenever a camper goes out in a boat. Any time your child is in the water, even on trips, there will be at least one certified lifeguard with him.
- My son’s school year doesn’t end before opening day at Camp. Can he arrive late?
Yes, while it is ideal for each camper to be at Camp for the entire session, we understand that sometimes circumstances dictate that we need to be flexible. Late arrivals and early departures are arranged on a case-by-case basis.
- What if I can’t afford Camp?
We want your son here! Money should not be the reason your child can’t come to Camp. Financial assistance is available, and we would be more than happy to discuss eligibility with you. Please don’t assume you wouldn’t qualify, and do email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- What if my child doesn’t feel well at Camp?
A Journal-listed Christian Science practitioner and Journal-listed Christian Science nurse are present on the camp property throughout the summer and are available to help campers 24 hours a day. Children who would benefit from quiet time away from their cabin are able to stay at “Birches,” the nurse's facility, and, of course, we stay in close contact with the child's parents in those situations. In emergencies, we follow all American Camp Association and Maine State standards and laws, along with metaphysical support. See our camper care policy for more information.
- What is the weather like?
Summer weather in Maine is usually warm and beautiful – perfect for all of the outdoor activities we offer at Camp. Evenings can be a little cooler while the days are gloriously sunny. When packing, it's a good idea to make sure that your child is prepared for both warm days and cool nights.
- Who are the counselors?
The counselors at camp are young adults – primarily college students – who love to work and play with kids. All are committed Christian Scientists, and are given specific training in the care and nurturing of children. Each counselor is also trained and certified, when applicable, in their area of instruction. The counselors are wonderful mentors and role models.
Our staff also includes several senior staff members with years of experience in working with children, along with a camp mom, who's able to provide a little extra TLC to those who need it. Our very low ratio of campers to staff members is 3:1.