First Time Campers

Sending a child to summer camp is a tremendous act of faith by parents. At Camp Laurel, we take that responsibility very seriously and encourage our campers to develop new interests and skills as they discover new strengths and build their self-esteem. We maintain an environment that encourages safety and reinforces a positive self-image.

Preparing for Camp:

The Laurel experience is about creating amazing lifelong friendships and memories. Our ability to set each individual camper up for success and deliver a growth-filled, safe and fun summer is something we take great pride in.

Camp Packing List

While not a uniform camp, we encourage and enforce a “down-to-earth” culture without an emphasis on clothing. We don’t just say this, we mean it. (If you think it might be too fancy, then it probably is!). We provide a very specific packing list to keep the process simple. We do require campers to purchase some Laurel gear including t-shirts, shorts, sweatshirts and sweatpants.

Download Packing List

Activity Selection

Camp Laurel is known for its innovative Scheduling Program which allows a blend of required activities and electives and becomes more flexible as campers get older. In the spring each year, parents and campers receive an Activity Selection Packet which lists the “required” activities and the “elective” activities for each child age group.

More About Activity Selection

Program Groups
Completed gradeGirlsBoys
1st & 2ndFrosh AcadiaFrosh Apache
3rdJunior AcadiaJunior Apache
4thSenior AcadiaSenior Apache
5thJunior BaxterJunior Sequoia
6thSenior BaxterSenior Sequoia
7thSophomore KennebecSophomore Kennebago
8thJunior KennebecJunior Kennebago
9thSenior KennebecSenior Kennebago
10thSuper Senior KennebecSuper Senior Kennebago
Food and Safety

At Camp Laurel, the health and safety of your child is our number one priority. We are able to accommodate campers with specific food allergies and invite you to contact us to speak more about any dietary or medical needs of your child. We are a nut free facility.

More About Food & Safety

Getting to Camp

We have children arriving from all over the world and can work with you to arrange all details.

Visiting, Directions & Accommodations

We use Boston and Portland as the central meeting points for most campers, and arrange to meet campers flying into both cities. In addition, we have chaperoned group trips from several cities in the U.S. Campers arriving from overseas and from non-chaperoned cities either fly or drive directly to Boston or Portland and are met by Laurel staff. We are aware of the importance of proper transportation for our campers and always meet flights as children arrive. We would be glad to discuss your specific situation in detail.

Arriving at Camp:

When you step off the bus at Camp Laurel, you will be greeted by Jem and Debbie. The enthusiasm and energy makes the arrival exciting, and you are also embraced with warmth, high fives, fist bumps and hugs and immediately connected to your counselors and cabinmates. When you enter your cabin, your bed and area will already be set up and unpacked. This provides the feeling of walking into “your” home, with the familiarity of seeing your bedding and personal belongings already set up. Introductions, games and fun starts immediately, followed by a tour of camp. Our opening campfire is always a highlight as we gather as one to officially begin the season.

What if I don't know anyone?

Many campers come to Laurel for their first time not knowing anyone. We are very meticulous about the cabin placement process and factor in many things when devising the cabins. Our ability to integrate first-time campers and ensure that no one “slips through the cracks” is a testament to our attention to detail. Making new friends is one of the best parts of camp and the Laurel Staff is exceptional at making sure all campers feel included and at home. Even if you come to camp with friends, you’ll make lots of new ones while you are here!

What about homemissing?

Homemissing is normal and may occur. The structure, energy and upbeat pace of the Laurel program allows campers to remain busy and active, which helps overcome the emotion of missing home. Most importantly, we are very aware of any camper who may be experiencing home missing and provide the individual attention, warmth and strategies that enables us to work through any temporary feelings of homemissing. Our goal is to provide an enjoyable, exciting summer experience that motivates our campers to approach life with courage, confidence and a feeling of self-worth.

How do Parents and Campers Communicate?

Campers unplug at camp, which means no cell phones! Parents schedule two calls home with their campers each summer. Through your My CampMinder account, you can view daily photos taken throughout camp, as well as send one-way emails which are printed out delivered to your camper at Rest Hour like a letter. We also require letter writing every other day and you can expect to receive letters home from camp! Parents can always contact our directors if there is any question, concern or any type of special situation that arises.