Camp Walden is in the central western part of Maine, about an hour’s drive both from Portland, ME and North Conway, NH. Our property is a pine tree forest that circles a portion of Sand Pond (also known as Walden Pond).
A typical day begins at 7:30 a.m. and ends at 9:00 p.m. The day is filled with three meals, five activity periods, clean up time, rest hour after lunch, free time before dinner, an all-camp evening activity, and homemade cookies and milk before bed. See A Typical Day at Walden for more information.
Walden is full of traditions, special events and our own culture. Some traditions are light and silly such as throwing counselors into the lake during meals for uttering the words of the much-anticipated “Counselor Show.” Others are more heartfelt, such as our Bunk 12 campers sharing speeches at Final Campfire, reflecting on their years at camp and all they have learned from Walden. New campers and counselors are warmly welcomed into the fold and love experiencing these traditions and events for the first time. Returning campers look forward to each and understand that our camp traditions serve as a reminder of how Walden’s spirit and heritage have remained the same for over a century.
Our campers hail from across the U.S. and even across the ocean. No matter from where they come, they are part of our Walden family!
Our schedule of activities at Walden allows each camper to develop skills and competence at her own pace. Through a combination of elective and assigned activities, every day provides opportunities for campers to hone skills at a favorite activity and build skills and experiences at new activities. As campers learn to love a new activity, they often request that it make up a greater portion of their daily schedule. Campers often participate with girls from other age groups at a similar skill level. Our counselors and coaches meet each camper where they are and guide them along their way through individual and group instruction.
Campers will participate in three overnight trips each summer, which progress in challenge and duration each year. Campers enjoy exploring beautiful areas of Maine and New Hampshire on hikes and canoe trips. See more on our Wilderness Trips.
Yes. Our campers look forward to donning their “brown and whites” each summer. Campers wear white logo t-shirts and brown logo shorts. Non-uniform or “color clothes” are worn on Friday and Sunday evenings.
Walden campers and counselors love the comradery of singing camp songs and cheers together in the Dining Room, with teammates at Teamsports and at campfire each Sunday. While we do not sing ALL of the time, there are certainly original songs written for all aspects of camp!
Camp birthdays are the best! The birthday camper is celebrated in many ways throughout their special day at camp. Bunkmates wake early to decorate their table in the Dining Room with ferns, and our Songleaders lead the camp in a birthday EA cheer during breakfast. After lunch, the birthday camper will call home to connect with family. During dinner, they will enjoy a homemade birthday cake and will be serenaded by a song written for them to celebrate their special day. Many families send a birthday package addressed to the office which will be saved and shared with the camper on the date.
Rookie Camp is for 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders to learn about Camp before committing to a summer session. Learn more.
Campers live in wooden cabins with bunkmates in the same school grade. Between 6–10 campers live in a bunk with three or four counselors. Learn more about Bunk Living.
Our counselors join us from different backgrounds, cultures and countries and all love working with children and embrace our close community. They are hired for their experience coaching, teaching and working with children, as well as their passion for the outdoors. Additional training and certifications are provided for counselors on site, including Lifeguard certification, Water Safety Instruction, Wilderness First Aid and Adventure Course certification. We carefully vet all our counselors, including a background check.
FOOD & WELLNESS
Our food is healthy, delicious and plentiful! We serve family-style meals in our Dining Room. In addition to the main course offering, there are always alternative options including a breakfast bar with yogurt, granola and fresh fruit, and a salad bar with many vegetarian and protein options. Fresh whole fruit is available all day and snacks are put out in the afternoon. All meals and snacks at Camp Walden are nut-free.
It is natural for campers to miss home, particularly as campers adjust to life at camp. Our staff are well-trained to provide support in these moments. Every camper has a unique experience and staff are ready to listen, comfort, encourage connection with friends and give a hug. Our Age Group Heads and Leadership Team are also present in the bunks and can provide additional guidance and support. Within the first few days of your camper’s first summer, a director will call home with an update. As we often remind our campers, it is possible to love camp and miss home at the same time!
Regular medications are distributed three times daily by a camp nurse. Accommodations are made for a medication that requires administration outside of the Med Pass times.
We have three live-in, licensed nurses, a tele-medicine pediatrician and an on-call therapist who are responsible for the health of everyone at Walden. Our pediatrician meets with campers, staff and nurses for routine care as needed and is available for emergencies. Parents are notified by phone if a camper is kept overnight in our Health Center or if they need to visit the doctor or emergency room. Bridgton Hospital is located 10 miles from camp and has an emergency room and urgent care facility.
LOGISTICS & VISITING CAMP
We provide chaperoned transportation from metropolitan areas to camp at the start of the summer and home at the end of the summer both by bus (New York City, Westchester and Boston) and by airplane (Los Angeles, Baltimore, Miami). Campers can also be driven directly to camp.
Baggage service for campers on the east coast is provided by Camp Baggage. Families outside the service area may ship bags to camp via another carrier such as FedEx or UPS.
Parents can visit their camper for one day during our designated Visitors’ Weekend. You will spend the day participating in and watching activities, enjoying and connecting with other Walden families and counselors. For the 2023 season, parents can choose to visit either on Saturday, July 22nd or Sunday, July 23rd.
See ???Lodging Recommendations??? for ideas on where to stay.
Yes! We alternate hosting a Brother/Sister Day with many boys camps in Maine. Some years the brothers join us for a fun day at Walden, participating in activities, enjoying a free swim and catching up around camp. In the alternate years, Walden sisters visit brothers at their camps.
At Walden, we pride ourselves at being unplugged from all technology. We find that unplugging helps our campers and counselors feel more present and connected with each other. Cell phones are not allowed at camp and campers are discouraged from bringing electronic devices of any kind. Some campers will travel to camp with a cell phone. These will be collected upon arrival and stored in the camp office safe for the summer.
In addition to letters and Bunk Notes, our campers have two opportunities to speak with their parents throughout the summer. These calls are scheduled with parents in advance and occur in the third and sixth week of camp.
Open communication is key to a strong partnership between camp leadership and parents. Our camp families are kept abreast of daily and weekly happenings at camp through our daily updates/emails and photographs which are posted three times a week. Parents can also speak with a director (Kathy, Marnie or Jen) over the phone. While we spend much of our day around camp with the campers, one of us will always return a call by the end of the day.