Ah, summertime -- beaches, barbecues, and camp, of course! For parents of boys, the early teen years can be tough to structure the summer months – the boys are too old for day camp, and the younger ones might be too young for a summer job. Thankfully, there are several all-boy summer camps throughout New England, created and run with teen boys in mind. Your son will love one or two last summers of freedom as a "kid" at these quality camps, all nestled in the heart of nature and intent on fostering friendships, confidence and leadership skills.
Founded in 1919, Camp Agawam in Raymond, Maine is one of the nation's oldest summer camps. In the summer, it is home to 130 boys from all over the world, and the camp boasts a "unique, family-like atmosphere." Located on the shores of Crescent Lake, campers can choose among activities like tennis, sailing, windsurfing, soccer, kayaking, drama, photography, knot-tying and archery, among other activities. Another choice is the Berwick Boys Foundation, located on Dyer Island off the coast of Milbridge, Maine. Here, the boys' time is divided into thirds -- the first dedicated to a community project, the next a personal project, and the last, instructive recreation like sailing, swimming, boating or fishing.
"No boys slip through the cracks at Kingswood." This is the motto of Kingswood Camp in Piermont, New Hampshire, which aims for all campers to feel physically and emotionally safe. Boys spend their days snorkeling, wake boarding, drawing, learning nature photography and songwriting, as well as playing rugby, Ultimate, or playing drums. The YMCA Camp Mi-Te-Na in Alton, New Hampshire is also a choice for teen boys. Situated on Halfmoon Lake, this camp aims to create a "fun, safe, supportive" environment that embraces the YMCA core values: honesty, caring, respect, and responsibility. On the lake, campers enjoy sailing, kayaking, canoeing, water skiing, and many more activities.
If your teen is looking to attend a more non-traditional camp, a good choice might be Camp Sangamon in Pittsford, Vermont. This camp is not based on sports or competition; rather, the entire program is elective each day. Campers create a personal schedule based on their interests, and can choose among mountain biking, gardening, pottery, rocketry, weaving and more. Another Vermont option is Timber Lake Camp, in Plymouth. Boys rotate among activity areas: Waterfront, Work Projects and Creative Arts. A typical day at Camp Timberlake might include learning basic canoe paddle strokes in the morning, helping to nail siding to a new cabin and hiking to a nearby pond for a swim in the afternoon, baking bread for dinner -- and at night, roasting marshmallows, and then romping through the woods for an all-camp game.
Connecticut and Rhode Island
For boys, Connecticut offers Camp Awosting, located on Bantam Lake among the state's rolling hills. At this camp, life is "informal and friendly," and boys have a blast using the climbing tower and zip line, and participating in martial arts, ceramics, woodshop, cricket, football, and much more. Just over the border in Rhode Island is Camp Yawgoog, part of the Boy Scouts of America. Situated on 1800 acres of wilderness in Rockville, Rhode Island, Camp Yawgoog is divided into three separate, smaller camps: Camp Three Point, Camp Medicine Bow, and Camp Sandy Beach. All share facilities, but have their own traditions, colors, songs and cheers.