To accommodate the numerous activities, Indian and Forest Acres camps boast some of the finest facilities in Maine, including, indoor gymnasiums, a theater, a brand new dance studio, 13 Har-Tru tennis courts, 2 Olympic swimming pools, meticulously maintained fields and baseball diamonds and a lake front water facility for water-skiing, knee-boarding, wake-boarding, etc. The uniqueness of three waterfronts allows our campers to be on and in the water for extended amounts of time. All campers may also participate in inter-camp competitions. Any camper wishing to participate may and while we are very successful our philosophy encourages participation by all.
Here is a sampling;
Forest Acres is fortunate to have an Olympic pool; a unique feature for a sleep away camp in Maine. Campers attend instructional swimming in the pool everyday. Swimming is supervised by instructors holding WSI licenses and campers are taught following Red Cross certification levels. The pool also serves as a great recreational center with swim meets, water carnivals, and simply a great place to cool off after a hard day of camp. Of course we also have one of the most unique recreational centers in Maine at our backyard, the Saco River which also offers us a place to cool off, swim and canoe.
Forest Acres boasts a beautiful full sized soccer field with regulation sized goals. Whether during instructional hours or simply during free time, you will always see campers enjoying themselves on the field. Our expert coaches from the U.S and Europe ensure that our campers receive only the best instruction. Campers may choose to compete in inter-camp and intra-camp games.
Our state of the art ropes course is the backbone of our outdoor education and leadership programs. With 9 low ropes elements and 10 or more high ropes elements including our famous zip-line, campers gain a world of confidence from our course. We work in small groups with leaders trained in outdoor education and group dynamics. Some campers come only once a summer and others 3 times a week but the lessons learned here last a lifetime.
Our campers love this activity. Our full size kitchen allows for cooking instruction at every level. Campers prepare all kinds of food from simple cookies to elaborate meals. The famous Forest Acres cook book serves as the basis for our recipies and is enhanced every summer. Our kitchen is full of activity and spirit everyday!
Our beautiful indoor gym is the home of our gymnastics program. Campers build there skills on the beam, floor, uneven parallel bars and other apparatus. Our gymnastic show highlights a hard summer of work and is clear evidence to the improvement each camper achieves over the summer. Our outstanding gymnastics coaches help campers gain skills, build routines and simply expand their gymnastics skill level.
Many Mountain Biking trails begin at the gates of camp. Campers ride on trails in our local area and in the White Mountain National Forest. Our mountain biking staff are well versed in the practice of riding and keep our rides exciting and fun. Campers also learn about bicycle maintenance as they prepare for each ride. Biking is offered at levels from beginning to advanced.
Hiking & Climbing
It is said that Indian and Forest Acres sits where the mountains meet the water. This proves a great metaphor for our renowned hiking and tripping program. Campers can choose to go on hikes almost everyday on some of the most famous trails in America. Of course our highlights include the famous night hike and our annual overnight to the top of Mount Washington. Mike Wiig has been leading our hiking program for many years and brings his huge experience in leadership training and mountaineering to our campers. Let’s go “walking with Wiggie.”
The Art center is always full of activity. With pottery wheels, watercolors, oil paints, stained glass, bead making, drawing, all kinds of crafts, lanyard creation and so much more, everyone spends time in the art center. So much to do and so many projects bring campers to this great facility all day long. A great place to unwind after a grueling tennis match or a morning at softball.
Our professional archery range is an active area at camp. Campers can gain archer certification as well as compete in inter-camp archery tournaments. Our range includes a variety of different style targets.
Campers play “ball” in our spectacular gymnasium or on our outdoor court. Instructions and games are available for all age groups under the directions of our outstanding coaching staff. All campers are invited to participate in intercamps sports.
From ballet to hip hop, jazz to theater dance our new Dance Studio is the home to this popular activity. Our Dance instructors have participated in professional dance companies including the American Theater Dance Workshop and the Famous Eglevsky and Cardinal Ballet Companies. Campers of all levels come and dance, improve their skills, choreograph their own routines and have many performance opportunities.
TipTop our flagship building is also home to our preforming arts programs. Theater productions are available at every level. Recent productions included Grease, Oklahoma, 42nd Street, Charlie Brown, The Wizard of Oz and many more. Our Senior and Log campers participate in our annual Co-ed musical production. Forest Acres also has a renowned Co-ed chorus, and music program under the direction of Ray Haapoaja from the New England Conservatory of Music.
Our Head Counselor Mary Beth Wiig was recently named to Minnesota College Hall of Fame. “bert” as she is known at camp is one of the most outstanding softball coaches in the nation and she brings her skills to both out campers and out staff. Campers of all ages participate in Softball. Instruction, in-camp, and inter-camp games are available. Supplementing our beautiful softball diamond, we also play many of our tournaments at the brand new Fryeburg Softball Facility.
Lester Yesnick has coached Forest Acres tennis many years. As a former Indian Acres camper Lester honed his tennis skills and now coaches in las Vegas Nevada. He has recently worked with the top ranked players in New York State. Our beautiful courts sit right in front of our Intermediate cabin line making our tennis courts the place to be everyday. Camper receive premium instruction with staff camper ratios of 2:1 and 1: 1. There is always a tennis staff to “hit” with any camper no matter what ability. Our innovative program uses the most up to date techniques to teach all the skills of the games. Campers compete in many inter-camp tournaments, our own in camp tennis ladder, and other tennis matches. Every camper no matter how young or how old seemed to drawn to this outstanding program.
Forest Acres has the unique privilege of having access to three different water fronts. Forest Acres has an olympic pool and is located on the shore of the Saco River. On top of these two spectacular amenities, Forest Acres has a lakefront setting on Lovewell Pond. At Lovewell Pond campers can learn to water ski, wake board, knee board, sail, kayak, or canoe under the supervision of a highly trained staff. Campers can also simply enjoy their time at the pond swimming in the water, playing volleyball on the newly developed sand court, or bouncing on the new water trampoline.
Canoeing & Kayaking
Lovewell pond is also home to our canoeing, kayaking, and sailing program. Under the direction of our certified staff, campers learn to have a fun and safe time on the water. Nothing is better than a sunny afternoon of sailing on this beautiful lake.
Simply the Best Horseback Riding Program in the US!
Indian Acres Camp for Boys and Forest Acres Camp for Girls both continue to foster an incredible riding program run by experienced staff in all areas of equestrian background. Founded in 1924, the summer equestrian experience has grown and expanded.
Our top-notch thirty-two stall barn, accompanied by three outdoor arenas, is tucked neatly in the back of the camp facility. An extensive network of trails near and inside camp provide children with an opportunity to relax outside the daily teachings within the ring.
CJ Law, of Mount Holyoke, directs the most outstanding equestrian program at a camp in the state of Maine. Her staff and horses from Mount Holyoke (current IHSA equestrian champions) provide a program offering lessons, shows, horsemanship, and so much more.
The unique facility draws both campers and staff members to return to camp year after year. The quality of staff is unbeatable. Equestrians like Nancy Peterson, Hollins College, and Nancy Fisk, Dana Hall, former director of riding at a preparatory school with a prestigious riding program, have shared their talent with the children of Indian Acres and Forest Acres.
Currently in her 32nd year at the camps, Carol Law (C.J.), program director of riding at Mount Holyoke College, continues to uphold and advance the riding camp standard. She brings talented college age instructors from her program at Mount Holyoke College. A great return rate for her staff proves their dedication and devotion to consistency in equestrian studies at camp.
In addition to her staff, C.J. is responsible for the quality of horses that lie at the heart of the riding program. Many of the school horses are brought from Mount Holyoke College. The horses are capable of catering to a brand new rider or the rider who is accustomed to extremely competitive riding. A number of the horses are talented show horses. The horses are safe and friendly and children form close attachments to their counter parts.
The nature and diversity of instruction at the two camps is of superior quality. The main focus and background of instructors and campers tends to be of the hunter and jumper discipline. However, a focus on equitation, dressage, combined training, and stable management is stressed in daily learning. Campers flock to the barn, nearly 65% of the campers ride, to take advantage of the lesson program. Outside the ring, children are often rewarded with a wide variety of field trips.
Campers participate at rated shows which always proves to be a success, both in fun and competition. Several campers have qualified during the summer equitation for the NEHC Medal Finals. Campers are also given the opportunity to visit local farms or equestrian events to expand their knowledge of horses outside the ring. It is the goal of the staff to stress the importance of riding as pleasure and exercise.
Each of these aspects of the riding program at Camp Forest Acres serves to support a diverse consistent quality environment for campers. The staff and the campers join together summer after summer to enjoy the world of equestrian studies.
Special trips are organized each week to Maine’s island and coastal scenic areas and nearby New Hampshire’s White Mountains. Extended camping, hiking, and canoeing trips and trips to Canada, Cape Ann, and Boston colleges are scheduled regularly. A state-of-the-art high and low element ropes course is available. Groups are taken to the local ice skating rink for open skating.
Cabin, unit, and all-camp activities provide a break from the regular schedule. Evenings and Sundays are spent in team sports, group games, talent shows, campfires, or overnights, in the camp’s cabin on Lovewell Pond. Traditional games, known as Color War (Green and Tan for Forest Acres, and Red and Brown for Indian Acres) take place during the last three weeks of camp and provide friendly competition in marathons, a counselor hunt, a swim meet, and other activities. Each team writes its own songs that become part of camp tradition.
Coed activities, such as dances, chorus, and musical production are planned between the two camps. In addition to social activities for all campers, weekly visits are arranged for siblings at the two camps. English as a second language is available for international campers. Tutoring in mathematics, music, reading, and English may be arranged.
One of the many advantages of summer camping in Maine is the beauty of our surroundings. No other area of the country can offer a summer camp environment amid the lakes, mountains, rivers and the ocean. To help enrich the camp experience Forest Acres (Indian Acres) takes weekly trips to area attractions. Wednesday (Tuesday) is Trip Day and each Unit will be out of camp for the day, visiting the best that Southern Maine and the Mount Washington Valley of New Hampshire has to offer. Lost River, the Polar Caves, Funtown Splashtown USA, White Lake State Park, Crescent and Scarborough Beaches in Maine are among the locations visited.