Author: Geoffrey Newman

  • Unplugging for the Summer

    Children and adults are more connected now than ever before. We have our phones and other devices going all the time – using them for social media, buying things we need, and even to watch our favorite TV shows. Our phones often feel like an extension of our hands and we’re lost without that little safety net. At Indian & Forest Acres, you’ll hear the phrase “disconnect to reconnect” pretty often! Without constant attachment to our devices at camp, we get to experience summer break at it’s best! A summer at camp is a chance to disconnect from our screens and make meaningful connections with nature and the people around us.

    A summer in Maine is a perfect way to unplug. At camp, they’ll be more focused on events like campfires & Color War. Here’s why a summer unplugged at Indian & Forest Acres can be beneficial for everybody!

    Color War Teams

    Focus on Being Present

    When the devices aren’t nearby, we have to focus on the present moment. We’re forced to focus on the task at hand and forming in-person relationships. Instead of worrying what we may be missing on social media, we learn to navigate interaction with other children and adults around us. Without the option of a digital distraction, children can dive into other creative and physical activities. Rather than seeing photos of nature on their devices, they’ll be experiencing nature firsthand under the pines on the shores of the Saco River every single day.

    Without technology, they’ll also engage and acclimate to their new surroundings more quickly. In turn, that means fewer chances to be homesick. Children at camp won’t be checking text messages or pictures on social media from back at home. Instead, they’ll be too busy getting settled into camp life, trying new activities, and connecting with their new cabin mates.

    Indian Acres Dance

    Practice Creative Thinking & Problem Solving

    No smartphone in hand forces children to figure out some stuff on their own. Google isn’t immediately accessible to answer every question. Children work together as a team to solve problems, learn new skills, and use their imaginations to create solutions. Children build their self-reliance and independence when they aren’t constantly communicating with parents and friends.

    At Camp, Who Needs a Cell Phone?

    If your child wants to talk to someone, it’s not hard to find them! They can find people in activities, during meal time, in the office, or run to their cabin – no texting or GPS necessary! But what about taking photos? Indian & Forest Acres has a photographer posting frequent updates to Bunk1 for parents during sessions. But feel free to send a digital camera with your camper if you’d like. You may be curious about how you would contact your child at camp, don’t worry! There’s always your weekly scheduled phone time, Bunk Notes, or old-fashioned mail – which gets distributed nightly after dinner! As always, we’ll be in touch if there is an emergency situation and encourage you to do the same.

    Summer breaks are always times for a change and new experiences. A summer camp like Indian & Forest Acres is a great place for your children to experience summer without distractions. The gift of unplugging from the hustle & bustle of the school year and making new friends in the beautiful White Mountains, without a screen, has benefits that long outlast their time at camp.

  • Things to Do When You’re Missing Camp

    During the winter months, it’s definitely easy to miss the warm days of summer. You might miss jumping in the Saco, riding your favorite horses, or being a part of the play, and that’s totally ok! You might be feeling “camp sick” because you had an amazing summer at camp and you’re just missing the people and all of the fun. With camp only a few short months away, here are ideas to get you back in the spirit of Indian & Forest Acres before you head back to Fryeburg, Maine in June!

    Dig Out the Photos

    If you’re missing anything about your time at camp, it’s always a great idea to look at your favorite photos. Look at the Bunk1 galleries and any of the photos that you took during camp. You can even check out the videos posted from last summer! Sharing the stories and memories of your photos is a great way to tell your friends and family how much you love your summers at Indian & Forest Acres too! Looking back at photos from your past summers at camp is probably the quickest way for you to get back in the camp spirit.

    Spend Some Time Outside

    Obviously, summers at camp are all about spending time outside! So, spending some time outside is an easy way to reconnect with nature. Maybe you live in a city, but you can still take in some fresh air and sunshine. Head to the nearest park or playground and explore the surroundings. What do you notice about the trees, the sky, or gardens? Appreciating your natural surroundings is simple medicine when you’re feeling “camp sick.”

    Reach Out to Camp Friends

    Thanks to technology, staying in touch with your camp friends is super simple. If you’re really missing camp, send your camp friends a message or some mail – we know how much campers love mail!  Perhaps they live nearby, or maybe they are far away, but talking to friends from camp is an easy way to feel close to camp when you’re missing it.

    Set Up Camp at Home

    You probably can’t set up a campfire in the middle of your living room, but there’s no reason why you can’t recreate some of your favorite parts of camp at home! Make s’mores in the microwave or oven, sing the camp songs you love, or wear your favorite Indian & Forest Acres shirt. Camp may still be a few months away, but you can definitely enjoy some parts of camp at home while you wait!

    If you just can’t wait to get back to camp, it’s never too early to start preparing for Summer 2018! While you’re patiently waiting, make sure you’re following Indian & Forest Acres on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with camp updates throughout the Spring!

  • Why Send the Kids to Summer Camp

    Sending your child to a sleep-away summer camp is a huge decision for your family. If you went to camp as a child, this is probably a no-brainer – you know the benefits of a summer at camp. If you weren’t a “camp kid”, you may be wondering why parents send their children to camp for 7 weeks every summer. According to research from the American Camp Association, over 11 million kids from around the world attend residential summer camps in the United States.

    While there are plenty of camp experiences (over 7,000 in the USA alone) for you to choose from, a summer under the pines at Indian or Forest Acres is always full of amazing memories.

    Staff & Campers during Co-Ed Chorus!

    Hear & read testimonials from parents and campers about our camp community!

    Here are some of the amazing benefits of sending your children to summer camp!

    Helps Kids Gain Independence

    A summer at camp gives children an experience that is all their own. It’s a chance for them to live and grow on their own without parents questioning every day-to-day choice. Yes, there are always staff members closely keeping watch, but they’ll learn to be more responsible for their own needs and wants. They’ll learn to adapt to their surroundings, be more resilient, and learn how to do more things on their own.

    Gets the Kids Outside

    A summer at camp allows children to experience a true summer outdoors. They are outside in the sunshine, not just playing on the swings in a city park or swimming in the neighborhood pool. There are studies about how spending time outside reduces stress and fatigue. Not to mention that spending time outside helps keep the kids moving – walking, running, jumping, swimming, climbing, biking, and the like. Also, fresh air.

    Everyone Needs a Break Sometimes

    Summer break isn’t just for the kids! It’s not only a break from school but a great opportunity for parents to relax while knowing their kids are having an amazing summer experience.


    More so than ever, kids are connected to their devices. They’ve got social media, games, and they may even take classes online. A summer at camp allows them to disconnect from the screens and learn to connect with people face-to-face.

    New People & New Experiences

    At summer camp, your child will be in new surroundings with some new (and maybe some familiar) faces. Campers at Indian & Forest Acres come from all over the United States and 15 countries. Staff members are also from places around the globe! At camp, campers are always encouraged to try a new activity or sport. Your child may be the athlete of the year at home, but when they’re at camp, they’re singing a cappella music. Camp is a safe and supportive place for your child to try something they’ve never tried before.

    It’s always hard to send the children away for the summer, but the gift of a summer at camp is far better than any material item. A summer full of memories, growth, experience, and friends – what could be better?

    Interested in learning more about Indian & Forest Acres? Click here to send us your questions!

  • Why Work at Indian & Forest Acres

    Working at a summer camp can be one of the most rewarding experiences you will ever have. You’ll laugh, you may cry, you’ll unplug, and you’ll be challenged in more ways than you can imagine! You’ll learn so much about your campers, your fellow counselors, not to mention all of the things you’ll learn about yourself!

    Forest Acres counselors on arrival day!

    Working at Indian & Forest Acres puts you in the middle of an amazing community of people. Staff members travel to camp from all over the United States, not to mention all of the staff members from across the globe that make their way to Fryeburg, ME for the summer. Counselors and other staffers may still be college students, and they come from diverse backgrounds of teaching, the arts, business, and other professions. They all have one thing in common: they are excited to work with children.

    Indian Acres counselors on a dance night!

    Many of our staff members return to Indian & Forest Acres year after year! Some have been working here for over 20 summers, met their spouses here, and have brought their children to camp. Several staff members are also former campers, so the community ties are strong. Once you work at Indian & Forest Acres, you aren’t just another colleague – you become a member of an extended family.

    There may even be a few staff dogs standing guard!

    Take it from us, spending a summer on the Saco is definitely worth it!

    From Geoff Newman, Camp Owner & Director: “Being a camp counselor is probably the hardest yet most rewarding job you will ever have. You are a child’s mentor, surrogate parent, friend, and Big brother/sister all at the same time. If you are interested in a career working with children or even if you are interested in being in Maine for the summer it is a job that will challenge you, frustrate you and gratify you. It will also NEVER be boring.”

    From Moe Burness, Assistant Director: “I think working at summer camps; specifically, Indian and Forest Acres, can be the most or one of the most rewarding experiences young adults can have. It is an opportunity to share their love of working with children while being in a position to be a positive role model and impact the campers’ lives. Being a camp counselor could be the hardest job they will ever have, as it is 24/7, but the rewards are worth every minute.”

    From Ruth, four years on staff: “I love being at camp because I love the community. I love seeing the girls grow with each other and bond.”

    From Lisa, long-time camper & one year on staff: “It was so special to be able to spread my love for camp to the younger girls in my cabin.”

    From Wendy, two years on staff: “Getting to teach amazing young women about safe hiking and the peace they can find in nature is the only way I want to spend the summer.”

    From Carol, lifelong camper & one year on staff: “I love working at Forest Acres because creating a bond with a counselor was the most important thing to me as a camper, and now I get to be on the other side of that relationship.”

    Check out this infographic from the American Camp Association about working at a summer camp!

    Don’t just take our word for it, if you’re ready to spend your summer nestled in the foothills of the White Mountains at Indian & Forest Acres, click here to apply!

    Can’t come to camp, but know someone who would be a great addition to the staff? Click here to refer a friend!

  • New Things to Expect in 2018

    The Summer of 2018 is gearing up to be a huge one at Indian & Forest Acres. Of course, the summer session starts in June, but there are events and renovations that are already in the works for camp! We’ve got 113 days to go, so things are already ramping up in the 04037 (That’s our zip code). If you’re returning to camp, you’ll be excited by these new updates. For our first-timers, we’re in the middle of some new projects that you can check out this summer!


    At Indian Acres:

    We’re setting up shop for the Pickleball Craze! Two Pickleball dedicated courts are being added, separate from the tennis courts. Speaking of the tennis courts, those are in the process of being resurfaced for the summer. Indian Acres Fryeburg ME

    Look for new tables, stools, and flooring in the Art Center too.Indian Acres Art Maine

    The cabins are getting some TLC too! A bathroom renovation project for all cabins has begun and should be completed by 2020.

    At Forest Acres:

    Mealtime is going to be a lot more exciting! The floors in Tanglewood are freshly resurfaced.

    Tanglewood Forest Acres Fryeburg, ME

    Just like at IA, the Forest Acres Art Center is getting new flooring, tables, and stools for the summer!Forest Acres Art Fryeburg, ME

    The floors in Tip Top have also been resurfaced, completing the 2017 renovation project.


    95th Anniversary Reunion

    That’s right! Immediately following Parents’ Weekend, we’re celebrating our 95th Anniversary. Former campers and even some counselors, will be coming back “home” for a weekend of fun, memories, and celebration of our illustrious 95-year history.

    Have you registered to attend the 95th Anniversary Reunion? An email invitation was sent a few weeks back, so make sure to check your spam folder if you didn’t see that email. For alumni who didn’t receive an email, please email Moe Burness to make sure we have your current contact information. If you’re a former staff member and you are interested in attending, please reach out to Moe for more information.

    We are looking forward to seeing you at camp this summer!