Chewonki is a school, camp and environmental education organization based in Wiscasset, Maine, that inspires transformative growth, teaches appreciation and stewardship of the natural world, and challenges people to build thriving, sustainable communities throughout their lives. Chewonki is a 501(c) non-profit organization.
- Camp Chewonki for Boys, which began as Split Rock Camp on Lake Champlain in 1915 and moved to Chewonki Neck in 1918, serves about 250 boys each summer in a residential program that emphasizes fun, friendship, self-knowledge, outdoor activities, and backcountry trips.
- Camp Chewonki for Girls, originating with our first all-girls program in 2000, serves about 75-100 girls each summer in outdoor experiences that emphasize fun, friendship, self-knowledge, outdoor activities, and backcountry trips.
- Chewonki Leadership Expeditions serves about 90 boys and girls each summer. We began offering multi-week, coed trips for teens in 1976. Shorter backcountry trips are integrated into Boys Camp, Girls Camp, Maine Coast Semester, Elementary School, and some Outdoor Classroom programs.
- Maine Coast Semester at Chewonki
Maine Coast Semester at Chewonki is a semester-long academically rigorous residential program in Wiscasset, Maine, serving high school juniors. Learning takes place in classrooms, in the field, on the coast, at the farm, in the forest, and on extended wilderness trips. Side by side with their teachers, students explore the concepts behind human ecology, the intersection between humans and their natural, social, and built environments.
Chewonki Elementary and Middle School opened in 2015 and currently serves 44 students in grades 3-7. The school offers an interdisciplinary, place-based curriculum drawing on Chewonki’s resources to provide academic and experiential learning in a supportive community.
Chewonki Education Partnerships
- Outdoor Classroom began with Chewonki’s first environmental education programs in 1970. Student groups from public and independent schools come to Chewonki for instructor-led, field-based learning that enhances their school curriculum. Last year, 1,592 students from 40 schools came to the Outdoor Classroom.
- Chewonki Traveling Natural History Program educators take natural history lessons, often including live animals, to schools, libraries, and other community settings across Maine. Last year, we presented 865 programs in front of approximately 26,356 people in 139 locations.
- The Local Schools Initiative is the collaborative work we do with public schools in Wiscasset and neighboring communities to support local children’s academic, social, and physical development. We collaborate with four other outstanding environmental education organizations to raise funds to support this effort at sites across Maine.
- Waypoint is an experimental seven-year-long mentorship program primarily funded by the Emanuel and Pauline A. Lerner Foundation. The goal is to raise the aspirations of Maine public school youth in rural areas. We welcomed the first 20 seventh-grade Bath school system students in January 2018 and the second in January 2019. A new cohort will join Waypoint each year for six years.
Each year Chewonki touches the lives of nearly 20,000 young people in programs that range from one hour to one year.