History

History

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Camp Chewonki for boys (originally Split Rock Camp) was founded in 1915 on the western shores of Lake Champlain by a young educator named Clarence Allen. In 1918 he moved his operation to Wiscasset, Maine, to the southern half of Chewonki Neck, a 400-acre peninsula on Montsweag Bay. Clarence and a committed staff ran the camp successfully through both World Wars, the Depression, and into the 1960s.

In 1962 a group of loyal camp alumni formed a nonprofit corporation called the Chewonki Foundation and embarked on a capital campaign to raise funds to buy the camp. The campaign was successful, and shortly later “The Boys bought out The Boss.” Clarence retired in 1965, and in 1966 the foundation hired a young teacher named Tim Ellis, who had grown up at Chewonki, to succeed him. Under Tim’s leadership, Chewonki began experimenting in the 1970s with year-round programs and more extensive wilderness trips. Thus began Chewonki’s transformation into a full-time, year-round educational institution.

Today Chewonki continues to maintain its traditional boys camp. It also offers residential summer camp programs, coed leadership expeditions, a broad array of environmental education programs, traveling natural history education programs, workshops for adults, and two schools: Maine Coast Semester at Chewonki and Chewonki Elementary & Middle School.