My first time driving down Chewonki Neck Road I was a passenger both in travel and purpose. I was 10 years old, dropping my brother off with my parents for his first Chewonki wilderness trip. For the next six years Chewonki resonated its experience in my family between my brother and cousins, but remained a place I didn’t really understand. My personal relationship began in the summer of 2006 when I was a tripper on Maine Coast Kayak and to this day it was one of the best adventures of my life, I still think of the memories on that trip. From that summer on, I returned in June with a giddy excitement generally reserved for Christmas morning. Transitioning from tripper to staff member made my time spent at Chewonki all the more enjoyable. For five summers I felt like I was giving back to a community that had given me so much, and continued to give. To me, it is impossible to find a place that gives me the sense of peace and comfort that Chewonki does, while still pushing me to better myself in big and small ways. You can ask anyone in my life outside of Chewonki what my biggest love is, and they’ll know the answer because the majority of the time I am found singing the praises of a small boys camp on the coast of Maine. Working at camp has shown me how much of a difference nature, support, and love can make in a young boy’s life. With a network of passionate people these boys and young men have the space they can feel comfortable enough to push themselves in, to explore and to make life long friends. I truly consider it a privilege to be a part of this network and honored to be fortunate enough to come back summer after summer. The few years I have not been able to be at camp during the summer I found a longing on Saturday nights to be laughing at campfire, or dueling the Sags on a Sunday night of Rocks. At times I even found myself thinking about making hundreds (and hundreds) of sunbutter and jelly sandwiches the night before a Tent Day. It is safe to say that if you find yourself longing for mass-producing sandwiches you have found a pretty special place. I’ll never be able to praise Chewonki enough for how much it’s given me and what it means, instead I will try my best to spread the good word and try to impassion people the way it has me. Bio: Colleen Hamilton was a Chewonki Wilderness Tripper on the 2006 Maine Coast Kayak trip, and worked at Chewonki Camp for Boys staff 2007-09, 2011-12. Read more stories like this one from Chewonki alumni, family, and friends in the centennial book, Chewonki:100 Years of Learning Outdoors. This inspiring portrait of the place, people, and programs that are the heart of Chewonki includes 256 pages of beautiful, full color photographs, thoughtful reflections by alumni and past and present leaders, and lots of stories.