Like every vibrant community, Camp Chewonki needs many hands to make it work. “There’s always lots that needs to be done,” says Evan Feinberg, a senior Boys Camp counselor in his 13th Chewonki summer. “People need help, and we can help.”
Through the Osprey Service Projects Feinberg is leading this summer, the oldest campers, Ospreys (ages 13-15 years old), are helping get things done for Chewonki, learning skills, and deepening their understanding of the human and ecological systems that support life on Chewonki Neck.
“We’re paying it forward, developing a work ethic and a sense of responsibility to our community,” Feinberg says. “It’s good for these young guys to realize that life is not necessarily all about what’s right in front of them. They can contribute to something bigger.”
Osprey Service Projects are “purely volunteer,” notes Feinberg. “We’re shooting to do it twice a week. I tell them about the project and they pitch in if they want to…These guys are lending their time and energy to complete tasks for the good of Chewonki as a whole. It’s been great so far. They seem to be taking ownership and are definitely getting the work done.”
Osprey Owen Damon from Hollis, New Hampshire, agrees. “It’s been really fun,” he says with a big smile. “I like it.” This week, Osprey volunteers have been processing wood that Maine Coast Semester at Chewonki students will burn to stay warm next winter.
Feinberg sat down at the beginning of the summer with Carob Arnold, facilities manager, and Megan Phillips, farm manager, to identify appropriate projects.
“We chose projects that really have a purpose and also have an educational component,” Feinberg explains. “We want the work to connect to place and also build skills.”
Feinberg credits his years as a camper and counselor for growing his leadership ability. “Being at Chewonki has given me a sense of responsibility, confidence, the ability to stand up in front of a group of people and communicate,” he says.
A native of New York City, Feinberg lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, and teaches skiing when he’s not skiing himself. He graduated in 2016 with a degree in political science from Gettysburg College. He is planning to become an outdoor education teacher. (Funny thing: he already is one.)