As a new tenant for what was previously called Camp Hawthorne on Panther Pond in Raymond, Slovenski Camps will offer a diverse array of “camp weeks” this summer on a 90-acre peninsula jutting into the pond.
Does your child needs help studying for the SATs? Instruction while surrounded by towering pines near the water’s edge is just one offering. Tutoring will take place on tables in the camp’s dining hall on Panther Pond. Every table has a view of the water through large screened windows.
Not the parent of a brainy type? Perhaps brawn is more to your child’s liking? Consider a “strength and conditioning week” where a Spartan warrior-like exercise curriculum begins with a morning dip in the pond, followed by tug-of-war and boxing sessions.
“The camp is on one of the most beautiful lake peninsulas in southern Maine,” said camp founder Peter Slovenski. “It has a beautiful beach for water sports and a big field for land sports. It’s a fantastic location for athletic programs. The camp was built around 1920 and the cabins are all right on the lake. In every cabin you fall asleep listening to waves, frogs, and loons.”
There are also programs for adults and families. Sessions start in mid-June. An adult “knitting camp” will allow one to work on a sweater or a pair of mittens on cabin porches overlooking the lake or in chairs on the sandy beach. Shopping trips to Freeport and L.L. Bean will round out the week.
For nearly 25 years Slovenski has been coaching at Bowdoin College. But he was a camper himself as a child in Casco and Raymond at Camps Arcadia and Agawam.
Sports run deep in the Slovenski family. Peter’s father was the track coach at Bates College. Peter graduated from Lewiston High school in 1974, where he was the state pole vault champion. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1979 with a bachelor’s in English, and earned his master’s degree in education administration from Stanford University in 1980. He is the founder and director of the Bowdoin College Summer Day Camp (1989), founder and co-director of the Dick Fosbury Track Camp, and head coach of track and cross-country at Bowdoin.
A visit to the camp’s website, www.slovenskicamps.com, reveals 11 different camp programs.
“We are trying to match our programs to the way teenagers want to spend their summers,” Slovenski said. “They want specialty instruction in sports, music, and academics, but they also want to do some other things in the summer, so we designed the programs to be short and affordable.”
The “strength and conditioning camp” seeks to make athletes faster at their game. Slovenski said group training typically produces better results. Area high school coaches and college athletes will be providing instruction.
“High school athletes all over Maine will be striving to get ready for fall sports this summer,” Slovenski said.
“We will have high school coaches and college athletes leading creative and fun summer training exercises for athletes who want to get ready for football, field hockey, and soccer. Athletes can work out at home, but working out in coaching groups by a lake this summer will be the best fun and training. Our staff has a lot of track experience, and we spend a lot of time making athletes faster.”
As a bonus, many Lake Region residents are eligible for a discount. Campers from Raymond, Windham, Poland, Naples, Gray and Casco will receive $100 off advertised prices.
“Our programs are the best antidote for cell phone culture and nature deficit disorder,” Slovenski said. “Campers will be in cabins 20 yards from the water’s edge. The loons sing at night. We’ve got a swamp, an island, a river, a beach, and a beautiful deep blue lake to explore. We’ll have campfires every night with stories about heroism and adventure.”
Don Perkins is a freelance writer who lives in Raymond. He can be reached at: