“Ketcha After Dark is an evening out for grownups that hopes to capture the fun and laughter that Camp Ketcha brings to kids through summer camp and other programs on our property,” said Tom Doherty, the beloved camp’s executive director, of its annual fall fundraiser.

With a roaring fire pit, an archery station, and a menu that included gourmet hot dogs, hearty chili and s’mores, Ketcha After Dark did not disappoint. Situated on a serene stretch of land near several of Scarborough’s beaches, the early evening soirée was rustic, charming and full of families and other folks who have supported Camp Ketcha for generations.

“This is a good organization, and we think the world of Tom,” said Phil Coupe, a Scarborough resident, who was joined by his friend Dick Boardman. “It’s a great thing to support.”

“Our son Noah, whose nickname is Ceeat, has been coming here for three summers,” said Jessica May, deputy director and chief curator at the Portland Museum of Art. “He’s 9, and it’s been magical. He always has a big smile on his face, and the people here work so hard.”

May, who attended with her wife, architect Karen Bala, chatted with friends Emma Lockwood, proprietor of Ocean & D studio and shop in South Portland, and Phil Simon of CIEE, an education exchange nonprofit based in Portland.

Camp Ketcha, a nonprofit organization located on 107 acres of meadows, forest and walking trails on Black Point Road in Scarborough, serves the southern Maine community year-round with day camp and enrichment programming.

“We’re always trying to get people here to our property to see it and spend time on it,” said Liz Lanoue, board president and mother of two, who attended with her husband Chris. “Here is this beautiful swatch of 100 acres, and we consider ourselves stewards of this land. It’s open to everyone, with great walking trails, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.”

“We started school recently, and all of the kids have been talking about what they did this summer,” said Marcia Grant, a physical education and health teacher at Blue Point School in Scarborough, who was joined by Jeanie Bourke, an employee of the City of Portland.

“It’s the classic Maine outdoor experience, spending summers outside, being active, and they were happy,” she went on to say. “Which makes me happy. It’s so fun to come out and play games. I love it!”

“We love to have our fundraising events aligned with our mission, to connect kids of all ages with the outdoors and to create a community,” said Doherty, who was joined by his wife, Kate Connolly, and son Jack. “And it gives adults a chance to sample a few of the activities that the kids do at Camp Ketcha year-round and to remind us that we all deserve some time to play and be silly with our friends.”

Margaret Logan is a freelance writer who lives in Scarborough. She can be reached at:

[email protected]

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