Camp Caribou in the News
With over 12,000 summer camps across the United States, it can be daunting for parents to search for, vet and select the best camp for their kids. Choosing a summer program requires careful consideration of a camper’s interests and personality. To that end, Newsweek and Plant-A Insights Group (“Plant-A”) have partnered to determine the 500 best summer camps in the U.S. “America’s Best Summer Camps 2023” recognizes the top summer camps in the United States.
Located on a stunning, 200-acre peninsula in Winslow, Maine, Camp Caribou is a premier overnight summer camp for boys ages 7-15. Dedicated staff facilitates a comprehensive assortment of land and water sports, challenging adventure and wilderness opportunities, as well as creative and culinary arts. The Caribou boys are warm, welcoming, and love to play. Through a balance of instructional and elective activity, they develop new skills and are able to specialize in areas of interest. Campers gain self-confidence through every aspect of their 3.5 or 7-week camp experience, acquiring life skills through social interaction and mentorship in a fun and safe environment. Self-esteem is built through the discovery of new abilities and friendships. Values of kindness and mutual respect serve as the framework of Camp Caribou’s community. For three generations, the Lerman family has created “Unforgettable Summers” for countless campers, staff and their families.
Near the end of visiting day, the Lermans got the whole camp together at the campfire. They reminded us about the importance of being nice and thanked us (parents) for sharing our boys with them. We sang the camp songs, tried to understand the inside jokes, but most of all, we felt the spirit. It’s always hard to say good-bye, but I knew Daniel was in good hands. And was learning something with far more impact than another skill or language. He was learning how to be human. He was bringing his human to camp.
The notion of Mr. Lerman being the first American someone from another country gets to know is an interesting one. A hyperactive 52-year-old with a lion-colored mane of shoulder-length hair and a thick mustache, Mr. Lerman resembles a cross between the rocker Joe Walsh and the rocker-outdoorsman-television personality Ted Nugent, spends most of the summer tearing around the grounds on a mountain bike, an A.T.V. or a golf cart, and speaks in a working-class Boston accent thicker than the sludge at the bottom of a can of baked beans. (His two favorite words are ”dude” and ”sweet,” the latter of which he pronounces ”swaaate.”)
This is a selective list of traditional summer camps based on interviews with campers, parents, staff, directors, and others who have personal knowledge of camp facilities and programs, and a guide to free area referral services that can help you find the right camp for your child. Caribou has been run by the same family since 1968, and some things (like archery, waterfront activities, and top-notch coaching) haven’t changed. There’s also a new, 10,000-square-foot gym and facilities for virtually every kind of sport.
It’s truly a family environment,” Sudbury teenager Brett Siegal said. Next summer will be Siegal’s eighth year at Camp Caribou, and he’ll work as a counselor after spending six as a camper and one as a counselor-in-training. “It’s a place where you make your best friends.”
For thousands of kids all around the United States, spending a week or two (or longer!) at camp is a staple of summer. A great summer camp is easy to define. It is a magical place where boys and girls can make friends, discover new interests, and find their independence. At the same time, they’re taught important values such as teamwork and cooperation. Best of all, they do all of this surrounded by majestic lakes, mountains, and other beautiful natural settings.
Camp Caribou has been in action ever since 1968, helping boys to develop outdoor skills, adventure knowledge, and to develop the kind of leadership and communication skills that will serve them well in our modern world. Camp Caribou has been described as an “outdoor classroom”, a camp that really wants to teach boys that are staying for the summer the kinds of lessons that will pay big dividends for the rest of their lives.
Sending a child to overnight camp is a substantial commitment — often a considerable financial investment, always a deeply personal and emotional one. Over sustained periods of time and varying distances, families entrust camps with those they hold most dear. As such, this is a decision that should be thoroughly well-informed, and this is precisely what led me to the Lermans’ front door in February of 2011.
The Lerman family’s philosophy is based on the belief that summer camp should feel like a home away from home.