At Tanglewood everyone has a focus group they pick on a Sunday evening and are in all week. Every day focus time is between 9 and 11 in the morning and depending on which focus you’re in you might do very different things — including going on awesome adventures which go on past 11! Because you’re in the same focus all week it’s likely that BIG and exciting things will happen!
Our focuses often have different names, or sometimes we have special focuses, but you can count on these themes being included:
Ever feel dramatic? Like to perform? Wondered how to really throw your voice out into a crowd? The drama focus is filled with games, acting skills, puppetry, shadows, dancing and often some music. Imagination is vital, being silly makes it all more fun, and the ability to make something out of nothing is all the difference between good and great! Sometimes the actors team up with the artists to cook up special surprises. At the end of the week we all celebrate with a performance for all to see.
Paint. It’s a wonderful thing, but have you ever tried throwing down the brushes and using leaves? Wouldn’t it be cool to recreate the natural beauty all around you for others to experience? Judging by what we’ve seen in the past the art focus is never a dull place to be. Discover how to work with clay or make natural sculptures to display around camp. Experiment making rope or mats out of natural materials, play with wool, and get dirty making charcoal. Each week is a little different – only limited by imagination, see where your creativity takes you.
Gardens are simply the best place to be on a summer’s day. Find out about where our food comes from, what plants need to grow, how the FBI plays a big role in making compost, and how to look after the plants in our huge vegetable garden. Throughout the summer we also get to harvest things to eat from the garden too: strawberries, peas, carrots, lettuce and more! There’s even trips to local farms to see what kinds of things people are producing locally in Maine. And, getting to our own garden is always fun because we travel by bike.
Water’s really refreshing on a hot summer’s day and also the most important thing needed for life on our planet. Tanglewood is connected to the ocean by way of the Ducktrap River. Emphasizing the importance of water in our daily lives, this diverse and active program explores freshwater and pond ecosystems, as well as life on the intertidal seashore. Explore where water comes from, where it goes, what kinds of things live in the water and just why it’s so important to us. We often go on excursions to the ocean to check out tidal pools, get muddy in the forest and go pond scooping. Occasionally there’s even cannon-ball contests.
The unique and historical Tanglewood forest, teeming with many ecosystems and microhabitats surrounds our camp. Campers spend mornings exploring the tangled woods and discovering what makes them so special; you might even get to see into the future to see what the next generation forest will be. With map and compass skills, bow saws and lopers, you will get hands-on practice in forest management. The week will wrap up with some friendly competition around fire, boiling water, and protecting yourself from the elements through some intense shelter building.
“Cooperation, communication and consideration” are the 3 Cs a camper once said you need to remember for working together well as a team. This focus is all about being able to work together and accomplish really amazing things together as a group. Whether crossing a terrible river of peanut butter, writing a song or experimenting with the mechanics of electricity, this focus is hands-on! More than simply doing group building activities on the challenge course, discover skills it takes to be a leader through community-based projects.
Do you have the skills it takes to live in the woods? In a few short days campers can hike through the woods without a map (without getting lost either), create weather-proof shelters, learn knots, track wildlife, build fires, set up tents blindfolded, break codes, solve mysteries and even figure out what to do in an emergency! Through big adventures, teamwork and a little imagination, you too can discover the balance between humans and nature and how we can make as little impact on the world as possible. Become a Tanglewood survivor.