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 12 in the morning and depending on which focus you’re in you might do very different things! Because you’re in the same focus all week it’s likely that BIG and exciting things will happen!
This list is a sampling of common focus programs from summers past; some program names and offerings may be subject to change.
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. Open to all ages.
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. Open to all ages and abilities.
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. Open to all ages, campers must be able to pedal 2+ miles.
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. Open to all ages, campers must pass swim test.
In schools it is called service learning, at Tanglewood it called getting things done while having fun. Those in this focus will kick off the week with group building and communication before choosing a project for focus on for the week. Campers will feel a real sense of accomplishment and seeing their work take shape throughout the week as they master the art of using tools safely while working collaboratively on the choice project. Staff will serve as mentors and guides in this camper directed focus. Get ready for a hands-on, boots to the ground time as you learn skills and do your part to “make the best better.” Open to ages 11 and older.
What happens when you flip a switch? The light comes on, but how? Turn on your x-ray vision and become an investigator into the mechanical marvels all around us. Capture energy from the sun to heat up food, use wind to turn a fan, experiment with chemical reactions to turn on lights and discover force and trajectory with everyone’s favorite camp activity! Discover the fun in every-day marvels through problem solving and group-based activities. Open to all ages.
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, translation: you will learn how to safely and effectively cut down trees! The week will wrap up with some friendly competition around fire, boiling water, and protecting yourself from the elements through some intense shelter building. Open to ages 11 and older.
“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. Open to ages 12 and older.
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 build miniature stoves! 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. Open to ages 11 and older.
Think about it, a focus where you can hone your archery skills! Our Genesis Bows are perfect for the young shooter. We’ll start with the basics and spend the week honing accuracy and shooting form, practicing safety, and making our own targets. By the end of the week, you’ll hit those bulls-eyes, have greater confidence and patience, and have fun. All archery programs are taught by certified 4-H Shooting Sports Instructors. Open to all ages and abilities.
Music in the tangled woods has to be one of the most magical sounds out there. This new focus includes not only include learning how to play accessible instruments like guitar and ukulele, but also learning about music that can be found in nature. We’ll take nature hikes and learn about different bird calls and other naturally-produced sounds in the forest and make instruments out of recycled materials and create names for them. The week will culminate with a musical production with songs written and performed by you with your new instruments. Open to all ages and abilities.
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Image Description: L3 project with MCC
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