Where is Cedar located?
Camp Cedar is located on Coffee Pond in Casco, ME about 20 miles northwest of Portland. With its 300 acres of woods, fields, and lakefront, Cedar offers a true haven from city living and a real New England experience. Only a short 2.5-hour drive from Boston and less than an hour from the Maine Coast and the majestic White Mountains of New Hampshire, Camp Cedar is the perfect place to spend the summer.
Who are the Directors of Camp Cedar?
Camp Cedar is the classic family camp having been family owned and operated since its founding in 1954. Today, Jeff Hacker and his sister Sue Hacker-Wolf are the full-time, year-round directors of Cedar and carry on the camping tradition established by their parents and uncle, Bill, Sheila, and Henry Hacker. Jeff, with a strong athletic and coaching background, oversees programming and activities at Camp, while Sue, a former special education teacher serves as the “camp mom” and primary parent liaison. Joining Jeff and Sue as directors are Jeff’s wife, Karen Prince, a pre-school teacher and Head Counselor of the Warriors (2nd and 3rd graders) and Sue’s husband, Adam Wolf, a licensed psychologist and a middle school assistant principal, as well as the Head Counselor of the Sophomores (boys finishing 5th grade).
How many campers are there and how are the campers organized?
Each summer, Camp Cedar welcomes 270 boys ages 8-15. We view this as the perfect size – large enough to offer all the options, facilities and diversity of the largest camps, yet small enough to individualize each camper’s day, have an active Big Brother/Little Brother program and deliver a common Cedar experience shared by the entire camp. While operating as one camp, the boys are organized into six groups – Super Warriors/Warriors (finishing 2nd and 3rd grade), Freshmen (4th), Sophomores (5th), Juniors (6th), Inters (7th), Senior 1/Senior 2 (8th and 9th).
Where do most Cedar campers come from?
Cedar campers come from all over the United States, including sizable groups from New York City, Westchester, North Jersey, Philadelphia, and Boston. We have smaller groups from Baltimore, Washington DC, Florida, Long Island, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver and a few others from Texas, New Hampshire, Vermont, California, and London.
How do the children get to camp?
The majority of campers get to Cedar via bus (we have busses that leave from Port Chester, Boston, and Connecticut) or on chaperoned flights from numerous locations. Of course, parents are welcome to bring their boys up to Maine and drop them off on opening day.
What can you tell us about your staff?
Our exceptional staff is recruited by the camp directors, Jeff Hacker and Sue Hacker-Wolf and the Camp Cedar Human Resources Team. We look for individuals who not only have the ability to teach our program activities but also have a deep interest in working with kids and can serve as good role models for our campers. We were one of the first boys’ camps to hire female counselors 25 years ago and believe this contributes to the nurturing environment we provide for our campers. All Cedar staff undergoes extensive training and team-building exercises in our eight-day pre-camp orientation program. Our core Cedar Staff includes teachers and coaches whose camp experience helps cultivate a deep sense of tradition that permeates our summer camp program.
What can you tell us about your program?
At Cedar, we offer a full program of activities ranging from individual and team sports such as basketball, baseball, soccer, hockey, lacrosse, tennis, volleyball, swimming, biking, sailing, water-skiing and golf to outdoor education and adventure programming including hiking, nature, trips, zip line and ropes course as well as a full slate of creative arts programming. The younger campers have a structured program that ensures their experience is as diverse as possible while building in choice periods that ensure they get enough of their favorite sports. As the campers get older, they have more opportunity to choose areas they wish to focus on. The program includes instructional periods, practices and competitions as well as special events and weekly trips. Our program also incorporates time in the day to let kids enjoy just being kids with time to play – be it traditional camp games such as gaga, capture the flag and roofball or knockout, ping pong or a game they invent themselves.
How does the program work for older campers?
For our older campers, the program includes an increased number of choice periods allowing a kid who’s really passionate about something to specialize in developing their skills in that particular area.
What time do campers get up in the morning and when is bedtime?
Reveille is at 7:50 each morning and lights out is staggered based upon age. Our littlest guys tend to go to bed around 9:00 pm and our oldest campers around 10:30 pm.
What opportunities are there for the boys to socialize with girls?
We participate in brother/sister/cousin days with a variety of the local girls' camps, including Mataponi, Fernwood, Vega, Pinecliffe, Matoaka and others. We also have some special all-camp activities such as a Quiz Show with Fernwood and dances with a number of these camps for our older boys.
Is there inter-camp competition and do you have to “make” the team?
Cedar is dedicated to ensuring all boys have an opportunity to develop their skills, to play and have fun no matter what their ability. There are several levels of competition available at camp: Intramurals, intercamps, and tournaments. Each Sunday morning, the entire camp participates in our intramural Pizza League, designed to provide the boys with an opportunity to use the skills they’ve been working on during the week in a game situation. Intercamps begin after 4th grade where the entire age group is divided into even teams and every camper plays. All of our boys have the opportunity to participate in tournament play which begins after 5th grade with A and B teams competing in a variety of sports including soccer, basketball, baseball, lacrosse, tennis, swimming and more. No matter which level of competition our boys are involved in, play always centers on fun and sportsmanship.
Is Cedar a uniform camp?
No, Cedar is not a uniform camp. For many, wearing the Cedar clothing is easy and the boys seem to enjoy it. We do require uniforms for intercamp and tournament games as well for trips off camp property. At other times campers can choose to wear casual sports clothes.
What are the cabins like at Cedar? Do they have electricity and plumbing? What about showers?
Our cabins are spacious, freestanding wooden structures with ample cubby space for clothes and equipment as well as electricity, sinks, and toilets. Recently renovated, our cabins have generous play areas and also feature ceiling fans, smoke detectors and working windows with screens. Individual shower houses are located outside the cabins. Each cabin has approximately 8-14campers and four counselors.
Are there religious services at camp?
We do not have religious services at camp. Each Friday evening, we hold a values-oriented all-camp meeting at our beautiful lakefront, where campers receive certificates of achievement reflecting Cedar’s ideals and together we set goals for the following week. In addition, a group of campers is selected as the weeks’ honor group and leads the camp in one of our favorite traditions – the “Camp Echo.”
What’s the food like at Cedar? Do all campers eat at the same time?
Our head chef, Gill Stansfield, is a department chair at the Johnston & Wales Culinary Institute and ensures that our menus are healthy and kid-friendly. Campers eat with their bunkmates and food is served family-style. At breakfast, in addition to the main course, bagels, eggs, yogurt, and fresh fruit are always available. At lunch and dinner, we also offer a pasta bar, soup bar, and salad bar. Fresh fruit is available all day long and every afternoon the boys are treated to the most delicious homemade chocolate chip cookies and milk. Meals are a shared experience where the entire camp eats together.
What kind of medical facilities and personnel are available?
Cedar has an air-conditioned Health Center with five RNs and a physician on-site. Our head nurse has been with Cedar for 17 years and is the former President of the Camp Nursing Association. Bridgton Hospital is 20 minutes away from camp in the event further medical treatment is needed.
Do all campers stay for a full summer?
Almost all campers stay at Cedar for the full seven-week session. However, we offer a limited number of spots for first-time campers to come for a shortened session.
Do you have Grandparents Visiting Day?
We do not have a set Grandparents Visiting Day, but visiting arrangements can be made by contacting the camp office at (207) 627-4266.
Are electronics allowed at camp?
No. We believe that there is tremendous value in giving kids an opportunity to unplug, build new friendships and enjoy all that Camp Cedar has to offer. Hand-held video games, cell phones, and electronics that provide internet access or feature video screens are not allowed at camp.