Since it’s founding nearly 50 years ago…
Camp Susan Curtis has impacted the lives of more than 18,000 children, working towards a greater vision that all Maine children feel valued and have the opportunity to thrive.
Every Maine child deserves to know and realize their full potential. Campers come from across the State of Maine and are referred directly by their school counselors to Camp Susan Curtis. All campers demonstrate financial need. The overnight camp experience, which is offered at no cost to campers, is made possible with the support of individuals, businesses, and community organizations.
Together we are making an impact
1 in 5 Maine high school students…
Have experienced 4+ Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), traumatic events that can affect positive development. Children with 4+ ACEs are more likely to experience bullying, suffer from depression, and consider suicide. At Camp Susan Curtis, caring adults teach kids coping skills that help them feel safe, build self-esteem and resiliency, and put them on a path to success.
Maine ranks first…
in New England for childhood food insecurity. 20% of Maine kids are food insecure and 43% of Maine kids rely on school meals. At camp, kids can depend on 3 meals a day plus healthy snacks. Campers know how to advocate for regular meals, learning healthy eating habits, and get tips on cooking nutritious foods at home.
1 in 6 children struggle with mental health
In Maine, parents of 1 in 6 children report their child has depression and anxiety – the highest rate in the nation. But immersion in the outdoors can improve mental and emotional health by reducing stress and fatigue, building confidence, and promoting creativity. At camp, kids enjoy many outdoor activities, from kayaking to learning about salamanders, to help them build confidence while engaging with nature.
43% of 4th graders struggle to read
Only 43% of Maine 4th grade students facing economic hardship are proficient in reading, compared to 67% of students from higher income households. At Camp Susan Curtis, we provide a supportive environment to help kids develop the foundational skills that will impact their future. In addition to participating in nightly cabin read-alouds, all campers are given a book to take home with them.
41% of Maine students face economic hardship
As of 2020, 40.7% of Maine students are considered economically disadvantaged. Of those students, on average only half successfully graduate from high school and enroll in postsecondary education. Our Leadership Development program helps campers develop critical life skills and explore postsecondary opportunities with the goal of increasing high school graduation rates, encouraging kids to pursue higher education and career aspirations, and improving their overall quality of life.
HEAR THE DIFFERENCE CAMP MAKES
Here’s what campers and school referral partners have to say about what Camp Susan Curtis means to them.
“Camp Susan Curtis gave me the opportunity to be a kid while building critical character skills that helped shape my young life.”
– Airikah, Camp Alumna
“Camp has shown me that I can be myself wherever I am. Camp has taught me confidence and self-respect.”
– Camper Brandon
“What I love about camp is the constant feeling of happiness and the amount of enthusiasm all of the campers and staff use and I look forward to coming back future years.”
– Camper Ashton
“As Camp Susan Curtis provides a place for kids to have these healing experiences, they tap into their own resilience, and share their light with the communities around them.”
– Elyse Corbett, Ph.D, Licensed Psychologist, Former Camper & Current Board Member
“The one student I recommended for Camp Susan Curtis has beautifully handled unkind words from peers. He rose above it, brushed it off, addressed it with the appropriate adults, etc. He is more confident in speaking up for himself and his friends. He is well-liked by all peers.”
“This student has become someone that others feel safe with. She has become a leader in quiet ways, joining Civil Rights Team and becoming an active member. She still has one best friend, but others see her as more approachable now. She has experienced a recent considerable loss since summer, and I believe this experience helped to sustain her.”
“I’ve taken time to visit camp the past three summers. Seeing their active bodies running by with a moment to say hello and let me know how happy they are to be at camp makes it all worthwhile. I can’t wait to give this gift to my students next summer.”
– Testimonials From School Referral Partners
Giving our campers a path to success
Our Logic Model presents a pathway to thriving for our campers, and integrates proven approaches, community priorities, and input from key stakeholder groups and partners.