About Camp Nor’wester
Established in 1935, Camp Nor’wester is a co-ed residential summer camp for girls and boys ages 9-16. The camp's activities, outlined in the Program section of this website, are designed to teach traditional camping and outdoor skills, waterfront skills including sailing, canoeing, and kayaking, as well as biking, archery, arts and crafts, singing and drama. All aspects of the program are supported by a strong ethic of stewardship with an emphasis on community living.
What makes Camp Nor’wester unique?
Any great camp will provide campers and staff alike with a positive and memorable experience. Our goal is to provide a safe and beautiful setting where campers can learn more about themselves, their strengths and talents. But how we accomplish this is a bit different than many camps today.
We strive to minimize the distractions often found in the 'real-world' and maximize everyone's exposure to a more basic way of living. While not primitive, we are rustic—we use outhouses vs. flush toilets, build wood fires to heat water for our showers, live in tipis and tents, learn how to build tarp shelters, dig pit latrines, start one-match fires, give up electronic gadgets, email and the internet. Basically, we 'unplug' for the summer and learn to live without some modern day conveniences and without many distractions of our often times hectic modern life.
Under our Unit System campers are grouped according to grade level and they participate in the majority of their activities as a unit. This structure promotes an intensive group living experience. While campers try new activities or improve their skills in familiar areas they are also learning to live together. A good portion of our work is focused on giving support and guidance to our campers through the conflicts and issues that naturally arise out of such an environment. This requires compassionate and competent leadership.
While not unusual on the east coast, our 4-week session is considered long by west coast standards. For us it supports our focus on group living and community. Group development follows a natural progression which can only be fully realized with an extended stay program.