American Sign Language at Sleepaway Camp

Word of the Day – American Sign Language Style!

Our Word of the Day is an event at camp that has become a tradition. This summer the WOD was brought to us by Izzy Snyder. She included ALS signs to every word and taught them to the whole camp. Izzy is studying to be an interpreter for the deaf and we learned signs in both sessions at Runoia.

At the end of this session, Keira, a 10 year old camper, wrote a story including some of the signs (the underlined words) we learned in second session at Camp Runoia:

Welcome to the Obscure Challenge.

Here your perseverance, laughter and experience will be staunch and most wanted. During this challenge you will trudge through vegetation. If you win you should feel bittersweet because much worse awaits you after winning. IF you lose you do not have to face what will come, so you should feel grateful. In the next part of the challenge, you will face a question that most people are not imaginative enough to figure out. IF you find the answer it means you have a lot of positivity and you will be flabbergasted by the winner. This is a competition (friendly) of the mind. The winner has a strong mind with tons of inner strength.

Keira, thanks for sharing your great story!

Mountain Biking at Runoia and beyond

As the crisp autumn air flows in, I am reassured as to why I live in New England.  For the seasons.  Now is a perfect time to get outdoors and enjoy all that New England has to offer. Perhaps a swift hike in the woods or a leisurely walk along the water suits you.  For me, I want to go mountain biking.

bike2I was so inspired last summer spending time mountain biking with the girls of Camp Runoia.  It is truly a gift to be able to pass on my passion for a great sport onto these young ladies.  To watch their eagerness to learn and explore is a tough feeling to beat.  I started mountain biking back in the early nineties when the sport first started to take off.  Historically, this has been a sport dominated by men, but the question remains, how do we get more girls and women involved in this great sport?  When I came to Runoia, I was thrilled to see that we had a mountain bike program.  What a great way to expose our girls to a sport they may not be exposed to otherwise.  As the bike technology advances and trails and parks become more accessible, my hope is that more young women will try mountain biking.    I wanted to share something that a local mountain bike park that I ride at in New Hampshire hosted last weekend.  Click here to see a short video with some highlights from the “Women’s Freeride Festival” hosted by Highland Mountain Bike Park.

bike1Highland Mountain Bike Park is a very progressive place which is really on the cutting edge of the sport. Constantly creating new terrain and technical elements, they draw amateur and professional riders from all over the world.  I feel lucky to have this resource not far from home.  They obviously recognize that in order to sustain a sport like this and a facility like this, they need more riders.  I’m sure that this workshop inspired so many women to get into this sport or if already in it, it empowered them to take it to the next level.  This is a sport all about personal growth. You can go as slow or as fast as you want…as big or as small as you want.  What a feeling when you accomplish the next big challenge for the first time.  It truly gives you a great sense of power and accomplishment.

bike3If you have never mountain biked, I encourage you to give it a try!  This is an amazing sport which is here to stay.  I look forward to many more “Fine Maine Days” next summer spent mountain biking with the fabulous girls of a little sleep away camp which we call Runoia!

By Chris Mercier


End of season refelctions

The summer of 2015 is awesomely reflected In the words of our Dream Team 2015 Counselors and staff.

I love working at Runoia. It really is a truly amazing thing that happens. I get the opportunity to make lasting friendships with amazing people, to pass on skills that I value very highly to a group of fantastic girls, and build my leadership skills more than I could at just about any other job. To the director team, thank you for giving me the opportunity to have two of the best summers of my life and for supporting me!

ALleePersonally, there were many highlights of the summer. I enjoyed watching the bond between everyone grow and it definitely showed during campfire and EP. Not only did I create bonds with campers, but I created friendships with the staff that I will hopefully stay in touch with! Seeing the kids improve in their skills and to be excited about trying something new was rewarding. It felt good to see the results of your hard work.

I loved every trip I went on. The Katahdin and Saddleback trips stood out as my favorite.

There are too many highlights to mention them all. I love Runoia because of the amazing experience it provides girls from all over the world. The biggest challenge for me was saying goodbye to campers and staff alike.

JuliaThe highlights were all of the experiences I had with teaching the girls. It was so rewarding to have a girl come back to my activity and remind me of something I had told her or be able to do something without needing to be reminded. Seeing their smiling faces everyday was always amazing too.

I just want to say that this summer at Runoia was the best summer of my life and I am so thankful to be a part of the Runoia Dream Team!

staffWe couldn’t have said it any better.

Thanks to our amazing ‘Dream Team’ staff! We hope to see you all in 2016.

Meet the staff

A guest blog by Morgan Price

My name is Morgan and I will be the girl who runs around camp taking pictures, updating our social media sites, blogging about all of your exciting adventures and activities and helping with event planning! You will almost always see me in my bright colored, monogrammed hats.

sistersA little about me: I am from Marietta, Georgia- right outside of Atlanta. I am finishing up my sophomore year at Georgia College and State University with a major in Marketing. I am highly involved on campus and have served a few different positions for my sorority Zeta Tau Alpha. At school I live in a house with thirteen girls and love it! I have two sisters, a twin sister and a twelve year old sister. I love shopping, exploring, traveling, cooking and dancing. I can teach you how to make an awesome friendship bracelet and love making crazy costumes!

costumeEven though this is my very first summer spent at a sleep away camp, I am so excited for camp to start and I hope y’all are as ready for it as I am. I purchased my bright pink duffle bag and I am already shopping and packing for everything I need for camp. While Georgia isn’t exactly across the world, I am still excited to travel 1300 miles to see the beautiful state of Maine that I have heard so much about.

A “Little Life Lesson” from me:

Sing Loud, Sing Proud; dance like nobody is watching; and try everything!

I will openly tell you I am one of the worst singers to ever walk the planet, but that doesn’t stop me from singing. I love to sing even though I am not as talented as Taylor Swift I give it my best shot. Remember this when you are getting ready to sign up for activities each week. Camp Runoia offers many activities from Archery to Windsurfing and everything you can imagine in between. Just because you may not be the best at something does not mean you shouldn’t sign up for that as an activity!

Always remember “the best thing to hold onto in life is each other”- Audrey Hepburn

Love Morgan