Fairies are for Real

Imagine yourself eight years old; you are at sleepaway camp, far far far from your family. You are taking in the fun and action that happens day-in day-out at camp.

One day, as you merrily cruise along in your eight year old world, you are invited to go camping to “Fairy Ring”.  Wait, it gets better. Not only do you get to camp at Fairy Ring, you get to have magical s’mores (AKA dessert before dinner) and you spend part of your afternoon building fairy houses for the fairies of Fairy Ring.

S'mores for Supper?!
S’mores for Supper?!

Consider your eight year old mind fathoming a camp out where the fairies actually live? When said fairies come to visit before bedtime, you can hardly believe your eyes. Flitting between tall pines and the evening dusk, a movement, a glow, a fairy appears!

Fairies Flitting for Fairy Ring
Fairies Flitting for Fairy Ring

The very next morning, when you wake up, the fairies have left you with your very own fairy rock painted in bright colors and glittery-gold.

This tradition at Camp Runoia has been going on since the beginning of time!

A moment in time.

Vernal pools temporary yet essential.

As the snow finally melts here in Maine and we transition into what is often a short spring there are many new and temporary delights to be found.  Around camp where the water is pooling in depressions or a small stream has widened on its way down to Great Pond you can now see vernal pools.  While they will likely be long gone by the time the campers arrive for the moment they provide a temporary habitat for the creatures emerging from the winter.  Although vernal pools may only contain water for a relatively short period of time, they serve as essential breeding habitat for certain species of Maine wildlife, including salamanders and frogs.  The air at night is now loudly filled with the noise of spring peepers and wood frogs that are quickly mating and laying eggs before the pools dry up.

03_wetThis time of year is energizing and engaging, we see signs that summer will soon be here and still have a quiet moment to enjoy the beautiful environment around us.  How fortunate we are that Ms. Weiser and Ms. Pond found the perfect spot for Runoia amidst the tall, shady, pine trees.  Much of our property is in a tree farm easement which allows us to keep the natural habitat available for all of our local wildlife.

vernalWhile individual people’s time at Runoia may be temporary we are grateful to all who have stepped through the gates and left their mark on our camp.  The vision of our founders and those that have preserved Runoia as a camp along with all of our girls and counselors breed the memories that will be preserved for a lifetime.  The summer of 2015 like a vernal pool or lunar moth will exist for only a short moment in time yet will grow the spirit of Runoia for generations to come.


Camp is…many cultures: Sailing and Hungary!

A Hungarian Sailor at Camp Runoia

As a 20-years-old Hungarian girl it was quite a big deal for me last year when I decided to apply for a summer camp counselor program at Camp Leaders to work and travel in the U.S.

So on June 17th 2014 the biggest adventure in my life had started. I was really excited when I said goodbye to my parents at the airport but surprisingly not scared at all. I was facing a 10-hour flight from Budapest to Boston and when I arrived at camp I’d been awake for almost 24 hours. Fortunately a ready-to-sleep bed was waiting for me at camp.

Hamming it up with Mark on the lake
Hamming it up with Mark on the lake

I had expected that I will learn thousands of new things during the summer: food, animals, games, songs, places, language, traditions, rules, different cultures and many new people. And my expectations weren’t false – I had widened my perspective in many ways.

Hungary is a really small country in Europe – only about 36,000 sq miles so as the State of Maine. Now you can imagine how unbelievably huge is the U.S. for me that I only realized first during my one month travels after camp.

I have learned Runoia terms like EP, QP, Mahadin, Lodge, Gaga, green machine, CIT etc. I had the opportunity to join flag raisings, hear loons at night, celebrate 4th of July, sit on a yellow school bus, eat Gifford’s ice cream and dirt pudding, and sing all the Runoia songs at campfire while eating marshmallows. And of course I was able to teach my favorite activity, sailing for the kids.

Laura out sailing with campers
Laura out sailing with campers

I’m really grateful for that summer at Runoia where I’ve met a lot of wonderful people who I am able to see again hopefully in a few months for the summer of 2015.










Laura Meszaros, from Hungary, lived in junior end and taught sailing in 2014.

Laura Meszaros, Runoia Staff
Laura Meszaros, Runoia Staff

Spring is in the Air!

GH1Spring time is a happy time at Camp Runoia. It’s basically a celebration! We are excited about the summer season and everyone arriving and getting busy with camp fun. We are busy as bees buzzing around getting buildings spruced up, lawns and trails cleaned up and ordering equipment and supplies for the fun summer ahead.

 New in 2014? Lots of things. Among them honey bees! You may have heard a buzz at Runoia and it’s true. We have two bee colonies located in two hives. Both hives are healthy and producing honey and taking care of their queen and producing more honey bees.GH2

Our honey bees will be pollinators for local farmers (as well as our own farm and gardens) and hopefully they will produce honey we can all taste and share at camp!  We are learning as we go and with the help of other bee keepers in Maine, we hope to keep our hives alive and healthy!

Honey bees are hard workers and aren’t the type of bees that want to sting people or animals.  They are very busy doing their jobs which include guarding the hive, being field bees and pollinators, nursing the queen and other drone activities. If you are worried about a friend who is allergic, we will let you know where the bees are and how to avoid their area! Meanwhile, if you are a bee enthusiast, feel free to share anything with us at Camp Runoia about bees if you’d like to. We are all learning together!

This summer campers can don the bee costumes and learn more about bees. It will be a fun time on the Runoia farm!

Here’s a picture of us checking the bees today: