MSK seventh graders succeed at Camp Kieve

Contributed by Carol Bousquet

York County Coast Star

November 18, 2010

NOBLEBORO – The Leadership School at Camp Kieve has high expectations of every camper – teamwork, kindness and respect.  Last month, seventh graders from the Middle School of the Kennebunks explored those values on a personal and group level during a week-long stint that began at MSK and ended at Camp Kieve.

Camp Kieve, located on Damariscotta Lake, is a place where counselors work with children and adults on social and physical growth to increase self-confidence, healthy decision making, team building and communication.  Students take classes to focus on those areas through discussion in a cabin style classroom, via physical game playing , or scrambling on a high ropes course.

Science teacher Lindsey Hansen said the lessons paid off. “We saw amazing changes from day one to the end of the week,” she said.  “At the beginning of the week everyone was being very competitive. By the end, it was not about winning, it was about helping others succeed.”

“We grew as a class in courage and in other areas like respect,” said camper Victoria Sweet.  “We were interrupting each other earlier in the week, not listening.  We told our counselor we wanted to work on listening skills and by the end of the week we did a better job.”

“What kind of difference can we make in three to four days?” said Camp Kieve Director Henry Kennedy.  “It’s a catalyst for change.”  Kennedy and his staff hope each student takes at least one thing they learned at Camp Kieve and uses it to make a difference in his/her community.  It’s also hoped the lessons learned at Camp Kieve remain in place at school to bolster the International Baccalaureate values students work on all year long with their team leaders and instructors.

Parents paid a $100 fee for their child to attend the camp.  The Education Foundation of the Kennebunks and Arundel provided a $10,000 grant and secured another $10,000 grant to pay for the remainder of the students’ camp costs.