6th Grade Trip to Chewonki

Items Allowed @ Chewonki
Reading Books

Items Not Allowed @ Chewonki
Gum or Candy
Snacks (unless approved by CEMS staff)
Pocket Knives
Cell Phones
MP3 Players
(Ipod, Zune, etc.)
Hand Held Video Games
    "Personally, I felt Chewonki was one of the greatest weeks of my life, and all the other members of my group agree with me. I would even call myself pretty outdoorsy, and there was still no other experience like it. The activities we did there, such as climbing in the barn, going on a "wild goose chase", and playing camouflage, are unusual and exhilarating activities that I had never done before and probably never will again."
 ~ Former CEMS 6th grader

Chewonki Overview

Each year, the entire sixth grade class travels to Chewonki to discover the true value of collective effort by living, working, and learning together in small groups (10 to 12 students). Chewonki and Cape Elizabeth leaders guide the students through a series of group and individual challenges. These challenges range from cooking meals over an open fire to traversing an inlet while harnessed to a suspended cable.

As sixth graders have been making the trip to Chewonki for over 20 years, this experience has become a rite of passage in the Cape Elizabeth school fabric. Chewonki is the only outdoor experience program of its kind in the U.S. In many ways, the program cannot be duplicated. The students who spend the week at Chewonki learn many things about themselves and the world around them. Every student has the opportunity to shine at some point in time over the course of five days, and this experience invariably leads to a stronger sense of self worth.  Our students often grow tremendously as a result of the trip to Wiscasset.

The goals of the Chewonki trip for our students  are: to understand the demands and satisfaction of teamwork while developing a respect toward the natural world and to challenge oneself physically and mentally, guided by the principles of play safe, play hard, and play fair. The students who participate have many opportunities to be leaders and productive group members, all the while, learning about Maine’s unique environment. They also learn about themselves and work to challenge their own ideas about what they are capable of. 

This project will benefit the students and their families directly. Indirectly, the community as a whole benefits from the lessons learned at Chewonki. Specifically, we are placing students in a challenging environment that will help them grow emotionally, while having fun at the same time. In the long term, we look for the leadership skills learned at Chewonki to emerge in both the school and community settings. We also hope that students will remember how to be a contributing and responsible group member when situations arise in other facets of life.

Each spring, a representative from the Chewonki Foundation comes to CEMS to present information about the program to students and parents.The date of the meetings for this year is TBA.The students will watch a slide show and packing demonstration during the school day. A parent meeting takes place that night at 6:30 - 7:30 in the middle school band room that includes the slide show and packing demonstration as well as a chance to ask questions about the program.  Additionally, if parents have concerns of a medical or private nature, individual meetings with Mr. Doane (CEMS Chewonki coordinator), Mrs. Chao (CEMS nurse), and a Chewonki representative will be held on a first come, first serve basis directly after school from 2:40 - 4:30 in the Madden Conference Room.