Through a structured seven-week program filled with opportunities for leadership, teamwork, and healthy competition in a digital-free environment, boys develop the character traits they need to play a positive role in their communities. Each boy leaves camp with new skills, new friends, and a new sense of his own capacity, and becomes part of a dedicated alumni network that extends around the globe. Since 1919, the values of sportsmanship, service to others, and stewardship of the natural world have been at the heart of the Agawam experience, which takes place each summer on a 125 acre lakeside campus in Maine.
The central guiding principles for the Agawam community are embodied by the Woodcraft Laws, compiled by Ernest Thompson Seton in the early 1900s:
- Be clean, both yourself and the place you live in.
- Understand and respect your body, for it is the temple of the spirit.
- Be a friend to all harmless wildlife. Conserve the woods and flowers, and especially be ready to fight wildfire in forest or town.
- Word of honor is sacred.
- Play fair; foul play is treachery.
- Be reverent; worship the Great Spirit and respect all worship of him by others.
- Be Brave. Courage is the noblest of all attainments.
- Be silent while your elders are speaking and otherwise show them deference.
- Obey. Obedience is the first duty of the Woodcrafter.
- Be kind. Do at least one act of unbargaining service each day.
- Be helpful. Do your share of the work.
- Be joyful. Seek the joy of being alive.
The essence of Agawam is our rustic, uncomplicated environment with countless opportunities for fun, challenge, and growth. Campers enjoy sunshine, cool breezes off the lake, woodlands, rolling open fields, lots of wildlife, starry skies at night, and the memorable cry of the loons. An important guideline for our community is to “be the best, whatever you are.”
The unique community at camp promotes independence while also learning the value of counselors and fellow campers for companionship, friendship, entertainment and support. At Agawam, high standards are set for behavior, character, sportsmanship, leadership, and mutual respect. Our program balances recreation with the acquisition of skills and knowledge, competition with cooperation, and structure with independence.