You will love this book about camp

Erinne Magee’s book, This Is Camp, took me to our camp with every poem and story. Even if you don’t have a camp, you will enjoy this book, but if you do have a camp, as you read Erinne’s poems and stories, you will enjoy remembering all of your own wonderful camp experiences.

Our camp is on the edge of Baxter Park, and we spent most of the summer there when our kids were growing up. Now our kids are taking our grandkids there, and last August our 3 and 5-year-old granddaughters climbed their first mountain. Our son Josh said he kept the 3-year-old climbing by feeding her chocolates all the way up the mountain. I told Josh, that would have worked for me too!

I loved it that Erinne provided a bunch of blank pages at the end of the book, and encouraged readers to write their own camp stories. Of course, I’ve been doing that for 40 years. And every day we were at camp, we’d write in our journal about the things we did that day. That journal is so much fun to read now. So I hope you will write your own camp stories at the end of this book.

I almost felt, as I read this book, that Erinne had been with us at our camp, as she wrote about everything from lawn games to the night sky, and enjoying the fire pit and s’mores to how everything tastes better at camp.

I don’t have the space to share all of my favorite poems and stories in this book, but it is amazing that she captured everything that is special about camp. Here’s one example:

Camp never leaves you

not in the winter

not if you move away

not if you become busy

or homebound

or ill –

it’s presence isn’t just in our hearts –

it’s everywhere

bringing a sense of calm

whether we are physically there

or not.

I think that is so so true. Ok, I know I can’t print the entire book here, but let me finish with this, which is particularly important right now.

At camp something good

is always around the corner

at least, that’s how it feels.

What if we took this notion

and made it our way

of thinking and feeling

whether we were at camp

Or not?




George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.