MOUNT DESERT ISLAND, Maine — Camp Beech Cliff, a nonprofit organization serving the youth of Mount Desert Island, Hancock County, Maine and beyond, celebrated its new facilities with a ribbon cutting and boat launch ceremony on Monday, June 25. One hundred and fifty campers and 35 staff gathered on the camp’s green in a big circle to sing a camp song while a ribbon was passed around the circle’s circumference. Campers and staff ceremoniously tore through the ribbon together. The merriment was followed by a hike to the waterfront where a 19-foot-long Rhodes Center Sloop was sailing towards the camp docks. MDI Sailing Center donated the sloop to the camp a few years ago and John William’s boatyard recently refurbished the sloop. Executive Director Debra Deal and Camp Director Sylvie Piquet received the boat amid the enthusiastic cheers of campers.
The camp opened its doors to the community on Sunday, July 1. More than 700 visitors toured the new camp and participated in archery, boating, swimming, field games and face painting. Many also tried the new indoor climbing wall. Dog Mountain Band provided music at the event.
The new Camp Beech Cliff, made possible by a small group of anonymous donors, is designed to provide plenty of program space, a variety of outdoor activity areas, and improved waterfront and gym facilities. Two focuses of the new facilities are improved indoor program space for rainy days and emergency access to the waterfront. The new camp also features a new Eagle’s Nest gymnasium, home to a new climbing wall for year-round indoor climbing programs.