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As soon as our campers arrive they are greeted by our beloved motto: "We Are Born Not For Ourselves, But to Help Others." 

The Bangor YMCA Wilderness Center at Camp Jordan teaches the YMCA core values of HONESTY, CARING, RESPECT, and 

RESPONSIBILITY, and helps youth understand what it means to put our values into action on a day to day basis.


When we observe the YMCA core values in action, campers are rewarded verbally, as well as with values beads, which campers cherish. Whether we are debriefing the day, asking campers to highlight ways their peers exemplified the core values, or our counselors are running around dressed in blue, red, yellow and green performing values-based skits, all of our campers leave camp with an understanding of what we hold dear, why values matter, and how great it feels to act on and be recognized for exemplary behavior toward self and others.

YMCA Camp, Maine | Camp Jordan


The Bangor Region YMCA is a community leader in supporting children, adults and families in their lifelong quest for physical, emotional and social wellness.


The Bangor Region YMCA is an essential collaborative leader that strengthens the foundation of our region by being the champion for youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. 


YMCA Camp, Maine | Camp Jordan

The Bangor YMCA Wilderness Center at Camp Jordan has been fostering friendships, changing lives, and creating leaders

for 112 years. We have established traditions and purposeful programming that encourages character building and leadership skills through the core values of honesty, caring, respect, and responsibility. Everyone is encouraged to take these life lessons home and contribute to their own families and communities.

Our programs are formulated to reflect the appropriate challenges of each stage of child development. As youth grow and gain a sense of comfort within our programs, they are encouraged to try new activities and new programs to gain a sense of challenge and mastery. Often children who begin with our Sleep Away Camp rise through the ranks, challenging themselves physically on Adventure Seekers expeditions as they grow older, moving on to our LIT and CIT programs, and capping each summer as a teenager with the Leaders School experience. Our programs for older teens bridge the gap between finding one’s personal strength and being a responsible member of a home community. Our Wilderness Center’s camper diversity brings this conversation globally and fosters discussions amongst tomorrow’s leaders from around the world.


The cabin group is the heart of our program, and we have recently made our cabin groups smaller to foster a closer bond between counselors and cabin-mates. Cabins eat together during each meal, participate in cabin challenges together, and spend “embers”, a time of reflection, sharing their day every night before bed. Veteran campers think of camp as their second home, a place where they feel appreciated, accepted for who they are, and at peace with themselves.


It is our goal that every child develops this sense of connection with our community and our program.


Camp Jordan's Goals and Outcomes

1. Provide campers with opportunities to develop self-confidence and self-respect, and appreciation of their own worth as individuals.


Observable Outcomes:

a. Each camper will choose a variety of classes to attend, including some within their comfort zone and some that are more challenging.

b. Each class is designed to ensure that each camper is met at her or his own skill level and then encouraged beyond that level.  

3. Provide campers with opportunities to grow as responsible members of their “camp facility” and citizens of their camp community.

Observable Outcomes:

a. Each cabin group will be responsible for cleaning an area of the facility each day as well as maintaining a tidy cabin.

b. All campers will participate in full-camp activities each evening that promote cooperation both in cabin groups and as a whole camp population.

5. Provide campers with opportunities to realize the worth of all persons and to work for cooperative inter-group understanding and interpersonal relationships.


Observable Outcomes:

a. Each cabin group will begin each week by participating in getting-to-know-you games and group initiatives.

b. Each cabin group will end each day with an “embers” session immediately before bedtime in which campers will be encouraged to share their experiences from the day and listen to others’ experiences.

7. Provide campers with opportunities to develop their capacities for leadership and to use them responsibly in their own groups and in camp “community life”.


Observable Outcomes:

a. Older, more experienced campers will be called upon to model responsible behavior and provide an example for other campers, particularly in activities such as raising and lowering the flag, cleaning the dining hall after meals, and participating in Camp Jordan traditions.

b. Under the supervision of activity leaders, campers will be encouraged to develop their own ideas, make their own decisions, and execute their own plans.

2. Provide campers with opportunities to develop their own values based on their own upbringing, but also directed by values education supported by the YMCA core values of honesty, caring, respect, and responsibility.


Observable Outcomes:

a. Each camper will attend a Sparks meeting before breakfast every morning in which a staff member presents an inspirational thought or life lesson for the day.

b. Four core values (respect, responsibility, caring, honesty) will be explained to the campers on the first night of every session and will remain a theme throughout each week at Sparks .

4. Provide campers with opportunities to develop an appreciation of good health and an understanding that physical fitness and mental wellbeing are conditions to be achieved and maintained.


Observable Outcomes:

a. Full-camp activities will vary from day to day to ensure that athletic skills, creative skills, and teamwork skills are all covered and encouraged during each week-long session.

b. Staff members will encourage and model healthy eating choices at mealtimes and snack times.

6. Provide campers with opportunities to develop a sense of world-mindedness and to work for worldwide understanding and fellowship.

Observable Outcomes:

a. Each camper will meet a peer from a geographic region different from her or his own residency.

b. As appropriate, staff members and campers from countries other than the United States of America will be encouraged to share their experiences and culture with others.

8. Provide campers with opportunities to develop an interest in, a knowledge of and a respect for the natural world and its ecology, and then to work for its conservation.

Observable Outcomes:

a. The Nature Program at Camp Jordan will provide a full schedule of classes as well as organize special activities and free time opportunities.

b. Each camper will engage in a low-impact lifestyle at camp, including reducing the amount waste produce, composting, recycling, staying on trails, and conserving water.

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