Everything you need to know
Camp Modin rests on the shores of Salmon Lake, in the pristine Belgrade Lakes region of central Maine. Roughly one hour by car from Portland, three hours north of Boston or a quick 45-minute flight from New York, a trip to Maine is really just around the corner.
Our Partners in helping children to grow and thrive
Camp is an incredible experience for children, but what do they really take away from their summer at Modin? Camp certainly affords children the chance to play sports, take out a sailboat, tackle the climbing wall, act in a play, and dress up for color war. And camp would not be “camp” without our Shabbat singing, challah, carnivals, general swim, talent shows, lip-sync, and all the rituals and traditions that define Modin.
Yet, the camp experience provides children with so much more than this. Camp teaches kids to become self-reliant adults who can form personal and professional relationships; to problem solve and make healthy choices; to be members of a team; to put others first; to appreciate success and to accept defeat; to grow emotionally and gain confidence; to be a warm, loving and compassionate person; to forge lifelong friendships; to appreciate the value of being a part of a community.
Dates & Rates
|Full||Mon. June 28, 2021 – Wed. Aug. 11, 2021||$14,300*|
|First||Mon. June 28, 2021 – Mon. July 19, 2021||$8,600*|
* Tuition discounts of up to $1,000 are available. Please click here for details.
|In||Full & First||Mon. June 28||12:00 PM – 1:00 PM|
|Out||First||Mon. July 19||9:00 AM|
|Out||Full||Wed. August 11||8:30 AM|
Linen & Bedding Service — blankets, pillows, sheets & bath towels
|$350 per session|
|Apprentice River Trip — entering grade 11||$350|
|Bus Chaperone Service — Yonkers, NY||$200 each way|
|Bus Chaperone Service — Lexington, MA||$120 each way|
|Airport Chaperone Service — Portland Jetport||$90 each way|
|Airport Service — Boston’s Logan Airport — International’s Only||Call for details|
“Howard, Lisa and Samara, you are exemplary leaders. We knew many years ago that sending our kids to Modin was a smart decision and no brainer. Throughout the years you all have been people we can count on, and we view you as friends and part of our extended family. We cannot express how thankful and grateful we are for the experience.”
– Andrew & Amy, Chevy Chase, MD
Frequently Asked Questions
Commonly asked questions by prospective parents
Where is Modin located?
Camp Modin is located on the shores of Salmon Lake, in the pristine wilderness of central Maine’s Belgrade Lakes region, about one hour from Portland, Maine’s largest city, and twenty minutes from Augusta, the state capitol. Modin is approximately three hours north of Boston and six hours north of New York City.
How do campers get to Camp Modin?
The camp provides pickup and drop off service to Portland International Jetport in Maine, which is approximately seventy-five minutes from camp. Portland is serviced by most major airlines. All flights are met by Modin staff and, upon arrival at camp, a Modin representative will contact you to confirm your child’s arrival. Camp Modin offers a chaperoned bus service from Lexington, Massachusetts, a Boston suburb. The trip is approximately three hours. Camp Modin also offers a chaperoned bus service from the Cross County Shopping Center in Yonkers, New York, which is approximately fifteen minutes north of New York City. The trip is approximately six hours. Some families choose to drive to camp. Upon arrival, families will be given a tour of the grounds and your child will be escorted to his or her cabin where the fun begins!
Who Are The Directors?
Howard Salzberg and his wife Lisa Salzberg are the full-time owners and executive directors of Camp Modin. Ultimately, all responsibilities relating to Camp Modin fall to them. Howard first began his camping “career” at age nine when he first came to Modin and joined the “Beavers bunk.” He was a camper for seven years. After that he joined the Modin staff as a counselor, and then Head Counselor. Working closely with the owners on a full-time basis, Howard was promoted to the position of Assistant Director. In 1991, Howard became the full time Director of Camp Modin and eventually purchased the camp in November of 1992. Howard’s combined camping experience, both as a camper and staff member add up to over thirty years. His family was part of the first Modin enrollment class dating back to 1922.
Lisa joined Modin in 1991, where she first met, and later married Howard. She began her Modin “career” first as a Counselor, then as a Head Counselor, Assistant Director and finally, Director. Her background is in elementary education and she has taught first, fourth and fifth graders. Lisa and Howard are the proud parents of a son named Jack, now enjoying his own Modin experience.
Samara Lender is the full-time co-director of Camp Modin. She began her Modin career as a camper in 1999. Samara’s journey at Modin included two years as a counselor followed by three years as the girls’ head counselor. Upon graduating from university Samara was promoted to assistant director, and eventually to her current position of director. Samara is a native of Rockland County, New York and comes from a large family of Modinites, including four of her siblings.
Together, they are responsible for all administrative functions, staff development and the well being of the entire community. They know each and every camper personally and spend the bulk of their time with the kids – at meals, on the waterfront, at campfires, everywhere. They like to operate “out in the field” and not behind closed doors. Their mission is to provide children with a healthy, safe and memorable summer experience.
Where Do The Staff Come From And How Are They Selected?
Modin assembles its staff with great care and consideration. Each staff member must complete an extensive application process, including a lengthy interview with at least two Modin administrators. We meticulously check and verify references. Beyond this, at Modin we look for a very specific type of individual. To be a great camp counselor, one must be a leader, a role-model, and be prepared to support children as their brother, sister, parent and friend. We seek out individuals who answer “yes” when we ask, “Do you love children and want to make a positive difference in their lives?”
Being a Modin counselor is an incredibly demanding job. Counselors are responsible for their campers 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Throughout the summer, we offer staff in-service training programs, and constant guidance, supervision and feedback. All staff participate in a lengthy, in-depth training program prior to the start of the camp season. Most staff find that their summer at Modin invariably proves to be the most memorable and enriching experience of their lives. They will develop a life long bond with their campers and leave Modin as better, richer people.
What Is The Difference Between A General Counselor And A Specialist?
Bunk Counselors living in cabins with campers include both general counselors and specialists. Each bunk has 1-2 general counselors and 2-3 specialists. General counselors tend to be former campers or individuals with comparable camping experience at camps like Modin. Specialists are individuals who have been hired because of a particular skill they can teach.
Within the cabin their roles of general counselors and specialists are identical, and they share equal responsibilities. The main difference in their roles pertains to their activity assignments during the day. In the morning, the specialists go off and teach at their assigned activities. The general counselors travel with the entire bunk of campers to each activity, assisting the specialists as needed. In the afternoon, campers travel individually to their elective activities, which they sign up for daily. Specialists teach their assigned activities and general counselors are assigned to assist the instructors.
Many times, we rotate specialists so they have the opportunity to travel to activities with their own bunk. Additionally, specialists participate in all special activities, such as overnight camping trips, amusement park trips, birthday parties, evening activities, and so much more.
What Do You Mean By "Jewish Camp? Are All Your Counselors Jewish?
Camp Modin was founded in 1922 by a group of prominent Jewish educators as “The camp with a Jewish Ideal.” Their goal in founding Modin was to establish a community where children from around the world could come together in a breathtaking natural setting, help them pursue their individual and collective Jewish identities, and forge lifelong friendships. Today Modin is the oldest continuously operating Jewish camp in America, and one of the few private, independent Jewish summer camps left in the world. Modin takes its name from the biblical town of Modi’in, where the story of Chanukah took place.
While virtually all general counselors are Jewish, many of our specialty staff are not. While we hold it important that our campers have strong Jewish role models in each bunk, it is equally important that we find the most qualified, professional and caring instructors in each of our specialty areas. For many years, Modin has recruited amazing individuals from places such as Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom to head-up and to teach programs in pioneering, swimming, tennis, canoeing, water-skiing, etc. These individuals bring tremendous energy and enthusiasm to our program and have a deep respect for the Jewish culture.
Where Do The Campers Come From?
How Long Is The Camp Season?
What Is a Cabin Like?
All of our cabins are spacious and modern, many having been built or restored in the past few years. All cabins have electricity and in-cabin bathroom facilities. Cabins are furnished with solid, wooden bunk beds with mattresses fitting twin-size sheets, as well as ample storage space for your personal effects.
On average, each bunk is made up of 4 counselors and 12 campers who are generally grouped by grade. All staff except administrative, medical, and support staff live in the cabins with the children.
How Is The Camp Organized?
At Modin, we organize our camper body into the following units:
|Lower||7-10||2nd, 3rd, 4th|
|Middle||10-12||5th & 6th|
|Junior||12-14||7th & 8th|
|Senior||14-16||9th & 10th|
The program for our lower and middle unit campers is designed to impart many basic skills on them, such as swimming, team sports, tennis, etc. There is less freedom and more structure in their program, although all of our campers do have an opportunity to exercise their own choice in our afternoon elective program. Our teen campers have much more flexibility in designing a program to suit their own personal interests. They have a greater array of choices in selecting activities and can build on their basic skills to a higher level of proficiency. Our teen program also includes wilderness expeditions, community service programs, and teen tours, which allow our older campers to gain exposure to the world around them.
What Is A Typical Day Like?
SUNDAY – FRIDAY (EXCEPT FRIDAY AFTERNOON)
7:30 am Wake up
7:40 Line up
7:55 Breakfast & Cleanup *
9:30 1st Period – Bunk Activity
10:30 2nd Period – Bunk Activity
11:30 3rd Period – Bunk Activity
12:30 pm Lunch & Rest Hour *
2:10 1st Period – Electives
3:10 2nd Period – Electives
4:10 3rd Period – Electives
5:00 Wash Up
5:30 Dinner & Free Time *
7:00 Evening Activity
* There are three, 25-minute meal shifts. Boys entering grades 3-8 eat first, follow by girls in the same grades, and lastly co-ed teens entering grade 8 and above.
FRIDAY AFTERNOON *
2:10 pm 1st Period – Electives
3:10 2nd Period – Electives
4:15 Preparation for Shabbat
5:45 Shabbat Assembly
6:00 Shabbat Services
6:45 Shabbat Full Camp Dinner
7:15 Shabbat Program
* On Friday afternoon we have two elective periods instead of the usual three. We devote the third afternoon period to preparing for Shabbat. As a community, we conduct Friday night services at our outdoor Bimah, overlooking the lake. Afterwards, we enjoy a wonderful Shabbat meal, followed by zmirot, storytelling and singing. Saturday morning, we meet at the Service Point for Shabbat services. After lunch comes a full-camp activity for the afternoon. We conclude the day with a camp-wide show, theatrical performance or musical production, followed by a beautiful and moving Havdalah service.
SATURDAY / SHABBAT
8:30 am Wake up (no line up)
8:45 Breakfast & Clean Up *
10:30 Shabbat Services
12:15 pm Lunch & Rest Period *
2:00 Full Camp Activity
5:15 Wash Up
5:30 Dinner & Free Time *
7:00 Full Camp Activity
8:45 Havdalah (approximate time)
* There are three, 25-minute meal shifts. Boys entering grades 3-8 eat first, follow by girls in the same grades, and lastly co-ed teens entering grade 8 and above.
8:30 pm Ages 7-9, entering grades 3 & 4 (after Havdalah on Shabbat)
8:45 Ages 9-10, entering grades 5 (after Havdalah on Shabbat)
9:15 Ages 10-11, entering grades 6
9:30 Ages 11-12, entering grades 7
10:00 Ages 12-13, entering grades 8
10:15 Ages 13-14, entering grades 9
10:45 Ages 14-15, entering grades 10
11:00 Ages 15-16, entering grades 11
How CO-ED Is Modin?
Although the boys and girls participate equally in activities, they generally do not do so at the same time. All morning activities are done exclusively with one’s own cabin. It can vary in the afternoons. While programs like athletics and swim instruction are taught generally single-sex, other programs such as performing arts, radio station, arts & crafts and nature may be co-ed. Despite the fact that we are co-ed, one does not find the social pressures that are so often associated with co-ed camps, or even single sex camps when they get together with a “brother” or “sister” camp. We live in a co-ed world and our campers learn to have a healthy respect for each other. Social interaction is closely monitored.
Is Modin A Competitive Camp? Are There Intercamp Games?
While Modin offers superb instruction to children in top-notch facilities, it is not an overly competitive camp. Rather than merely focus on winning, Modin has always emphasized personal skill-development, individual instruction, and helping children learn about who they are. Whether the child is a beginner athlete or a varsity-level player or somewhere in-between, the goal is to ensure each camper has opportunities for learning new skills and gaining a newfound sense of self-confidence and worth.
We compete with other camps in activities such as baseball, basketball, soccer, swimming and tennis. Additionally, we run numerous intra-camp leagues, such as tennis ladders and World Cup soccer tournaments. There are no try-outs to get on a Modin team. No one is cut and every child is good enough to represent our community. Our best athletes do not get more opportunities than the rest of their bunkmates. Sure, winning is a good thing and we strive to achieve our best, but true success lies in the feeling that we did perform at our best, not by the number of new trophies we add to our display case.
How Is The Program Structured & What Is The Level Of Instruction?
The Modin program is structured insofar as we do not allow campers to just “hang out.” Our program is busy and active. We encourage our campers to set goals for themselves, participate in activities they have never tried before and experience all that Modin offers. Our program is not rigid or forced and no child will be pushed beyond their comfort level; instead we create an environment that gently encourages each child to take part. Our counselors are experienced in helping campers overcome the fears and concerns that create obstacles for them. No one has to be “the best” at anything. They are just expected to try and with the encouragement of fellow campers and caring staff, they thrive.
Campers come from a variety of backgrounds with a variety of interests. Thus, there is equal weight placed on all program areas: Land sports, water sports, creative & performing arts, and wilderness adventure. We scour the globe in search of professionals who enjoy life through their art, sport, or performance, and who seek to share their passion and expertise with younger minds. Consequently, our artists and our athletes both find equal opportunity at camp.
Modin offers its campers top-notch facilities, both specialized and multi-purpose, in all areas of its program. From a 50 foot climbing tower to four tournament water-ski boats, from its state-of-the-art performing arts center to a high-tech media center, the Modin program is extensive and well rounded.
LEVEL OF INSTRUCTION
With a commitment to finding the best, most qualified people in our specialty areas, we can honestly say that instruction is top-notch. We balance the need for learning and the desire for skill development with a desire to provide a safe and caring environment where our campers can grow and mature.
How Is The Food And Are There Options?
The kitchen at Modin offers carefully prepared menus with a variety of selections. From our fresh salad bar to hearty soups and homemade breads, it’s no wonder that campers and counselors alike rave about the Modin cuisine. With standard fare such as pasta and pizza to a full salad bar and vegetarian options, even the pickiest eater finds plenty of items to choose from. Healthy snacks are served each afternoon and again before bedtime. C
Camp Modin observes the laws of Kashrut. We have separate equipment for milchic and fleishic and the separation between meals is three hours. All food products (including snacks and candies) have a hechsher. Our meat is glatt kosher and all meats and cheeses, along with many food items come from our kosher supplier in Brooklyn, NY. Please note that we self supervise our kitchen and do not have a mashgiach on staff.
We provide vegetarian and gluten free options. We are nut and sesame aware, and can accommodate certain food allergies, which further information available upon request.
Is There A Dress Code?
Modin is not a uniform camp. However, we do require campers to have a limited number of Modin clothing items, which must be worn when out of camp. They include 5 t-shirts, 2 hoodies/sweatshirts and 2 pairs of shorts. These items, along with a number of other camp-related products, can be purchased from the Modin Online Store.
How's The Weather, Are There A Lot Of Bugs, How Warm Is The Lake?
Maine summers are warm and inviting, with daytime temperatures peaking at about 85°F/29°C and evening temperatures cooling to a comfortable 65°F/18°C. Maine is usually spared the sometimes oppressive heat and humidity that affects communities south of us in the summer.
While insects such as black flies are a problem for those of us here in Maine’s early springtime, by the time you arrive at camp the black flies have gone for the season. Mosquitoes can be a minor nuisance, but nothing that a little bug-spray can’t cure!
Salmon Lake, on which Modin is located, is the jewel of the beautiful Belgrade Lakes chain in Central Maine, some 70 miles north of Portland, Maine. More than two miles long, Salmon Lake offers a crystal clear, sand bottom, spring fed lake, with water temperatures averaging about 75°-80°F/24°-26°C. -80°F/24°-26°C.
What Are The Health Care Facilities Like?
Camp Modin employs full-time nurses who live at camp and who take responsibility for dealing with the day-to-day infirmary issues. We have physicians/nurse practitioner who remain on-call throughout the summer and who come out to the camp on a daily basis. In case of emergency, two major hospitals are located within 10 miles of camp.
How Quickly Do Spaces Fill Up?
Because so many Modin campers return year after year, Modin has only a limited number of openings in any given season; with siblings enrolling and new families being referred to us by current Modin families, available camper spaces at Camp Modin fill up quickly. Only a signed enrollment form and deposit will hold a child’s space at camp for the following summer. If your family intends to send a child to Modin next summer, do let us know as soon as your decision is final so that a place in the bunk, if available, can be assigned.
Closer than you think
By car, Modin is only an hours drive from Portland—Maine’s largest city. The drive time to Modin from Boston is roughly two hours and from New York City it is approximately five hours. The Portland International Jetport offers direct flights from all three New York area airports as well as many other US cities. It is currently served by American, Delta, Frontier, JetBlue, Southwest, and United. Service from For international campers and families without non-stop flights, Boston’s Logan airport is another option.
Places to Stay
Travel to the state’s thriving cities or charming small towns, and you’ll discover that New England hospitality is part of every Maine hotel, country inn, Bed & Breakfast, and resort. The inns and resorts that represent luxury lodging in Maine are simply unparalleled: their charm and amenities make special occasions extraordinary. Each Inn, Resort and B&B caters to your need for comfort in its own unique way. Please click on a link below or visit visitmaine.com to learn more about exciting places to stay.
Augusta & Hallowell
Camden & Rockport
Sebago & Cape Elizabeth
“There is something about Modin that is truly unique. All four of my kids have been transformed by Modin, and camp is a place they are free to really be themselves. The relationships with their friends are like sibling relationships—real, intense, honest, and so much fun. Your staff is the best of the best. My kids talk about their counselors almost as much as they do their friends. Thank you for giving our children such a spectacular place and time for transformation.”
– Lauri & David, Scarsdale, NY
Dining in Maine
World renowned cuisine
Visitors should be warned that a Maine meal, wherever and however you have it, may be habit-forming. Maine chefs are hot—not just popular but drawing heavy—duty national acclaim. The state’s food is renowned around the globe. Its farmers markets are booming, with more markets, more farmers per market and a wider range of produce than ever before.
Quaint restaurants dot the coastline and provide fish so fresh, it probably came from the ocean just a few hours earlier. Fine dining restaurants, country inns and resorts serve up elegant culinary delights for the sophisticated palate, while small town restaurants and sporting camps pile your plate high with delicious home-cooked meals.
Things to do
The Maine Office of Tourism offers a rich and comprehensive website of all things Maine — from dining and lodging to every possible activity imaginable. The Maine Camp Experience encourages visiting their website: visitmaine.com.