In 2009, Camp Manitou, a residential boys camp in Oakland, Maine, extended its camp season by one week to invite 27 boys and 30 volunteer staff to Maine for a week that would ultimately change the course of many lives. Manitou Experience was born. It was a week of all of the best traditions and activities that Camp Manitou had to offer, led by the cream of the crop of Manitou’s past and present staff and directors, and a handful of friends that we would soon call family. Amazing things happened that week. 57 voices cheered with the same volume as 300. New traditions began that would become the trademark of all weeks to come. We became brothers and sisters and friends and family. It was just the beginning.
In 2013, we opened a second camp in California with 18 campers and another group of passionate volunteers. By year 2, we had grown to 43 boys in California and in 2015 we expanded once again by introducing our first girls' program into the mix. In 2015, we also introduced our third location in Monticello, NY at Camp Kennybrook. Kennybrook Experience offers the same week of activities, silliness, and healing, incorporating the 40-year traditions of Camp Kennybrook.
As we expanded in numbers and locations, our name was changed to reflect our new national presence, and we became Experience Camps, with each offshoot including the name of its host or region: Manitou Experience, California Experience, and Kennybrook Experience.
In 2018, we will provide the experience of summer camp to nearly 500 boys and girls. While our name has changed to capture the essence of our growing organization, the heart and soul of our program is as strong as ever and always rooted in the foundation of the magic that began 9 years ago.