Have you ever experienced climbing a high ladder and zip-lining back to the ground? How about balancing on a moving log beam while walking across to the other side? Did you know that the Boothbay Region YMCA offers these adventures along with a full high and low ropes course right here in our community as an extension of Camp Knickerbocker?
When the Y began its summer camp in 1956, it was located on the Back Narrows Road in Boothbay. While offering a new summer camp experience for youth in the community was welcomed, the location held challenges for programming. The move to Barter’s Island Road was a strategic effort to allow for fresh water swimming. Now, with 65 acres, the property includes the main Camp K campus, Jackson Island (located in between Little and Big Knickerbocker lakes), the Jackson House, and the Baldwin Adventure Center which are both just down the road from the main entrance at Camp K.
The Baldwin Center, built in 2002, is named after John Baldwin Sr. in recognition of his love for Camp K and his desire to provide adventure-based programming for the youth in our community. The project was funded by a small group of generous donors who made his vision a reality.
Neal Verge was the camp director at the time. He worked closely with the Y’s Executive Director Andy Hamblett to design both the high and low ropes courses. In total, the Baldwin Center hosts 20 elements: eight comprise the high ropes course, including a gravity-fed zip-line, while the 12 low ropes components promote teamwork.
Seasoned summer camp staff member Rudi Bottse says, “It’s nice to have something more challenging for the campers to do each week. We see ages 7-13 at the Center, and the amount of teamwork and effort they put into the program is inspiring. They work really hard and have a great time together.”
This year the Y will be making the Baldwin Center available for rent by community members for events such as birthday parties and reunions, or activities such as team-building experiences by groups or companies, or fun gatherings with friends and family. The Baldwin Center property offers a beautiful location with certified specialists on hand to guide your experience. Why not plan a very unique outdoor event, that might even include a fire pit and hatchet throwing, if that suits you! Some current and previous collaborations for use of the Center include Hearty Roots, school groups, independent rentals, Sailing Ships Maine, and Bigelow Labs.
Please contact Erin Gray, BRYMCA program director, if you would like to reserve the Baldwin Center or have questions for camp rentals at firstname.lastname@example.org.