Tanglewood Turns 40! Community Celebration and Alumni Weekend

Looking back…

Stone stairs meander through the woodsIt all started with an idea of a 4-H camp teaching Maine youth about natural resources and instilling in them a love of the outdoors. In the fall of 1981, the Tanglewood parcel of Camden Hills State Park became available to rent. The site caught the eyes of Jim and Cindy Dunham and Leslie Hyde, a UMaine Extension Educator. They had been teaching outdoor classes in ecology together with area schools. Jim and Cindy had worked in children’s summer camps and knew their magic.

The Knox-Lincoln County office and UMaine Cooperative Extension approved of the idea of Tanglewood 4-H Camp. In the spring of 1982, a proposal to lease the camp was submitted to the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands. An all-volunteer effort raised starter funds in support of the camp. Then, the real magic began as Jim and Cindy stepped up as the founding directors, to fix up the camp in time for the first six-week summer camp in 1982. The first summer, while a bit rough around the edges was a great success. In 1983 summer camp was expanded to eight weeks. In the fall, Tanglewood launched its first school programs. The rest they say is history.

For 40 years, Tanglewood 4-H Camp and Learning Center has nestled itself along the banks of the Ducktrap River within a magical 840-acre parcel of Camden Hills State Park. The founding ethics of Tanglewood, rooted in connections to the earth still carry on to this day with thousands of summer campers and school children finding a sense of belonging here. We’ve got so much to be proud of and such a bright future ahead.

Celebrating Our Rich History…

campers pressing ciderOur beloved camp turns 40 this year and you’re invited to celebrate! This is a time in the woods for the greater Tanglewood community of alumni, campers, and neighbors to share memories and have a good time. Join your old friends to eat, dance, and raise funds to support the camp. Help us ensure that the programs taking place here may continue into the future. 

We invite you to join us on October 8 for a full day of celebrating and making memories while sharing stories of years past. Most of the day is open to the public and free of charge, we are asking for donations for the dinner meal and evening festivities.

The event will introduce our plans for the future of Tanglewood as we look down the road at who our programs serve (those in the great state of Maine) and how we can best carry out what we do in this rapidly changing world.

Schedule of Events: Saturday, October 8, 2022

campers and staff gathered at camp music stage

8 – 10 am 5K Fun Run through the woods along the Forest Loop Trail

2 pm – 4:30 pm FREE! Public Event Fair on the Lawn: crafts, games, cider pressing, and more

5:30 pm Dinner! A suggested donation of $40 is requested to join us for a scrumptious meal. RSVP for the dinner and evening program

Evening Program Tanglewoodstock-style Concert and Talent Show featuring alumni Louisa Stancioff and her band! Any other alumnus who’d like to perform are welcome to–bring your instrument and a song to share. 

For Staff Alumni:

Alumni looking to join us for the whole weekend, please RSVP using the Tanglewood 40th Anniversary Weekend! (Google Form). We’ve also set up a registration page in Ultra Camp (see Register for Programs and Events with the code TW40). Join your old friends to eat, dance, and raise some money to support the camp.

As we transition from summer into fall, we are reflecting on all the joy and fun Tanglewood has provided, this year and in the 39 years previous. There are so many joyous memories like swimming in the Ducktrap, playing capture the flag, hikes, singing in the dining hall, campfire skits, counselor announcements, green electives, staff meetings, lawn games, morning circles, and so much more. We know you have fond memories of camp as well and trust you’ll bring your own stories to share. Come with your old tree cookie and be ready to reconnect.

Draft schedule and packing list

To Make a Contribution

To help prepare for the event, we’re seeking a variety of donated goods. Anything from art supplies, pumpkins, apples, rustic bread, craft beer or wine, or your own creative spirit would be appreciated. Reach out to Jessica at extension.tanglewood4h@maine.edu to connect.

If you’d rather make a full donation, the University of Maine Foundation has a donation page with a list of the various accounts you can contribute to in support of Tanglewood and Blueberry Cove. Know that all donated funds come directly to our accounting system. If you make a donation for scholarships, those funds will go directly to kiddos; if you make a donation to help support facilities those funds, will go directly to helping us make repairs to our sites.

We thank you kindly for your support and look forward to celebrating the past, present, and future with you ❤️🍀