The Best Way to Travel Around the World… Without Leaving Maine!

Travel the globe in only five days during Art Around the World Camp! Celebrate each day as we create art pieces that are part of holidays and festivals from five different countries. Using the museum’s We Are Maine multi-cultural exhibit, unique collections and storybooks we will meet Maine families that celebrate these holidays and see examples of the crafts we will create. During our journey we will learn how art can teach us about other cultures and how they are similar and different from our own.

Sail down to Mexico to celebrate Dia de los Muertos and see how art weaves its way into games and food. This is an exciting and meaningful holiday that celebrates all of the loved ones who are no longer with us. We will decorate sugar skulls and start our weeklong project to make our own piñatas!

Our journey continues in Asia, where we discover a whole day devoted to celebrating children—Joyful Children’s Day! We will make carp kites and origami creatures that remind us of the strong people we are growing up to be.

Next, we travel across the ocean to India where we will find a harvest festival called Sankranthi, which is similar to our Thanksgiving. We will make intricate drawings called rangoli and get the opportunity to make our hands a work of art using henna designs.

One of the biggest celebrations we will learn about is China’s Lunar New Year’s Festival. Like the New Year festival we celebrate in the United States, it is a time to get together with family and prepare for a good year ahead. We will create block printed art and calligraphy like what is made and displayed on China’s Lunar New Year’s Festival. We will also make our own red lanterns, which signify good luck in Chinese culture!

Lastly, we travel to the Middle East to celebrate Norooz, the Persian New Year. Get ready to get a little messy as we paint eggs to welcome in the New Year.
Come join us on this exciting adventure as we discover other cultures and the beautiful and fun art that is shared through their special celebrations.


I’m Rosanne. Be one of my campers!

Meet Rosanne!About Rosanne:

BA Biology, Oberlin College (Oberlin, OH)
Having joined the Children’s Museum & Theatre as an intern in the garden, Rosanne imbues a sense of curiosity and respect for the natural world into all of her teaching. Her previous work in education has taken her from Ohio to Central America and, most recently, to Vermont as a garden-based educator. Rosanne loves the creativity and imagination of the museum visitors and sees her work as an opportunity to inspire young people to be inventors, growers and makers.

Here’s what Rosanne has to say about her 2013 summer camps:

I’m excited to spend the summer telling stories, digging in the dirt and building amazing inventions! Our campers have such wonderful curiosity and imagination, perfect for understanding and appreciating the science that makes our world work. At these camps, we will be exploring the world of science with storytelling, imagination, and lots of excellent messes.

• Young Inventors 7/22-7/26  •

At Young Inventors camp, we’ll be choosing our own adventures! This camp is all about fostering curiosity and inventiveness and building problem solving skills. Together, we will be devising creative solutions to whimsical challenges, drawing on the museum’s exhibits for inspiration (we have whozits and whatzits galore!). We will learn basic principles of science, explore the beauty of simple machines and learn to embraces challenges as an opportunity to be more creative. For example, from a given set of supplies, we’ll tackle a whole bunch of challenges: create something to keep a secret in! Create new instruments for your band and sing us a song! Create a flying machine to safely carry a family of jelly beans! This camp is designed for 6-8 year olds. Come to Young Inventors camp and dream up your own incredible invention!

• Dinos Rock! (8/12-8/16) •

Later in the summer, we’ll be traveling back to the Age of Reptiles- to the time of the dinosaurs. This camp is all about exploring prehistoric dinosaur life and the earth’s landscape 180 million years ago, a time when the Museum’s special collection of artifacts was being made! Learning from life-size replicas of dinosaur fossils and real plant and animal fossils, we’ll make casts of animal tracks, play rousing games of fossil charades and dance in a dinosaur disco. Campers will play archeologist and search the garden for fossils, carefully uncovering its hidden treasure. What ancient species will they uncover? How did it live? What did it eat? Dino Rock! camp is developmentally appropriate for 4-6 year olds and, if you child loves dinos and digging and dressing up, this is the camp for them!

Talk to Rosanne:

Curious about Rosanne’s camps? Contact her at 828-1234 x229 or email her at

Ready to register? You can do it online here or call Shana at 828-1234 x232.

I’m Ryan – Be One of My Campers!

About Ryan:

BS Wildlife Science, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) (Syracuse, NY)
MPS Natural Resource and Recreation Management, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) (Syracuse, NY)
From the time he was a young boy in his native state of New York (the upstate part!), Ryan has been captivated by the outdoors and all things science. Ryan has a variety of experience working with youth in science-related programs as a volunteer educator for the NYS Parks Department and as a science educator with his college. He sees science education as a way to engage youth in their natural surroundings and aims to make science something fun and enjoyable.

About Ryan’s Camps (in his own words):

I’ve always been interested in the pioneer lifestyle especially the ruggedness, creativity and resourcefulness associated with it and thought doing a camp about it would be super fun. In Pioneer Camp, we’ll use our hands to craft fun toys of the time and I’ll get my guitar out to pick some old time pioneer tunes, among other activities.

I am really excited for Backyard Naturalist Camp! Summer is an awesome time to be outside, plus I love sharing my excitement for nature and assortment of facts and tidbits with others. We will explore our backyard museum ecosystem and think about how we can all enhance our own backyards to attract more wildlife.

Talk to Ryan:

Curious about Ryan’s camps? Contact Ryan at 828-1234 x229 or email him at

If you don’t have any questions and are ready to register, you can do it online here or call Shana at 828-1234 x232.

I’m Reba – Be One of My Campers!

About Reba:

BA Theatre Arts, Mount Holyoke College (South Hadley, MA)
MA Theatre Education, Emerson College (Boston, MA) (expected 2013)
Reba spent two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco, where she facilitated a clowning troupe and helped them teach theatre workshops for youth all over the south-west region of the country. Aside from directing five mainstage productions per year at the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine, Reba is an active member of Portland’s thriving theatre community. Reba uses theatre to teach anything and anything to teach theatre, loves making art with young actors, and loves watching young people find their spark!

About Reba’s Camps (in her own words):

I was teaching a Teensy Weensy acting class for 3-to-5-year-olds last fall when a 4-year-old actress with a glint in her eye leaned over and whispered, “Peter Pan’s my boyfriend” in my ear.  Without hesitation, I told her that I knew Captain Hook personally and that he’s much nicer than he seems in the book or movies. In Camp Never Neverland, I’m looking forward to reading selections of Peter Pan to my campers, role playing Wendy Darling telling stories to the lost boys.  After that, we’ll act it out, with a museum full of exhibits at our disposal, including a pirate ship outside! The story of Peter Pan has inspired so many children to make believe and pretend that they can fly or go to Neverland, it’s the perfect theme for a drama-based summer camp.

When I was about six years old, I discovered the game of Clue.  I had my mother’s old boardgame from the 1960s.   I loved the intrigue and the mystery, but I would only play with people that were willing to play their characters.  (Apparently, even as a little girl I was a theatre director!) Professor Plum had to be a little nerdy, Mrs. Peacock was very nice and spoke like Ms. Piggy, Miss Scarlet was… Miss Scarlet. By the winter I was seven, playing Clue required dress up clothes and every corner of our house. I think playing Clue inspired me to try out for my first play! As a theatre teacher and educator, I’ve discovered many improvisational theatre games that have to do with playing parts and solving a mystery.  These games quickly become a favorite of young actors in our mainstage productions, which is why I created Detective Camp.  Every day we’ll be finding clues, playing characters and solving mysteries all over the museum! (Please don’t worry about the theme – our culprits will be stick to small misdemeanors and petty crimes.  There will be no murder in our detective camp this summer!)

Talk to Reba:

Curious about Reba’s camps? Contact Reba at 828-1234 x247 or email her at

If you don’t have any questions and are ready to register, you can do it online here or call Shana at 828-1234 x232.

I’m Jamie – Be One of My Campers!

About Jamie:

BFA Painting, Maryland Institute, College of Art (Baltimore, MD)
MA Cultural Sustainability, Goucher College (Towson, MD) (expected 2013)
Combining her love of world cultures, community and sustainable food is one of Jamie’s favorite things about working at the Children’s Museum & Theatre. In her career as an educator, Jamie incorporates the lens of an artist into facilitating creative, play-based learning across disciplines. Previously she has worked as an educator privately and at various organizations, including Interlochen Center for the Arts. She is also an exhibiting artist.

About Jamie’s Camps (in her own words):

February in Maine might mean snow days and single digit temperatures, but at the Museum & Theatre it means: summer camp planning! For the last few weeks, I’ve been sitting at my desk, daydreaming about balmy July mornings and all kinds of hands-on activities to explore with campers. I’m particularly excited about this year, as I’m running two brand-new camps with a really interdisciplinary spin – something we love to encourage around here. I mean, why focus on one subject when you can learn about lots of things at once?

My first camp, running July 9th-13th, is called Art, Numbers & Nature. As someone who’s always found the great outdoors a source of inspiration for both my artistic and intellectual contemplations, I’m looking forward to getting my campers fired up about things like the golden ratio, geometric dimensions of honeycomb, and the way tree branches grow. Even though we’re located in an urban setting, there’s way more than enough around us to explore scientific, mathematical, and artistic concepts through things as small as leaves in our backyard garden – or as large as the clouds we can see out the window. Children are naturals at finding connections between the unexpected, and that’s just what I’m going to encourage in this camp. Can you imagine the art projects that’ll ensue?

My second camp is also interdisciplinary, but is really going to appeal to those who love the big screen. Mini Moviemakers, running July 30th-August 3rd, will give campers a chance to see for themselves how movies are made – by giving them a chance to make their own movies. We’ll explore aesthetic concepts like composition, lighting, sound and color while also discussing plotlines of a story, conceptualizing sequences, and discovering the mathematics of editing. Not to mention the flutter of excitement when your artistic product is viewed by the world for the first time! On the last day of camp we’ll have a special movie screening for family members. This will be a hoot, as you can imagine. We’ll make sure to supply the popcorn.

So – it may be eleven degrees outside, but it’s never too soon to start thinking about summer. If you’ve got questions about my camps, please send me an email – I’d love to hear from you!

Talk to Jamie:

Curious about Jamie’s camps? Contact Jamie at 828-1234 x241 or email her at

If you don’t have any questions and are ready to register, you can do it online here or call Shana at 828-1234 x232.

I’m Louisa – Be One of My Campers!

About Louisa:

BFA Rhode Island School of Design (Providence, RI)
A schooled painter and active member of Portland’s art community, Louisa instills a sense of aesthetics and creativity into all of her work as an educator. Her previous education work spans the country and includes the Children’s Creativity Museum in San Francisco as well as work with at-risk youth in California, New Hampshire and Maine. Louisa’s deep curiosity about the world – from modern art to rocks and gems – informs her interdisciplinary approach to education with children of all ages.

About Louisa’s Camps (in her own words):

In my years of facilitating art with kids I’ve noticed the thing that can frustrate and hold us back from making really fantastic 3-d structures is a lack of creative connections or ways to make things ‘stick.’ In Magical Builders camp we’re going to focus on the non-glue connections that will open up a myriad of possibilities for future artistic building. One of the biggest challenges I faced during art school was building a cardboard chair using one 48” x 80″ inch sheet of cardboard and no adhesive. Since that assignment, I’ve been fascinated with alternative connections and am excited to share some of my findings with the campers. The project I look forward to most will entail some very large cardboard structures.

Art doesn’t need to be a quiet and introspective activity that’s fate is hanging on a wall or refrigerator; it can actually be quite the opposite. In Messy Masterpieces camp, I’m excited to harness campers’ physical energy with some really great process-based art. I feel privileged to work in a facility that can handle a mess and functions to provide children with an outlet to use their energy, work as a team and create a unique piece of art.

Talk to Louisa:

Curious about Louisa’s camps? Contact Louisa at 828-1234 x227 or email her at

If you don’t have any questions and are ready to register, you can do it online here or call Shana at 828-1234 x232.

The First Week of Camp – Gone Already?!

The first week of summer camp here at the Museum & Theatre was full of wild fun! Louisa and Meghan guided Science Safari campers as they delved into different animal themed adventures everyday; from the plains of Africa to dinosaur facts and fossils. Activities included meeting live owls and other animals, and an amazing 3-D nature photography show, complete with those crazy glasses! I got the giggles looking at these photos – this group had quite a week!


If you are looking for summer fun for your 4 or 5 year old, we have a lot of options!  In August there will be another exciting science camp – Amazing Animal Journeys with Hannah. For young ones who may have been nibbled by the drama bug, Reba will lead a camp called Under the Deep Blue Sea, which will call for lots of pretending and even special parts to play in our production of Pinocchio. Kids with a taste for adventure (or for tasty treats!) might enjoy going Around the World with Louisa – these campers will cook, craft, play and meet special guests who will help them explore global cultures. 

See for registration information. Adventure awaits!

Silly Science at CMTM

Making slime
Making slime

‘Sizzle….bubble….and pop’ were popular sounds and actions as our junior scientists met for a silly and slimy summer camp last week at the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine. We made varieties of slimes from household materials. We turned liquids and solids into each other and experimented with gasses.We even turned our hands into paws and had relay races to study animal adaptations. Our mini explosions are over and our ‘science lab’ is now slime free, but the Silly Science campers now have some neat (and gooey) knowledge to hold on to.

-Louisa Donelson, Camp Leader

Creative Kids at CMTM

Creative Kids Camp Exhibit Opening
Creative Kids Camp Exhibit Opening


From paper mache caterpillars inspired by Eric Carle, to Pop-Art portraits based on Andy Warhol, ten campers explored a range of materials and techniques during Creative Kids Camp in June. We looked at art from across the ages starting with ancient cave drawings. To truly understand the meanings of these images and symbols we turned our art studio into a cave adorned with dino fossils and dirt. We then mixed our own batch of paint from natural pigments and painted with our hands. We concluded the week as professional artists with an invitation only gallery opening in our Camera Obscura room. The walls were covered with inspired masterpieces, kids and adults alike.

-Louisa Donelson, Camp Leader

Summer Camp Fun at the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine

dscn5292The rainy month of June might have been soggy, but it made for a perfect week of Fairy Camp at CMTM! Our Birthday Room was transformed into the Fairy Room, complete with a Toadstool Village, filled with homemade Fairy Houses. Our ten little fairies were quite creative over the course of the week, making everything from Fairy Wands to Fairy Stones to Fairy Boats. We had a very creative bunch of fairies, and each day we had Fairy Story Time, where each fairy took a turn making up a sentence in our story. The following is one of the stories from the week:

Once upon a time, there was a little fairy in the snow. She was lost. She flew onto a white flower. Suddenly a frog came and told her the way. And he could jump really high. He ate a fly right in front of that fairy! The fairy flew home. She brushed her teeth and went to bed. She had a really great dream! In her dream she met another fairy. The fairy was going to the grocery store. The fairy bought a really big clock! Suddenly her dream turned into a ball and she became in Neverland! She met Peter Pan and Tinkerbell! They decided to throw a party with lots of cupcakes and ice cream. Then they danced Fairy Dances. They also ate pizza because it was Tinkerbell’s birthday – she turned four and got four presents. She got a game, a scooter, a teddy bear and pixie dust. When the fairies went to bed, they had a treat. They talked about what a great day it was. Then they went to bed. She went to bed at Peter Pan’s house and then a ball came and she came back to her own house and her dream came back. And then she woke up and wrote a story about her dream. The End!

…As you can see, our fairies had quite the imaginations! We even turned some of our stories into Fairy Plays. We finished up the week with a Fairy Tea Party and a Fairy Parade throughout the Museum. All in all, it was a successful, fairy-filled week!