Philosophy and History

Wavus (wă-vus) was a revered legendary chief, who inhabited the Point long ago with his people. 
Through a full program of joyful play, exploration of the natural world, embrace of new challenge, and progressive wilderness adventure, Wavus Camp for Girls develops leaders who have a strong sense of self and possess the strength of character necessary to meet the challenges of the world in which they live.   Campers are guided in their experiences by compassionate and dynamic women who help model for them how to be in the world – courageous, kind, steadfast, truthful and cooperative.  We foster cabin groups that become ‘family’ over the years until eventually the girls identify this group of Wavus women as their support network and touch stone both at camp and out in the world for the years ahead.

The Wavus Camps operated as a brother/sister camp -- Wawanock for Girls and Damariscotta Camp for boys -- from 1922 to 1976 when the camp was shuttered and privately purchased. The property lay dormant until 1992 when a group of Wavus Camps alumnae and local conservationists formed The Wavus Foundation to purchase the property for "safe keeping" through a grassroots effort that connected over 2,000 former campers and saved the 95-acre property to be used once more for resident and day camps in the early '90's.   Infrastructure development and facility renovation, including the building of the 200-seat dining hall and conference center known as Jewell Lodge, prepared the way for a new chapter in the camp’s history. 

Wavus Camp for Girls draws on its Wawanock roots and looks to the Rays of the Totem to provide our community with a rich and symbolic language to use when we talk about the character development of our campers.  The thirteen rays, listed below, are read at the opening council fire on the first night of camp.  At the close of camp the counselors award each cabin with a Ray of the Totem that reflects the unique character of the cabin as a group and for each individual in the cabin. 

  • Aspiration of the Arrowhead
  • Courage of the Brave                         
  • Industry of the Beaver
  • Patience of the Heron
  • Love of Friend & Foe
  • Knowledge of Books & Experience
  • Steadfast as the Spider
  • Loyalty of Forget-Me-Nots
  • Truth of the Grail
  • Radiance of the Fire
  • Teamwork of the Rowboat
  • Humility to the Wheel
  • Stewardship to the Turtle


Take a look at the original Rays of the Totem

Wavus Camp for Girls, in its current iteration, emerged in 2005 when The Wavus Foundation merged with Kieve to form Kieve-Wavus Education, Inc. This vibrant non-profit organization runs two summer camps on Damariscotta Lake -- Wavus Camp for Girls in Jefferson, ME and Kieve Camp for Boys in Nobleboro, ME -- in addition to extensive non-summer programming that provides educational opportunities and retreat experiences to youth and adults all around the state of Maine and beyond.  

Organizational Mission -- Kieve-Wavus Education empowers people to contribute positively to society by promoting the values of kindness, respect for others, and environmental stewardship through year-round experiential programs, camps for youth and adults, and guidance from inspirational role models.