The weeks of July 9-11 and 15-17 saw some Midcoast kids heading to camp with no sleeping bags, tents or sunscreen needed. Creative Writing Camp, brainchild of Rockland Poet Laureate Carol Bachofner and Elks Lodge PER Bill Bachofner, camp celebrated its second year for elementary students and launched a new segment for middle schoolers.

Elementary School camp was held at the Rockland Lodge of Elks No. 1008 and Middle School camp was held at Rockland District Middle School; organizers expressed thanks to the Elks and Rockland District Middle School Principal Kathy Hollicker for allowing use of their facilities.

The camp(s) featured local writers and artists who volunteered their time and talents to show kids what “real writing” is all about. “Standard” writing sections on poetry, character development and story development were joined by two new sessions this year, “art meets the written word” and “safe blogging” (middle school only). The students were busy every moment, creating and writing and sharing their stories, poems and art.

Thanks to support of an Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant and a Maine Media Women Opportunity Grant, there was no cost to campers and their families for three days of creativity plus all materials, snacks and lunches. At the end of each camp, certificates were awarded, door prizes were drawn and T-shirts given as a remembrance of camp.

This year’s staff of writers and artists and helpers included Margie Kivel (“art meets the written word”), Terri MacKenzie and Paige Pendleton (fiction), Stephanie Marshall (poetry), Kristin Gould and Sarah Bernard, as well as Charlotte Mills and Priscilla Davis from the Rockland Emblem Club and teen volunteer Tyra, who was able to earn community service hours serving lunches to the campers and helping in the kitchen.

For more information on next year’s camps, or to make a donation, contact Carol and Bill Bachofner at 594-8954; or visit

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or