During the first few days of each summer, our Waterfront staff provides every camper with the opportunity to pass a deep-water comfort test, allowing them to participate in our waterski and small craft programs or swim in the outboard area & use our water slide and water-trampoline.

We Love the Water

The lakefront is a vibrant part of the Pinecliffe experience, whether campers are working on improving their skills or just enjoying Crystal Lake.


Our Instructional Swimming program is based on the American Red Cross Swim Levels, with additional lesson plans to challenge even our most advanced swimmers. Every camper has instructional swim in small groups every weekday. The program for our most advanced swimmers culminates with a swim of the lake – 1.5 miles long – at the end of the summer. Advanced swimmers from our Lodge age group are also encouraged to take part in an American Red Cross Lifeguarding course, and are able to leave camp with a ARC Lifeguard Certification.

Pinecliffe also has an inter-camp swim team that competes in swim meets with other overnight camps, and Pinecliffe hosts an annual Invitational swim-meet that is widely anticipated by camps throughout the region. Additionally, all of our campers participate in Brown and Blue swim meets as part of our summer-long Color War.

In addition to lessons and competitions, every camper can take part in daily free swim periods where they can work on skills or simply enjoy time in the water with friends.

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Instructional Swimming

Campers learn to swim and advance in their skills in our dedicated swim lanes on Crystal Lake.

50 Mile

50 Mile is our water-based individual fitness program. Our swim and stay-fit program encourages campers to swim laps in quarter mile increments. We track campers’ progress throughout their many summers at girls camp, recognizing campers in ten-mile increments, and our most prolific swimmers oftentimes reach the 50-mile marker during their final summer.


Our waterskiing program is considered to be one of the best in Maine. Instruction is provided for every camper. We teach the basics to our new campers, and challenge more advanced campers with slalom, trick skis, and knee boarding. We have three Malibu Response LX boats running every period, maximizing the time our girls are on skis.

Later in the summer, we also offer tubing for all campers as another fun and exciting way to enjoy Crystal Lake. Our program culminates with a ski show during the last week of camp, providing many of the girls an opportunity to showcase their skills to the entire camp.

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Pinecliffe offers a variety of smallcraft boating experiences for our campers. All of our campers learn canoeing, kayaking, paddle-boarding, and sailing at a young age on Crystal Lake.

As campers get older, girls progress from sailing our single-sail Sunfish to sailing our multi-sail Widgeons. We also offer skilled campers opportunities beyond the shores of Crystal Lake - our most skilled sailors will progress to sailing our 25ft Hunter on Long Lake, and our experienced paddlers can take, canoe trips on the Androscoggin River. For our older and more skilled boaters, we offer canoeing and sailing certification courses.

During the final week of camp, girls will have an opportunity to put their nautical skills on display at the all-camp regatta, another Color War event.