Camp Ketcha: A refuge, an inspiration, and a neighbor

At Piper Shores, we pride ourselves on how much we care – about our residents, our friends, and our neighbors. And we couldn’t possibly care more about Camp Ketcha, a year-round nonprofit camp that’s transformed the lives of countless Mainers, just down the road from us in Scarborough. Whether they need a donation or a cup of sugar, we’re here for them.

For 50 years, the camp has provided people of all ages with the kinds of priceless experiences that build character, inspire leadership, and form lifelong connections to nature. With its summer camps, team-building activities, Montessori classes and acres of natural wonders, Camp Ketcha makes our community a better place in immeasurable ways.

“Our goal is to connect people with the outdoors, and hopefully do some good solid youth development work,” explains Thomas Doherty, Executive Director at Camp Ketcha. “Getting them to care about each other, develop friendship skills, those kind of good basic things that kids learn at camp.”

Everyone at Piper Shores directly benefits from having the Camp Ketcha experience close by. We walk its trails, partake in its activities, and hold personal events at its facilities. And we do our best to give back to this one-of-a-kind neighbor. On top of traditional donations, our staff members and residents have worked as volunteers – and sometimes, the stars have aligned for us to be able to make a real difference.

“We had just received word that we were going to be in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act if we didn’t get a $5,000 swim lift,” Doherty recalls. “Piper Shores just happened to be making alterations to its pool, and didn’t need their swim lift anymore. They donated it to us, and it brought us into compliance just in time!

“The camp would still be here without Piper Shores, but it wouldn’t be the rich place that it is,” he continues. “We couldn’t afford to have a musician come every week and play for our kids. But resident Duncan Perry comes once a week to play banjo for the kids. We couldn’t afford to have purchased a new swim lift. Or to completely redo our kitchen with the cabinets that Piper Shores donated. Taken one by one, we could’ve snuck by, but overall, the richness Piper Shores brings to our community is tremendous.”

For more on this special place, please visit