UMA Student wins First Prize in the Student Poetry at Plunkett Poetry Festival with “On the Edge”

Education programs of the Camden Conference are designed to promote knowledge, perspectives, and dialogue opportunities on world affairs with high school and college educators and their students. Academic courses are now offered in Maine high schools and colleges on the Camden Conference, which are linked to the rich resources from current and past Conference presentations. We are committed to having 20% of Conference attendees be students. Zoe FitzGerald-Beckett, a UMA student attendee of the 2017 Conference, Refugees and Global Migration: Humanity’s Crisis, was moved to create an award-winning poem which she titled On the Edge. In her own words, this is her story: “In December of 2016, the Cushing Library ran a three-part series on the theme of the 2017 Camden Conference – Refugees and Global Migration:  Humanity’s Crisis.  What a  thought-provoking and informative event it was, with powerful and poignant poetry that cut to the heart of the topic of the…

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Maine high school teachers partner with Camden Conference to build network of global educators

Twelve high school teachers from across the state attended the Camden Conference’s third annual global affairs teachers’ workshop Saturday, September 16 in Camden. During the day-long session, the teachers worked with Camden Conference facilitators to learn about this coming year’s area of international focus and how it could be introduced into their classrooms. The Camden Conference in the Classroom (CCC) 9-month program helps build relationships and resource-sharing among Maine high school teachers who bring foreign affairs or global issues to their classrooms. “The Conference’s workshop helps us in integrating the study of international affairs in our classrooms. This program is a key resource for teachers like us who are committed to providing our students with a global education,” said Erin Towns, teacher at Edward Little High School, Auburn. Joe Hennessey, teacher from Piscataquis Community High School, Guilford, agreed, “The interdisciplinary study associated with the Camden Conference helps us augment our…

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The Camden Conference in the Classroom program was the most successful yet at the 2017 Conference. The Conference Board has long seen the value of sharing the inspiring conferences with high school students while recognizing that these young people need some education and support to fully appreciate the experience.  At the same time, high school teachers are stretched to provide the necessary resources to lead education on the Conference topic. To support these teachers and students and contribute to the learning for leaders of the future, the Camden Conference has developed a program titled “Camden Conference in the Classroom (CCC). The topic of the 2017 Camden Conference, Refugees and Global Migration, was not only in the news almost daily, but was particularly relevant to the experience of many high school students with about 20% of the CCC student attendees were refugees themselves or from families of Refugees.  Students in rural…

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NPR’s Tom Ashbrook to Moderate 2018 Camden Conference

The Camden Conference is pleased to announce that Tom Ashbrook, host of the nationally syndicated, public radio call-in program, On Point, will moderate the 31st Annual Camden Conference, New World Disorder and America’s Future, February 16-18, 2018. Ashbrook’s career in journalism spans 20 years as a foreign correspondent, newspaper editor and author. For 10 years he was based in India, Hong Kong and Japan, first at the South China Morning Post, then as a correspondent for the Boston Globe.  He began his reporting career covering the refugee exodus from Vietnam and the post-Mao opening of China, and has since covered turmoil and shifting cultural and economic trends in the U.S., Somalia, Rwanda, Russia and the Balkans.  At the Globe, where he served as deputy managing editor until 1996, he directed coverage of the first Gulf War and the end of the Cold War. “We are delighted to have someone with…

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Lynda Schuster, former foreign correspondent for The Wall Street Journal and The Christian Science Monitor, will be celebrating the July 18 release of her latest book, Dirty Wars and Polished Silver: The Life and Times of a War Correspondent Turned Ambassatrix, at Left Bank Books in downtown Belfast on Friday, July 28, at 7 pm.           Schuster’s book is receiving widespread early acclaim, and she will be interviewed by CNN’s Chief International Correspondent Christiane Amanpour later this month.           While growing up in Detroit in the 60s and 70s, Schuster felt certain life was happening elsewhere, and as soon as she graduated from high school, she set out to find it. Dirty Wars and Polished Silver is Schuster’s story of her life abroad as a foreign correspondent in war-torn countries and later, as the wife of a U.S. ambassador. It chronicles her time living through a war on a kibbutz…

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Student participation now part of Camden Conference mission

High school students experience a larger world at Conference By Susan Mustapich | Jul 10, 2017 From left, graduated Camden Hills Regional High School students, Molly Mann, Clara McGurren and Lili Bonarrigo attended the 2017 Camden Conference, Refugees and Global Migration: Humanity's Crisis" this year. year.             View More... CAMDEN — The importance of including students in the annual Camden Conference has grown over the past 30 years, bringing new perspective to a local institution that was created when a group of retired state department and CIA officers first came up with the idea of inviting experts to a small town in Maine to discuss issues of worldwide concern. This past year, 102 students from nine Maine high schools attended the conference on “Refugees and Global Migration: Humanity's Crisis,” including graduating seniors Lili Bonarrigo, Molly Mann and Clara McGurren. Bonarrigo, Mann, and McGurren participated in the... Read More

2017 High School Students Essay Contest Winners

The Camden Conference is pleased to announce the winners of its third high school student essay contest which focused on the 2017 Conference theme: Refugees and Global Migration. First prize went to Zoe Bean from Gould Academy, working with teacher Dr. Brad Clarke, for her essay Afghan Refugee Crisis. Lena Downes from Piscataquis Community Secondary School, working with teacher Mr. Joseph Hennessey, won the second prize for her essay The US should help Turkey expand its refugee programs. Third prize went to Sam McMillan from Gould Academy, also working with Dr. Clarke, for his essay A Case for U.S. Responsibility and Iraqi Partition. The Conference congratulates our winners. The essay contest is part of a special program for ten Maine high schools in 2016-17 called “Camden Conference in the Classroom” (CCC). Essay contest winners were enrolled in a course in their high school on refugees and participated in the 30th annual Camden Conference. Twenty percent of the 1,000... Read More

2017 College and University Student Award Winners

College & University Students Awards The Camden Conference is pleased to announce the winners of its college and university student essay contest which focused on the 2017 Conference theme: Refugees and Global Migration. First prize went to Jonas Eichenlaub, who participated in a 3-credit college course at the University College at Rockland as a dual enrollment, High School Aspirations student, for his essay entitled Refugees Can Be Part of the Solution: The Challenges of Lebanon. Second prize went to Zoe FitzGerald-Beckett from the University of Maine at Augusta for her essay entitled Climate Change Refugees: "What's in a Name?" Third prize was awarded to Brad O'Brien from the University of Maine at Augusta for his essay entitled Oh, Child Left Behind: The Next “Lost Generation”. The Conference congratulates our winners. 1st Prize                 Jonas Eichenlaub, University College at Rockland Center, High School Aspirations student 2nd Prize            ... Read More

CAMDEN CONFERENCE IN THE WORLD-What past Conference speakers and participants are doing and saying regarding current issues

The Camden Conference is more than a weekend conference every February in Midcoast Maine, as amazing as that weekend may be. The people in that community play active and important roles in the world year-round, and as a global community, we want to keep track of and, where feasible and desirable, support each other in those roles. Here are links to a few of the recent comings, goings and writings of members of our extended community:   With the refugee and migration issues covered in the 2017 Conference still on a high boil, Alexandra Bilak made headlines in May with the release by the organization she directs of a Global Report on Internal Displacement showing that two-thirds of the 65 million people displaced by conflict and violence were still within their own countries in 2016, many with little or no aid or protection. Her co-speaker Bruno Stagno, Human Rights Watch…

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How Might We Individually Help the Refugee Crisis?

At the recent Camden Conference, panelists were asked what actions we, as citizens, can take regarding the refugee crisis. This is what they said:   Paul James • Karen Koning AbuZayd • Gerald Knaus • Maha Yahya • Cas Mudde • Bruno Stagno • Alexandra Bilak • Kelly T. Clements • Timothy J. Kane • Muzaffar Chishti If you attended this year’s Conference, you know how informative, dynamic, and entertaining the speakers were. Click here to watch them again or go to If you were unable to attend but would like to find out more about refugees and the current global crisis from those working on the issue, click here to watch all of the talks from this year’s Camden Conference or go to Be sure to SAVE THE DATE 31st Annual Camden Conference:  An Unstable World: Shifting Power, Volatile Politics February 16-18, 2018 

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