Circle Program


In 2021, Circle Program entered its twenty-eighth year of  providing engaging summer camp experiences and long-term mentoring for rural northern New Hampshire girls.  During this nearly three decade history, we have served more than 590 participants who have benefited from the dedicated mentoring relationships of more than 442 adult women mentors. We now seek an experienced executive director to build upon these accomplishments, direct the implementation of our new strategic plan, and to lead the organization into the next stage of our organizational development.

About Circle Program

 Circle Program was founded in 1993 by the trustees and director of Camp Onaway, a camp for girls on Newfound Lake in Hebron, New Hampshire. The Onaway trustees wanted to create a summer camp program for disadvantaged New Hampshire girls, but recognized the fact that just a few weeks at camp might not be enough to make a sustainable difference in the lives of the girls. They modeled Circle Program after the Mayhew Program for boys and combined residential summer camp with year-round, one-on-one mentoring.

Initially, Circle began as a "pilot program" with twenty-two girls. Currently, 64 participants from seventeen towns throughout the Capital Region, the Lakes Region, and the foothills of the White Mountains are enrolled and paired with 51 volunteer mentors. Circle Program is the only program of its kind serving girls in New Hampshire. It is also one of the only programs in the country combining summer camp and mentoring and serving rural participants.

In the early years, Circle Program borrowed space from Onaway and other local camps when they were not in session. Initially, Circle Program offered girls (ages 9-11) a two-year Core Program of residential summer camp and year-round mentoring. As Circle began to grow in depth of service and retain more participants who were enjoying the relationships they had formed, Circle evolved from the original two-year program into a program which supports participants until they graduate from high school. Potentially, each participant we enroll may participate for up to eight years including the two-year Core Program, the Teen Program, and TAP (high school Teen Adventure Program). Circle now owns its own residential summer camp on Spectacle Pond in Groton.