ROME, Maine (WABI) – Pine tree camp has been offering a spot for adults and youngsters with disabilities to take part in leisure actions for over 7 many years.
They’re again in session this yr after the pandemic, and when the bell rings, campers know it’s time for one in all their favourite actions.
“Kayaking, that’s an enormous exercise at camp. I at all times consider it as an incredible equalizer as a result of whenever you see our campers out on the lake, you can’t inform in the event that they use a wheelchair on land or if they’re cellular,” stated Erin Rice, chief improvement officer.
Additionally they take pleasure in swimming on the 285-acre property, that was initially based for kids unable to stroll resulting from sickness.
“It began out as a camp for kids with polio, a part of our programming and has expanded through the years to incorporate folks with bodily disabilities in addition to folks with mental impairments,” explains camp director, Daybreak Willard-Robinson.
On account of beneficiant donors, Rice stated they don’t flip away households who’re unable to satisfy up financially.
“That promise is so essential to our households, that’s one factor they don’t want to fret about, they pay what they’ll afford, and we take care of the remaining,” Rice stated, “After they drive down the hill, they enter a spot the place they aren’t completely different, everyone is similar. they’re one of many gang.”
Megan Bouchard calls it house. As a mum or dad who goes to the camp along with her son, she stated it’s their comfortable place.
“It’s tremendous accessible for wheelchairs and other people of all ages, sizes, races, disabilities, it’s all welcome.” Megan stated.
“That could be a nice expertise for them, I feel over the previous couple of years, particularly, our campers have skilled some vital isolations.
Isolation resulting from COVID, and like many organizations, the camp director says they’ve needed to re-evaluate what they provide and enhance them the place wanted.
“We added accessible biking, enhancements to our archery program, we’ve finished much more boating and kayaking,” she stated.
She additionally stated they’ve stretched their seasons a bit of longer and at the moment are providing winter programming.
Though they’re again in session, Rice says they’re nonetheless acutely aware about COVID as a result of their campers are excessive threat populations.
“In regular occasions, we have now about 90 campers per session, this yr we have now about half of that. we’re thrilled to be again open and we cant wait to be again open as regular sooner or later,” Rice stated.
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