How many people do you know who come back from a walk and feel refreshed? If you’re in a wheelchair, or if walking just isn’t easy for you due to your disability, getting outside can be hard enough. Taking a walk in the woods can be impossible.
Not at Pine Tree Camp.
Every summer, more than 650 Maine children and adults with disabilities arrive at Pine Tree Camp in Rome and their lives are transformed. Campers enter a world that is barrier-free, leaving behind the confines of their disability thanks to the camp’s fully accessible campus. Campers actively participate in all the activities for which Maine is famous – kayaking, boating, fishing and hiking – experiencing freedom and independence.
Being able to access nature and the outdoors is truly not something many campers are able to do in their every day lives. For many, their week at Pine Tree Camp is the only time they can have experiences like this.
Camp Director, Dawn Willard-Robinson sees first hand the difference Pine Tree Camp makes in the lives of Maine children and adults with disabilities.
“People with disabilities need nature as much as people who do not have disabilities,” she said. “The reality is, they simply aren’t as able to access the outdoors in their every day life. We have a fully accessible, barrier-free summer camp with extremely committed staff who work nonstop to make sure our campers are actively participating in anything they want to do.”
It may be just six days at camp, but it’s only the beginning. Having the chance to experience new things creates a positive ripple effect that impacts camper’s lives through increased confidence, independence and the development of new interests that last a lifetime.