Last Saturday, Connor Clement from WABI TV5 made a visit to Pine Tree Camp to catch a glimpse of the Winter Adventure Day Pass program that kicks off this month! The program will provide safe and accessible access to a wide range of winter activities such as snowshoeing, ice fishing and roasting marshmallows over an open fire. Winter Adventure Day Pass days will run on select week and weekend days through the month of February. Read WABI’s story here.
Pine Tree Society Blog
This week WGME sat down for a virtual interview with Pine Tree Camp’s assistant director Mary Schafhauser. The topic? Pine Tree Camp’s historic transition to into serving Maine people with disabilities year round through the Winter Adventure Day Pass program! Winter Adventure Day Pass days will allow participants to enjoy a wide range of outdoor winter activities such as snowshoeing, ice fishing and snowmobiling, in a safe and fully accessible setting.
Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced today that Community Support programs are approved for reopening – and Pine Tree Society is ready.
“Our team is thrilled to welcome clients back to its Community Support programs in Auburn and Scarborough,” said Shelley Zielinski, director of Pine Tree Society’s Adult Support Services. “We will be re-opening on Monday, February 8 for in-person group programming following the guidance of the CDC.”
Pine Tree Society’s Community Support team has been proactive and responsive to the needs of its clients during this challenging time since the start of the pandemic.
“When it was clear we weren’t going to be able to offer group programming, we evolved to small group and focused on getting out clients outdoors,” said Zielinski. “When numbers continued to increase, we launched one-on-one and remote programming to keep our clients connected, engaged and active during a particularly challenging time for people with disabilities.”
Connected, engaged and active are the words around which the program is built. Learn more about Pine Tree Society’s Community Support. Pine Tree Society offers two program locations in Auburn and Scarborough. The modern, bright spaces are designed to promote social connectedness and meaningful participation. The Auburn location just underwent a major renovation as seen in the video below.
Pine Tree Society’s Community Support is currently accepting new clients at its Scarborough and Auburn locations. Spaces are limited. Contact Shelley Zielinski at (207) 386-5927 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Windows and walls are filling up with eggs at retailers throughout the Newport and Bangor area and beyond. It’s a Maine tradition that’s been going strong for decades and each egg represents a customer’s support of Pine Tree Camp.
This Winter Egg Sale is part of the 48th annual Dysart’s Snowmobile Ride-in and Q106.5 Egg Ride to benefit Pine Tree Camp. Each egg helps Maine people with disabilities experience this barrier-free summer camp on the shores of North Pond where they can leave the confines of their disability behind and fully participate in everything from archery to boating to being in a fully accessible tree house.
Pine Tree Camp doesn’t turn anyone away regardless of their ability to pay and sales of these colorful paper eggs help ensure Maine people with disabilities can go to camp no matter what and have the chance to make friends, try new things and just be themselves and feel accepted.
For the first time ever, the Dysart’s Snowmobile Ride-in and Q106.5 Egg Ride has gone virtual, but the need is very real. Pine Tree Camp receives no state or federal funding and ninety-nine percent of campers require tuition assistance. During Covid-19, Pine Tree Camp continues to serve the community through its innovative Pine Tree Camp to You and Adventure Day Pass programming; providing desperately needed engagement, connection and accessibility for people most at risk for social isolation and lack of access to nature.
Window eggs are available at all Dysart’s locations, A.E. Robinson Convenience Stores, Bear’s One Stop, Danforth’s Down Home Supermarket, Indian Hill Trading Post and Will’s Shop ‘n Save.
This year, for the first time ever, eggs can also be purchased on Pine Tree Camp’s website at this link: https://app.etapestry.com/onlineforms/PineTreeSociety/BuyAWindowEgg.html
More about Pine Tree Camp: All proceeds from the Dysart’s Snowmobile Ride-in and Q106.5 Egg Ridedirectly benefit Pine Tree Camp’s Campership Fund. Every summer, more than 650 Maine children and adults with disabilities arrive at Pine Tree Camp in Rome and their lives are transformed. Driving down the camp road, campers enter a world that is barrier-free, leaving behind the confines of their disability thanks to the camp’s 285-acre, fully accessible campus. Campers actively participate in all the activities for which Maine is famous – kayaking, boating, fishing and hiking – experiencing freedom and independence. In addition, Pine Tree Camp provides families with much needed respite. Since 1945, Pine Tree Camp has welcomed all who could benefit, regardless of their ability to pay. Pine Tree Camp receives no state or federal funding and ninety-nine percent of campers require tuition assistance. The funds raised from the Dysart’s Snowmobile Ride-in and Q106.5 Egg Ride to benefit Pine Tree Camp are a critical part of the camp’s open door tuition policy.
Alex has been a regular at the Dysart’s Snowmobile Ride-in and Q106.5 Egg Ride for more than a decade.
“Once I went, I never stopped going,” he said. “I started going back before I had my license. My father used to bring me.”
It’s an annual tradition he loves and, once he got his license, he started going to the start of the ride at the Hungry Hollow 76ers Snowmobile Club in Levant as well as being there to greet all the riders at the end. He looks forward to seeing all the familiar faces and the traditions that make the Ride-in and Egg Ride so unique.
One of his favorite parts of the Egg Ride is the fundraising at Danforth’s Down Home Supermarket and the live broadcasts Q106.5 does from the store.
“I always go there and make my donation,” he said. “A lot of people have made this a tradition of listening to Scott and Cindy on Q106.5 and watching the stories about Pine Tree Camp on WABI.”
Alex is motivated by how Pine Tree Camp gives Maine people with disabilities the chance to try new things and to have the time to just be themselves and feel accepted for who they are.
“That’s the nice part about doing this,” he said. “You know you are making a difference. What Pine Tree Camp does is also a great thing for parents. They need a break too and when their child is at camp, it gives them the time to not have to worry about anything and catch up some R&R themselves.”
Last year, Q106.5 invited Alex to join the celebrity Egg Riders and he was thrilled to participate as a rider for the first time.
“When Cindy called and asked me, I said, ‘Is that even a question? Sign me up!’”
He has always been impressed that Pine Tree Camp doesn’t turn anyone away regardless of their ability to pay and how the Ride-in helps ensure Maine people with disabilities can go to camp no matter what.
Pine Tree Camp is there for campers and their families – no matter what — because through thick and thin, loyal supporters like Alex are there.
As the 2021 annual Dysart’s Snowmobile Ride-in and Q106.5 Egg Ride to benefit Pine Tree Camp kicks off, Alex is more important than ever. Why? Like everything else, this critical fundraising event will look a bit different this year, but the need to raise money for Pine Tree Camp remains the same.
Join Alex and support the Ride-in today. Give to support Alex’s fundraising efforts at Alex Demers is fundraising for Pine Tree Society (justgiving.com) or create your own fundraising page 48th Dysart’s Ride-In to Benefit Pine Tree Camp/Q106.5 Virtual Egg Ride – JustGiving.
Barbara has been going to Pine Tree Camp since she was nine years old. This summer, for the first time in 15 years of being together with her friends on the shores of North Pond, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, her traditional week at camp suddenly took on a new form through Pine Tree Camp to You.
“It was really great that Pine Tree Camp staff so quickly came up with a plan because there was something to look forward to,” recalled her mother, Denise.
Pine Tree Camp to You was a virtual summer camp experience designed to safely connect campers through a series of remote week-long sessions. Registered campers received a curated activity box containing everything they needed to fully participate.
Barbara signed up for two Pine Tree Camp to You weeks: Arts and Crafts and Drama.
“In a way, it was almost like having two sessions of camp,” said Denise. “When her first box arrived, it was like Christmas in July. A box of goodies arrived with everything she needed for Arts and Crafts week. Getting something from Pine Tree Camp gave her such a thrill and definitely boosted her happiness. Once she saw the first box and knew what to expect, the next three weeks before the Drama box arrived gave her a lot to look forward to.”
In addition to doing self-guided activities, campers also came together virtually via Zoom to connect for group cabin activities with Pine Tree Camp staff and other campers; providing the chance to get to know each other and share experiences.
“It boils down to one word: connection,” said Pine Tree Camp director Dawn Willard-Robinson. “We want to fill that need for connection in whatever way we can, even if that means we’re connecting virtually through a screen. Keeping people connected is the very essence of what we do, and, during this time of physical distancing, that’s more important than ever.”
Months later, Barbara still cherishes her Pine Tree Camp to You boxes.
“They are being reused for everything because they say Pine Tree Camp on them,” Denise continued. “I commend the staff for the level of enthusiasm and joy they brought. Every Zoom presentation they did was dynamic. The boxes were well thought out and they had a true camp vibe. As always, they did an excellent job.”
Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Gary E. Allen, the winners of Pine Tree Society’s 2020 Christmas Sweeps.
Sandy Crabtree’s “Winter Sunlight” caught the attention of The Free Press. Why? Because the beautiful painting featured as one of Pine Tree Society’s 2020 holiday cards showcases the quintessential Maine Pemaquid Lighthouse.
One hundred percent of proceeds from annual holiday card sales support Pine Tree Society’s programs and help Maine people with disabilities lead richer, more socially connected lives.
Cards can be ordered online at here or by calling 207-443-3341.
Get ready Pine Tree campers! Pine Tree Camp to You Holiday Celebration is coming! Join us daily starting December 14 to December 19 for holiday cheer and virtual activities designed to keep us connected, engaged and active. We have some special surprises and guests in store – and we will kick-off the fundraising for the 48th annual Dysart’s Snowmobile Ride-in to benefit Pine Tree Camp. This event, like everything else, will look different this year and we need your help more than ever.
Schedule of Events:
Monday, December 14th
- Opening Night Campfire
- Join us for the opening campfire for our Pine Tree Camp to You Holiday Celebration with special guest Eric Lunt! Register here
Tuesday, December 15th
- Bingo Night
- Join us for Bingo night and win some exciting Pine Tree Camp and Pine Tree Camp to You swag! Register here
Wednesday, December 16th
- Paint Night
- Join us for Paint Night with a special guests from one of our amazing Ride-In sponsors from Dysart’s! Register here
Thursday, December 17th
- Talent Show
- A Pine Tree Camp favorite-the talent show, brought to you virtually right from Pine Tree Camp! Showcase your talents-a song, dance, jokes, or other talent you may have! Register here
Friday, December 18th
- Dance Party!
- Let’s dance! Holiday outfits are encouraged although not required. DJ will be a special guest from our camp community Register here