Though we’re unable to gather around a campfire in person this summer, Pine Tree Camp will deliver a remote summer camp experience for Maine people with disabilities. All campers need is a spirit of adventure, an Internet connection, a mobile device or computer and a free Zoom account. Pine Tree Camp will provide the rest.
“Our mission is discovering abilities together, and we’re going to continue that mission even when we’re apart,” said assistant camp director Mary Schafhauser. “As innovative camp professionals, we’re always thinking about what more we can do. This is our chance. Everything we do this summer will be meaningful and impactful. It’s such an opportunity.”
Pine Tree Camp Director Dawn-Willard Robinson continued, “We actually opened Pine Tree Camp two months early with the launch of Pine Tree Camp to You on Facebook in March. We have learned a lot over the past few months and have been able to incorporate what we have learned into our summer curriculum.”
Dawn and Mary pulled in a team of camp professionals, alumni, teachers, media specialists and outdoor recreation experts from around the United States to design an accessible curriculum that connects campers, creates opportunities for staying active, engages their imagination and develops their passion for trying new things. Pine Tree Camp is a place to try new things. And that can still be done virtually.
Here’s how Pine Tree Camp to You summer sessions will work:
Pine Tree Camp to You is a series of six, week-long remote summer camp sessions. Each week will revolve around a theme like Nature, Drama or Science. Registered campers will receive a curated activity box containing everything they need to participate in the daily activities. Campers will come together via Zoom to connect for group activities and will also participate in self-guided activities at their own pace. Self-guided activities will be delivered through paper instructions and pre-recorded video accessed on Pine Tree Camp’s website.
Campers can expect to participate in a wide variety of fun activities. For example, during the Nature themed-week there will be everything from a backyard nature hunt to virtually exploring the trails at Pine Tree Camp via video with an outdoor recreation expert. During Science week, campers will learn how to make a lava lamp at home and explore how clouds form shapes along the shores of North Pond. Music is always a Pine Tree Camp favorite so campers will also have opportunities to learn new music then show off what they learned by singing together around a virtual campfire.
“It boils down to one word: connection,” said 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.”
Registration opens on June 8. Detailed information is available at this link.