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.”