Last year, Kate attended Pine Tree Camp for the first time in 20 years. She’s turning 40 this fall and has been part of the Pine Tree Society family since she was in pre-school and started working with a Pine Tree Society speech language pathologist.
“She has had nothing but powerful, positive experiences with Pine Tree Society since the beginning,” said her mother, Deborah. “The solid foundation they provided helped her to be who she is today. The camp, wow, that’s the icing on the cake.”
Kate has cerebral palsy and uses sign language and an iPad touch screen to communicate.
“She’s an extremely creative communicator,” Deborah continued. “But she sits on the sidelines a lot when she’s with people who speak.”
Not so at Pine Tree Camp. She was included with every aspect of the day.
“It brought tears to my eyes because it was such an authentic experience for her. It’s what every parent wants for their child. The counselors were amazing. The training is phenomenal. They were equipped with the skills to make her feel included, which is no small feat when you don’t know any of the other campers.”
You could hear the pride in Deborah’s voice when she said, “it’s been a year of growth and independence for her. She was always on the fence and timid.
We have wonderful people working at the group home where she lives and they continue to motivate and give her the confidence and courage to try new things. The Pine Tree Camp experience was the beginning of that.”