Michael: Empowered to take the lead
Michael has been coming to Pine Tree Camp since he was in elementary school. This year when he came to camp it was a little different. This time he got to come with his family and show them what he proudly calls “My camp.”
“We have a family camp that we go to on weekends,” said his mother, Nicole. “And he always tells people ‘That’s my family’s camp. But Pine Tree Camp is MY camp!’ He talks about it every day of the year.”
Pine Tree Camp Adventure Day Pass made it possible for Michael to come to camp this summer and keep Pine Tree Camp a part of his life.
“It has actually helped us to keep Pine Tree Camp a part of his life for more time out of the year than just one week,” his mother continued. They reserved Pine Tree Camp Adventure Day Pass dates throughout the summer.
“Michael loves showing us around and is empowered to take the lead. It has provided another layer for us as a family. It’s wonderful to see the excitement he has about sharing this with us. It’s something he loves and he has a special ownership in it.”
Nature is powerful and during this time of physical distancing, access to the outdoors is more important than ever.
“Being outdoors in a fully accessible environment is so important and Pine Tree Camp is committed to filling that need,” said Dawn Willard-Robinson, director of Pine Tree Camp. “Our Pine Tree Camp Adventure Day Pass is designed to provide safe day use of our fully accessible 285-acre campus. All of Pine Tree Camp’s signature outdoor activities are available – hiking on accessible nature trails, boating, kayaking, fishing, swimming and archery – all provided in a physically distanced manner supported by experienced staff.”
Nicole couldn’t agree more. “The counselors were wonderful at giving space and being encouraging and engaging. They even got in a safe distance circle to sing a birthday song with him in the middle.”
Michael did it all. He we went swimming and kayaking and caught a fish on a pontoon boat with his dad. He roasted marshmallows, danced and saw his favorite cabin.
During COVID-19, Michael’s parents have been learning how to adjust to his needs and stay safe.
“Going to Pine Tree Camp is nothing we need to adjust to,” Nicole said. “Being able to continue to go to Pine Tree Camp no matter what has been so positive for us during this time.”
Pine Tree Camp Adventure Day Pass is available for all Maine people with disabilities and their families and caregivers. Dates are currently available throughout the summer of 2021. Register at this link.