It’s #GivingTuesday, a day where everyone is encouraged to give back to an organization or people in need. If you can, contribute to a cause that resonates with you.
Giving back and helping others is an integral part of Maine Camp Experience (MCE) Camps. Many campers may participate in social action while at camp, and others are inspired to take an initiative home from camp with them. At camp, for example, some campers will perform songs at a senior living facility, participate in an ocean clean up, or run a race to raise funds. When it comes to bringing projects home, campers get inspired at camp by organizations like World of Change and then choose to run an event to collect change back in their hometown. Helping others gives people a sense of purpose and a fulfilling feeling of contributing to their community and society at large.
Whatever you choose to do, we encourage everyone to act to help others. It can be by donating money and/or helping with time and care. Below are some examples of our camps’ initiatives that may inspire you; and here’s more information about social responsibility at Maine Camps.
Camp Sunshine, an MCE member camp, inspires hope in families affected by life-threatening childhood illness through their unique, supportive program at its beautiful campus on Maine’s Sebago Lake. It offers one-week, no-cost sessions for campers and their families. All donations made to Camp Sunshine in support of this year’s Giving Tuesday campaign happening on November 29, 2022 will once again be matched – dollar-for-dollar up to $50,000! Have your contribution go twice as far in support of the children with life-threatening illnesses and families Camp Sunshine serves.
Camp Agawam, Birch Rock Camp, and Camp O-AT-KA are nonprofit camps in the Maine Camp Experience community. These wonderful camps give boys the chance to unplug, connect with nature and friends, have fun, enjoy top-notch activities and traditions, and learn invaluable life skills. They offer traditional camper sessions as well as special, no-cost programs like The Main Idea and Dennen Week.
Camp Walden hosts The Main Idea in August each year It’s a nonprofit that provides economically disadvantaged girls with a summer camp experience that builds self-confidence and promotes leadership skills. The Main Idea has transformed the lives of over 5,000 girls since it began in 1969.
In 2017, Maine Camp Experience kicked off a wonderful partnership with the Maine-based nonprofit World of Change, with several member camps rallying campers and counselors around collecting spare change and converting it into social impact. 100% of all change collected goes to nonprofits providing essential services to children and families in need. That first summer, participating camps brought in more than $10,000 in change (yes, pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters). Since then, the partnership has continued to grow, with nearly all member camps participating, amassing more than $80,000 in change. Additionally, many campers and counselors have returned home and introduced World of Change to their schools and communities, expanding and building this simple change movement. To date World of Change Change Makers have supported more than 150 organizations in 15 states (plus the District of Columbia), and across nearly 10 countries. Our camp directors recently gathered in Maine and donated to World of Change as seen in the blog photo.
Experience Camps is a national, no-cost program for grieving children who have experienced the death of a parent, sibling or primary caregiver. Their one-week, overnight summer camp, year-round programs, and content help to reframe the experience of grief, and empower kids with the necessary coping skills to move forward with their lives. MCE member Camps Manitou and Somerset raise awareness and funds through programs including a 5K run. Camp Somerset shares that about 220 campers signed up to run it this past summer and their families sponsored them. It was their fourth summer of running it and they have raised over $80K. They also do an annual service day, normally of four to six different projects by age group.
Every Tuesday of the summer at Camp Matoaka is “Give Back Tuesday” to benefit Camp Matoaka’s partnership with the Wildflower Foundation, a non-profit organization which helps kids rediscover life after the loss of a parent. This summer, campers participated in activities to earn points to send a child who has lost a parent to summer camp. With eight age groups at Matoaka, they have the opportunity to send eight children to camp.
Camp Micah raises funds and awareness for the Wabanaki Confederacy in Maine, as well as World of Change, and the Jordan River Village in Israel, which is like Camp Sunshine but for Arabs, Christians and Jews who are Israelis.
During their annual Camper Reunion, Tripp Lake campers donate food products to the Carver Center, a local food pantry and community resource center serving families in need in the Port Chester community. Tripp Lake alumnae and the TLC community are also very active supporters of Breast Cancer Research Foundation and Pink Aid.
Camp Runoia involves campers, families and alumnae in giving to support campers, the local community and Maine lakes. The Camp Runoia Alumnae Organization, CRAO, a 501(C)3, raises money to support campers to attend Runoia. They have the Pam Cobb Heuberger honorary horseback riding campership provided through the CRAO. They participate in World of Change. And Runoia’s CITs collect canned and dry pantry items for food donations to the Belgrade/Rome food pantry. Runoia donates, with the support of alumnae and camper families, to support Maine lakes to the 7 Lakes Alliance and the Belgrade Lakes Association.
These are just a sampling of so many great Maine Camp social action programs that help others. “Always give without remembering and always receive without forgetting” by Brian Tracy (speaker/author) are good words to live by.
Wishing all a heathy and happy holiday season of giving.
Maine Camp Experience Resources & Tools
Looking for the perfect Maine camp for your child? Try out our helpful tool where you can select a camp by choosing: type of camp (girls, boys or coed) and session length (1-8 weeks). It helps to narrow down a few camps to a manageable list that includes rates. Then you can research these camps in more depth.
Next, be sure to contact our Maine Camp Guide, Laurie to discuss these camps as well as for free, year-round advice and assistance on choosing a great Maine summer camp for your child.
Talk to Laurie, our Maine Campcierge®, about choosing the right camp for your child and what to do in Maine.