By Laurie, Maine Camp Experience (MCE) Guide
In addition to the new friendships, new skills and great memories, Maine campers will take with them the knowledge and pride of having participated in important social action initiatives this summer. Meaningful programs, such as “Dunk Your Kicks,” brought to Maine camps through the partnership between Maine Camp Experience (MCE) and Max Cure Foundation (MCF), enabled campers and staff to help others, raise awareness and funds for the fight against pediatric cancer, and help the environment.
Initially, Max Cure founder David Plotkin visited four host camps in Maine “Dunk Your Kicks” events. Due to the overwhelming response, David headed back to Maine for social action events at four more camps. Additionally, campers from other MCE camps traveled to the host camps to participate.
At the eight events, hundreds of campers and staff were inquisitive, excited and engaged to be part of this important cause. At each event both campers and counselors asked how they could bring “Dunk Your Kicks” to their hometowns and schools.
Camps really embraced the program and made it their own. For example, Camp Fernwood reached out to New Balance for sneakers and also committed to match dollar for dollar its sneaker donations, up to $1,000, in fundraising money; Maine Teen Camp tapped into their local Scout troops to extend the program and obtain additional sneaker donations.
Several Maine MCE camp directors have already asked for events to be held at their camps in 2014. Local press covered the events. Max Cure Foundation and Camp Sunshine, an MCE camp, began discussions about opportunities to work together. And families with kids at camps in other regions took notice of Maine camps’ efforts.
In all, 15 Maine MCE member camps participated in the program, including: Camp Androscoggin, Camp Cedar, Camp Fernwood, Camp Kippewa, Maine Teen Camp, Camp Matoaka, Camp Manitou, Camp Micah, Camp North Star, Camp Runoia, Camp Takajo, Tripp Lake Camp, Camp Vega, Winona Camps, and Wyonegonic Camps. Here’s a video with highlights from some events.
As this summer camp season is coming to a close, several camp directors have shared that they’ll provide the opportunity to campers and staff who want to “dunk” as they depart (i.e., donate their sneakers as they head out of camp on the last day). And, Maine Camp Experience is working with Max Cure Foundation on final summer-end collections so that sneakers may be sorted, paired, counted and sold to the sneaker recycler. But… the great “Dunk Your Kicks” program with Maine camps continues …
Here are two great ways to keep “Dunk Your Kicks” going throughout the year. Firstly, Max Cure Foundation is hosting a 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament and Family Fun Day in East Hampton on August 24. The tournament is open to kids and adults of all ages, so rally your teams and get playing – it’ll be a fun day to support a great cause and get to hang with camp friends and families. MCE is a proud sponsor of the event. Event information and registration: http://maxcurefoundation.org/registration.php
Secondly, you can bring “Dunk Your Kicks” to your hometown or school. The website: www.dunkyourkicks.com has a page called “bring Dunk Your Kicks to you” where you can fill out a request and Max Cure will get in touch ASAP. To show support for your camp and Maine Camp Experience as the introduction to “Dunk Your Kicks”, you can note on the form that your camp was part of the MCE “Dunk Your Kicks” events this summer. And, it’s great if you can include a logo and/or mention of your camp and Maine Camp Experience (you can email Laurie for the logo or more information).
We thank Max Cure Foundation and all the amazing Maine camp directors, staff, campers and camp families, Camp Trucking and Camp Baggage, and everyone else who helped bring the “Dunk Your Kicks” program to Maine camps this summer. We look forward to continuing this important program and teaching our campers to pay it forward!.
Talk to Laurie, our Maine Campcierge™, about choosing the right camp for your child and what to do in Maine.