JEFFERSON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Twenty-nine veterans and their families are getting the chance to experience some adventure through the Maine Adaptive Veterans No Boundaries Camp on Damariscotta Lake.
Veterans have their choice of what activities they want to do - from kayaking, to pontoon rides, to the high swing and the zip line - any adventure is possible.
One family says this camp has brought them closer and taught them how life can be after time in the service.
Jasper Orne, and other veterans, are reaching new heights in the high swing.
“There was that one point I kind of had a moment where I thought I was back in the 82nd jumping out, and I didn't feel the shock and I didn't feel the pull, and I got scared for a minute,” said Orne about his experience on the high swing. “Then I realized that now, I'm just going and that was the fun part. When you realize that you are just going back-and-forth, back-and-forth and you realize that the whole team has got you.”
The team at Veterans No Boundaries Camp is more than just veterans and volunteers - it's their families, too.
“I was surprised to see Jasper get up there,” said Jasper’s wife Heather. “I heard a lot of ‘I can't,’ and then he kind of just took it and ran with it…once they get up to the top and a pull that cord, you to see the bright smiles and they are all so proud of themselves when they're done.”
The idea of the camp is to show veterans with disabilities and their families, through a series of outdoor activities - that things they once loved are still possible.
“I wasn't able to do [the swing] last year,” said Jasper. “I couldn't get up the courage to do it, and I couldn't get up the emotional tact to do it.”
His wife said that “the ‘I can't’s become ‘I can.’”
But it's more than just the physical new heights - Jasper and his family say the comradery is the key.
“It's great because our kids get to see there's other families out there with the same issues we go through…that's what makes it so therapeutic,” said Jasper.
These are bonds that Jasper's family, who is at the camp for the second year, says carries them into regular life.
“When I first came back it was really hard to adjust back into this, back to normal,” he said. “And here that's what they try to get you to do.”
Monday is the last day of this year's camp.
Maine Adaptive also has yearlong programs and a winter camp for activities like skiing.