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Pine Tree Camp going strong after 71 summers

Pine Tree Camp on North Pond in Rome has been offering a summer camp experience to kids and adults living with a disability since 1945.

ROME, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Swimming, boating, archery, and crafts is a normal daily schedule that's been on the to docket at Pine Tree Camp for 71 summers.

The summer camp on North Pond in Rome offers 7 week long sessions to kids and adults living with a physical or developmental disability. They'll have around 100 campers visit by the end of the summer, including 15-year-old Nicholas Alexander who has Cerebral Palsy. If anyone appreciates the fact that councilors and other campers have an understanding for what life is like in a wheel chair, it's him.

"It's really important because if we didn't have councilors that weren't taught how to do this, there would be regular people who don't know how to deal with our disabilities," said Alexander.

The camp was started in 1945 for kids with polio disease, but has since evolved into the 285 acre summer camp it is today. Its facilities include 38 buildings, more than a mile of nature trails, two accessible overnight camping areas and a fully accessible tree house. Though its focus is on people living with a disability, camp director Dawn Robinson tells campers to check their disability at the door so that they can start to focus on their abilities.

"They can come and they don't have to worry about accessibility, they don't have to worry about people understanding them. They can come and be themselves," said Robinson.

Pine Tree Camp has a no turn away policy. Even if a camper can't afford the full cost of a week session, the camp will work with them and their family to figure out a cost that they can afford. For more information about Pine Tree Camp, click here.

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