Innovation with old-fashioned roots: Pine Tree Camp barn raising expands programming for Maine kids with disabilities

Thanks to the Burger-Roy Family Charitable Trust and Campbell’s True Value, on Saturday, September 28, Pine Tree Camp will become home to a brand new barn, built through a traditional barn raising with a group of volunteers.

Brent Burger is the co-owner of Campbell’s True Value and has given a hand in designing the structure and envisioning the community coming together for an old-fashioned mini-barn raising.

“Raising a barn is easily accomplished with teamwork,” Burger said.  “And teamwork is what Pine Tree Camp is all about.  Traditional barn raisings create a time to come together as a community, to help achieve something bigger than ourselves, and that’s the kind of community we’d like to see more often.   It’s the coming together for a purpose that can make an event like this so special.”

Pine Tree Camp stands alone in terms of barrier-free access to nature and nature-based recreation for Maine people with disabilities.  Expanding access to learning about farm animals and how food is grown opens up exciting new possibilities for campers.

“It’s much more than just a barn,” said Noel Sullivan, president and CEO of Pine Tree Society.  “Brent Burger has helped us reimagine what a barn at Pine Tree Camp can accomplish. It’s a proud symbol of our community and a gateway to a whole new world for Maine people with disabilities.  This addition to our campus gives us the chance to expand our programming around farm animals and gardening in ways we would not be able to do otherwise.”

“People with disabilities need nature as much as people who do not have disabilities,” said Dawn Willard-Robinson, director of Pine Tree Camp.  “The reality is, they simply aren’t as able to access the outdoors in their everyday life. Whether it’s learning how to feed and care for animals or getting their hands dirty in the garden, our campers will now have even more opportunities to connect with nature in unique and meaningful ways that impact their lives all year-round.”

The entire project is being funded through the Burger-Roy Family Charitable Trust along with donations and support from local partners including:  Higgins Construction who has done all of the site work, Kavestone Construction who will oversee the building of the structure, Mainely Trusses who donated the building trusses, TLG Concrete who poured the slab and Mattingly Products who donated the concrete mix.  CMP Employee Volunteers will participate in the barn raising.

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