Pine Tree Camp’s innovative new Dirigo Experience program has received a $20,000 grant from the Evelyn S. and K.E. Barrett Foundation. The Barrett Foundation funds organizations that benefit children in need, which makes the Dirigo Experience a perfect fit.

“This program fills a real gap in services,” said Pine Tree Camp director, Dawn Willard-Robinson. “Most Deaf youth have never had the chance to meet another Deaf person their own age. The Dirigo Experience breaks that cycle by bringing Deaf and hard of hearing young people together at Pine Tree Camp for a life-changing experience.”

The immersive program consists of a mixture of outdoor activities, team building and facilitated discussions and is designed to help youth build interpersonal skills, learn how to resolve conflict, navigate communication barriers and increase confidence and self-esteem.

“These are all important tools to have as they grow older and navigate life independently as adults,” said Joshua Seal, director of Pine Tree Society’s Interpreting Services. “We want to invest in the future by stepping up to help Deaf youth develop a sense of connection and community now.”

Thanks to the support of the Barrett Foundation, Pine Tree Camp’s Dirigo Experience will be able to provide a combination of in-person and virtual connections all year long for Deaf and hard of hearing youth statewide.

The Dirigo Experience is designed for ages 11 to 15 and limited to 30 participants. The first session in 2023 will be held Friday, February 17th through Monday, February 20th. Registration is required, and full scholarships are available.

Register for the February session of the Dirigo Experience here.

On January 11th at 7:00pm, parents are invited to join a special Virtual Info Session hosted on Zoom by Dawn Willard-Robinson and Joshua Seal. Register at this link:

Read more here.

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