When Franklin Savings Bank first began its employee health and wellness initiatives, the Paddle for Pine Tree Camp quickly became an annual tradition for their staff.

“The Paddle for Pine Tree Camp gives our employees the chance to do something they don’t always have a chance to do,” said Kelsea Pinkham, from the bank’s human resources department.  “Not everyone owns a kayak so we have always found ways to provide them to give everyone an opportunity to get out on the water together.”

This year, as the Paddle turns into a virtual event, Team Franklin Savings Bank is stepping it up with a company-wide Employee Step Challenge.

Franklin Saving’s Bank employees are tracking their steps all month long with an ambitious goal of 17 million steps, all tracked electronically by Fitbit.

Kelsea set that big goal for steps knowing how much Pine Tree Camp means to their employees.

She recalled how “The first year when we saw how many people were at the Paddle, we realized it was bigger than we’d thought it was going to be.  It was a real eye opener because we saw first-hand how many people already knew about and supported Pine Tree Camp and how the Paddle is for a bigger purpose.”

Kelsea and her team love seeing campers and their families every year and will miss that during the virtual event.  “It’s always nice to see the campers at the Paddle; it’s a good refection of the mission.”

It’s that mission that will drive Team Franklin Savings Bank to meet the 17 million step mark.

“Our employees are all about giving and supporting the communities we serve.  Now more than ever.  We are so proud of our team and are confident they will exceed the goal and, in doing so, the bank will proudly send further funds in addition to sponsoring the great event.”

To learn how you can take part in the virtual Paddle for Pine Tree Camp, please visit this link.

The Impact of Your Support

Pine Tree Camp is more than a summer camp.  For thousands of Maine people with disabilities, Pine Tree Camp is a family. Now more than ever, Camp is a lifeline to the campers and families we serve.

People with disabilities are vulnerable to experiencing social isolation in the best of times.  In these challenging times of social distancing, isolation is particularly difficult for people with disabilities. The accompanying stress and feelings of loneliness can rapidly compound and lead to depression and increased health issues.

For 75 years, Pine Tree Camp has offered Maine people with disabilities the chance to access nature without barriers and meaningfully participate in outdoor recreation while building friendships that last a lifetime.

We are seeing this come to life today in this time of social distancing.

The Pine Tree Camp team quickly innovated to “open” Pine Tree Camp two months early by launching “Pine Tree Camp to You” programming on Facebook Live and Zoom to keep our campers socially connected while offering adaptive opportunities to get active and access nature in their home environment.  Our team is also providing support to families who have quickly transitioned to homeschooling their child with special needs.

100% of donations to the Virtual Bath Savings Paddle for Pine Tree Camp will allow us to continue to provide this life-changing programming for one of Maine’s most vulnerable populations. 

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