“Paddling is a change to our very busy lives. It’s a chance to slow down, be reflective and do something for a good cause.”

For the 3rd year, Nate Libby’s friends and family will paddle together as Team Jude in the Bath Savings Institution Paddle for Pine Tree Camp.

Nate is a state senator from Lewiston. His eight-year-old son Jude attended Pine Tree Camp’s day program, Camp Pine Cone, for the first time last summer.  Jude was one of 650 Maine children and adults with disabilities to experience Pine Tree Camp’s week-long day and overnight programs and leave behind the confines of their disability on the camp’s barrier-free, fully accessible 285-acre campus.

“We heard about Pine Tree Camp’s outstanding program and wanted to support it and we actually paddled for a year before Jude attended camp.”

After their first paddle, they toured the camp with Jude.

“Once we saw the facility and how much the staff cares, we felt very comfortable and knew it would be enriching for Jude. The staff was so professional and caring.  It felt good.”

Jude’s family has always been interested in finding opportunities for him to experience the outdoors. “We do a lot in the summer to expose him to sensory sensations, and a whole week of that is great.”

At Pine Tree Camp, Jude enjoys the playground, taking boat rides, swimming in the lake and going for walks in the woods.

Nathan likes knowing they could do something really fun for Jude and “It opened my eyes to the folks who do this work every day. The counselors and staff are very impressive.”

This summer, Jude will attend day camp again and, on June 3rd, Team Jude will be on the Kennebec River for the third time, paddling with teams from around New England to support Pine Tree Camp.

The goal is to raise $68,000 and all proceeds from the 21st annual Bath Savings Institution Paddle for Pine Tree Camp directly support the Campership Fund and are a critical part of the Camp’s open door tuition policy.  Since 1945, Pine Tree Camp has welcomed all who could benefit, regardless of their ability to pay.

Along with 250 other paddlers, Team Jude will set out from Evergreens Campground in Solon for a seven-mile kayak trip down the Kennebec to North Anson, raising money for the Campership Fund. 99% of campers cannot afford to pay the tuition and this paddle is a major fundraiser to ensure they can attend not just this summer, but for years to come.

Join the Libby family by showing your support for all the people with disabilities who attend Pine Tree Camp each summer by making a donation at this link: https://www.firstgiving.com/pts/paddle-for-pine-tree-camp-2017

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