If you’ve spent more than a few hours with me in the last twelve years, you probably know that an enormous part of who I am comes from Pleasant Valley & North Woods Camps, where I’ve spent part of every summer for over half my life.
What might not come across when I share stories of jumping in the lake or roasting s’mores at sunset is how hard our team works to say ‘yes’ to every kid who wants to come to camp - no matter who they are or how much money their families have.
This year, we’ve committed to expanding our scholarship program. We already partner with all of the 13 'local' branches of the Greater Boston Y (including my own Charles River!), working to get kids who benefit from Y programming during the school year to spend their summers with us up on Lake Winnipesaukeee. This year, we're further developing partnerships with even more outside organizations - including the METCO program and the Department of Children & Families - to help bring even more kids to camp. We want to say YES to these kids, and to every one of the hundreds of campers we see each summer:
Yes, we’ll secure the donations to fund their scholarships.
Yes, we’ll make sure they have what they need to do everything they want at camp - even when that means a last-minute run to Walmart for socks, or flip flops, or a water bottle.
Yes, we’ll teach them how to swim, how to sail, and maybe even how to do a cartwheel off the water mats.
Yes, we’ll feed them three meals a day - and dessert too!
Yes, we’ll keep track of the weather so they can do DIVE outside and see their first shooting star.
Yes, we'll teach them all the words to our favorite camp songs - and help them sing at the top of their lungs while paddling across the lake or hiking up the Milky Way or Great Trail.
Yes, we’ve hired staff willing to go above and beyond for them - whether that means reading them to sleep when they wake up homesick in the middle of the night (with a book from our camp library!), washing their clothes when their shampoo accidentally spills all over their trunk, or showing them the way between classes when they’re worried they’ll get lost.
Yes, we’ve built a community that’ll help them grow into themselves - and will celebrate every step along the way.
Yes, we’ll welcome them into the traditions we’ve passed down for generations - and cross our fingers they’ll grow into tomorrow's leaders, continuing those traditions long after we're no longer spending our summers at camp.
Yes, we’ll work as hard as we can to make their experience at camp a positive one - and yes, that starts with securing donations from in and outside of our camp family.
‘Yes’ isn’t just a word at camp - it’s part of our philosophy. Camp is just a few months away, and there are at least 144 kids out there who we want to say yes to - we just need your help to do it. Please join my fundraising team and make a donation to our annual fund today!
-Sarah Roussel - Junior Village Leader