Thursday, 16 August 2018 16:20

Pine Tree Camp continues to shape lives 73 years later Featured

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ROME - The pine tree camp in Rome is not just a one time stop for its campers.

“I’ve been here for eight years now,” camper Sam Solomon said.

 

“Five, but it would be six if I came last year,” camper Emily Reed said.

 

It’s paradise on the lake for hundred of disabled kids and adults, with activities ranging from swimming to camping.

 

“This camp means to me heaven on earth. Every year that I came here it was like the best time of my life,” Solomon said.

 

Every camper takes away something different from the camp, but what they all share is the joy that permeates throughout the grounds.

 

“Particularly from the kids not so much from the adults that they don’t feel different because they feel part of a group that accepts them they accept everyone so it’s uplifting for myself to see that continually,” Pine Tree Society CEO Noel Sullivan said.

 

Sullivan, camp organizers and counselors put everything they have into providing the best experience for the campers. Every year they raise one million dollars to maintain the camp and there's no caveat. Not a single dollar comes from the campers and their families.

 

“It’s just amazing really the opportunity to be able to do that is tremendous really it’s hard to put it into words sometimes,” camp director Dawn Willard-Robinson said.

 

“I feel pretty glad about that because not many things are free in this world right now,” Solomon said.

 

A little sleep away camp on the banks of the Belgrade Lakes has given so much to so many.

 

“This camp really helped me feel like I was more than a sister. I was a daughter and a sister an aunt,” Reed said.

 

“It’s been a pretty good life for me, I can finally find some peace here,” Solomon said.

 

Andrew Badillo

Anchor/Sports Director
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Andrew Badillo joined the ABC 7 and FOX 22 sports team in August 2017.

Before ABC 7 and FOX 22, Andrew graduated from Quinnipiac University with a degree in broadcast journalism. At Quinnipiac, Andrew was a member o...