Disabled Pine Tree camper kayaks Casco Bay | News
FREEPORT, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Nearly 700 people spent their summer at the Pine Tree Camp this year, a camp for people with disabilities in Rome.
But it's not cheap: one week of camp costs almost $2 thousand dollars per camper.
Almost every camper needs financial assistance to afford it.
That's why each summer, camp officials organize the Paddle for Pine Tree Camp Challenge, an all-morning kayak through Casco Bay.
This year, campers received help from one of their own.
Twelve-year-old Nick Maxim decided he wanted to help fundraise for Pine Tree Camp after having the time of his life there this summer.
Maxim said he had fun boating, playing games, having sleepovers, and making new friends.
"It's just a fun place," said Maxim. "I want people to go back to camp next year."
All he needed was an adaptive paddle to take part in this year's event.
Even though he was born without arms and a leg, he paddled the bay by using a lot of heart.
"Everybody's surprised. 'How did he learn to do that?'" said his father, Everett Maxim.
"But he keeps at it. He's persistent, and he's an inspiration to so many people who watch him."
Pine Tree Camp Executive Director Anne Marsh said his participation in the challenge underscores what the camp is all about.
"There aren't any barriers for any kind of activity, that anything can be adapted to one's ability," said Marsh.
"So it really touches my heart."
Organizers said they are still counting the proceeds from the Paddle Challenge, but estimate this year's event raised more than $20 thousand.