Family Business Gives Back: Kingsley Pines Camp
Kingsley Pines Camp provides a life changing experience to underprivileged kids.
Located on more than 100 acres along the shores of Panther Lake, in Raymond, Maine, Kingsley Pines Camp is a family owned business that believes the benefits of a camp experience should be available to everyone. Over the past three decades, the camp has provided over half a million dollars in scholarship aid to children who otherwise could not afford a camp experience.
Kinglsey Pines is a co-ed camp for boys and girls ages 8 to 16. The Camp provides a safe and nurturing environment that challenges each child as they develop a higher level of self-confidence. Campers come from around the country and across the world to participate in the life-enhancing and character-building programs. Over 35 activities are offered, including sailing, water skiing, rope courses, soccer, lacrosse, archery, drama, dance, ceramics, canoeing, kayaking, jewelry making and many more.
Kingsley Pines partners with several non-profit organizations such as the Boys and Girls Clubs and the Immokallee Foundation of Southwest Florida to help ten to twelve deserving kids attend Kingsley Pines each year. “We are very fortunate to be able to send some of our members to Kingsley Pines each summer,” says Paul Schultz, vice president of operations for the Boys & Girls Club of Collier County. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for them” he says, adding that many club members have never been on an airplane. “The life lessons and experiences they receive at the camp are priceless.”
Students are selected to attend Kingsley Pines based on grades, involvement and accountability. “Camp provided the students with unique experiences and adventures that they never dreamed about,” said the Immokallee Foundation program manager, Patricia Rizo. For Rizo, seeing the kids’ faces upon their return is unlike anything else. “It is amazing how a few weeks of camp can change their lives, but it does. When they come back, you can see on their faces the image of confidence and real winners; that nothing is impossible and the opportunities in life are endless.”
Erial Perez attended Kingsley Pines and described it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Erial said campers make their own activity choices and are encouraged to challenge themselves and master skills in a variety of areas. Theater was one of her favorite activities, with campers creating and performing different skits. “It was so much fun,” Perez said. She also enjoyed getting to know her fellow campers from all over the country and world. “It was interesting to get to know more about them and where they were from.”
Jesus Velazco was thrilled to learn he was invited to attend the Teen Leadership Program at Kingsley Pines, which consists of only eight to fifteen campers and three counselors. The program includes a weeklong road trip to Acadia National Park in Maine as well as numerous team building and leadership activities over a three-week period. “It was an amazing experience,” said Velazco. “As time went on, we built friendships and learned to trust one another – all while having fun.” Above all, he noted that Kingsley Pines helped give him the courage and strength to want to do something else. “I want to travel the world. Now, I can gather my goals and dreams and make them a reality.”
For more information about Kingsley Pines Camp, and how you can support its Aspiration Scholarship Fund, please visit:
Quotes and certain content credit of the Naples Daily News and the Naples Florida Weekly.