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Camp CaPella

by Vicki Haugen

Last week we welcomed Melanie Dresser and her daughter from Camp CaPella in Dedham, Maine. Camp CaPella provides recreational and educational experiences for people with physical and mental disabilities. Melanie had many stories of inspiration and challenge.  Camp Capella is one of the programs our club donates to from sales from the Rotary Barn.

Camp CaPella is for campers regardless of ability.   This amazing camp provides an opportunity for people with physical and mental challenges to enjoy a summer program. They offer learning experiences, recreational activities, and loads of fun! It is their hope that this safe environment will maximize campers' abilities and willingness for participation and foster their self-awareness, growth, and development. It is also a rental retreat offered to administration, staff, and clients of other agencies and programs in the community that serve children and adults with disabilities.

Camp Capella offers weekly summer camp sessions from late June to mid-August. They generally have 700 folks go through the camp each year! Each session varies by age only. Campers can attend either a day camp format or an overnight camp format. Overnight campers arrive Sunday afternoon and stay at Camp CaPella until Friday. Monday to Friday, the overnight campers are joined by our day campers.

Camp activities can provide a variety of experiences for people with disabilities from age 5 and up. These activities include, but are not limited to swimming, boating, arts-n-crafts, recreational games, camp songs and nature study. They also offer adaptive learning opportunities such as kayaking, canoeing, and sporting events.  Recently they started an archery program led by an older gentleman camper with traumatic brain injury.  It was a successful hit with campers!  Devin, a camper with autism shared with the camp staff that this camp was the first place and time in his life that he felt accepted and like he belonged!  There are plans to enlarge the camp to include more bunkhouses and some private rooms.  Seeing all the smiling faces on Melanie’s Power Point made us grateful to know of and support such a worthwhile facility. 

Our guest at tonight’s meeting was Melody Rees’s husband, Phil. Thanks for coming Phil! President Tori Paxon reminded us of new member appreciation time, and we cheered all new members joining since the Covid meeting restrictions. 

This week Golden Globe winning director Will Mackenzie will be presenting an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond that he directed. He will also be giving a talk about what it takes to direct a TV show and to answer questions. 

Will Mackenzie is a Golden Globe Award winning TV director. He grew up in Providence RI and attended Brown University where he received a Fulbright Scholarship to study acting. He has summered on the Isle of Springs since he was 9 years old. He acted on Broadway in many shows including playing the role of Cornelius Hackl with Carol Channing in Hello Dolly. He made guest appearances in many TV shows in the 60’s and 70’s and was a regular on the Bob Newhart Show.

Will first started directing on the Bob Newhart Show and has directed many TV shows including WKRP in Cincinnati, Bosom Buddies (with Tom Hanks), Moonlighting (with Bruce Willis), Scrubs, Everybody loves Raymond, and his last directing work was on the Reba Show. He has been nominated 6 times for the Emmy Award and has been awarded the Golden Globe 3 times for Moonlighting and Family Ties. He also directed the movie Worth Winning starring Mark Harmon.  Wow, lucky us.  should be a fascinating night.

Veggies to Table, the grow to donate farm,  is another program we support and donate to.   They are  hosting a big online fundraiser. First prize is a week in Paris, France.  Contact:

Do you get the idea that Rotarians (and guests) have fun at meetings? We do. Join us for one of our low-key but meaningful Thursday evenings beginning at 6:00 pm; help us help the community by donating your used stuff and purchasing replacement goodies at our Barn sales each Saturday morning, and discover the Fifth Rule of Rotary: Is it fun? You’ll meet great people (us) and be glad you did.

The Rotary Barn continues to accept donations of gently used furniture, pots/pans, dishes, glasses, lamps, boats, collectibles, tools, just about anything. Call or text Deb at 207-380-3550 to arrange a pickup or drop off your donations.