Everything about camp is about building community and becoming part of something bigger than just yourself: practicing empathy, inclusiveness and kindness. Being humble when that “oh no” moment happens. Picking up the pieces, reaching out to those you may have affected and reconnecting. At Runoia we also connect with our local community, our Maine community and stay partnered with parents, families, grown up campers, alumnae and more.
We reach beyond Runoia to our local community and they are changed by who we are, too. Runoia brings a global presence to our small town in Maine. Typically, we have 7-12 different countries represented at any one time at Runoia and they get to know our local area. Parents shop, eat, stay. Campers get out of camp on trips to the Maine coast and to the mountains. Staff enjoy the local area and Portland as well as the peaks of Maine’s mountains and from its rock bound coast to its lakeside villages. People know of Maine because of camp and often Belgrade Lakes, Maine becomes near and dear to their hearts.
Runoia is known in our community from our youngest campers riding in the July 4th parade, our presence at our local farm CSA, our involvement with organizations like the Great Pond Yacht Club, volunteering for pick up on ocean beaches, the Yarmouth Clam Festival, the Belfast Lobster Fest, the Belgrade Library 5 K or the local Aqua Fest, Eyes on the Water/Invasive Plant Lookout, Loon Count — no matter the occasion, Runoia girls get out and help others. We collect food for our local food pantry and partner with World of Change to help others.
Our alumnae have started business in Maine, bought businesses in Maine, go to college and work in Maine. Whether it’s Maine Magazine, the Portland Racket Club, Sherman’s Book Store, Sugarloaf, Bowdoin, Bates, Colby, UMO/UMF, the Botanical Gardens, massage therapy, construction companies, education and STEM, teachers and administrators in public and private schools, State and National Parks, there are Runoia alumnae scattered working all over the state!
Many alumnae have taken residence in the summer on Great Pond and the surrounding lakes and some alumnae have bought property in Maine and relocated here to raise their families. Campers become connected to Maine in some way forever and Maine camps connect the world to Maine.