Guest blogger, Lisa Siegel
Olivia’s first summer at Runoia was the year she turned 10. I said goodbye to her on a rainy morning as she sat on her bunk waiting for the other campers to arrive. Olivia returned to Runoia for 8 summers.
The gift of summer camp was the best gift we could have given our daughter. She gained a sense of sisterhood, community and empowerment. The supportive, inclusive environment at Runoia gave Olivia an extended family that lasted far beyond summers and continues in her life as a young adult. She was encouraged to challenge herself and reach goals of becoming a competent sailor, an accomplished backpacker, hiker and a certified Junior Maine Guide.
Olivia’s love for the outdoors impacted many of her past and current choices including attending college in Maine (Colby College) where she became a COOT leader (Colby Outdoor Orientation), avid skier and hiker.
Olivia’s summers at Runoia have no doubt helped shape the woman she has become. She does not shy away from challenges. She had the confidence to move across the country after college to start a career. She continues to backpack, hike and ski and use the skills she learned at camp.
I was fortunate to experience the most memorable hike of my lifetime before Olivia moved out west; she encouraged me to get up at 2:45 am to hike up Cadillac Mountain to witness the sunrise! She had hiked Cadillac Mountain for sunrise as a camper and she wanted me to have the same awe-inspiring experience. How lucky I am to have shared this with my daughter prior to her move.
Runoia will always have a special place in our hearts.