RAYMOND — Thousands of youngsters flock to Maine to attend summer camp, and for a second straight year, they will have the chance to celebrate their own unique Earth Day.

This summer’s event, scheduled for July 15 and 16, will focus on the theme “Eat Local.”

The brainchild of Maine Summer Camps, which represents more than 130 Maine camps, Earth Day gives camps yet another chance to incorporate environmental sustainability into their programming, organizers say.

“We want to do two things,” said Ron Hall, executive director of Maine Summer Camps. “Support local farms and raise awareness of using wholesome, natural foods.”

As part of the planning, Maine Summer Camps has reached out to the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association and the Maine Federation of Farmers’ Markets to encourage collaboration between camps and farmers.

Hall said Maine Summer Camps began the Earth Day activity last summer to recognize “the importance of taking care of our world.”

A number of Maine camps already collaborate with local farms in their food service programs, Hall said. “They are ahead of the game.”

One of those camps is Camp Nashoba North in Raymond. Director Sarah Seaward said the camp has long sought to include locally sourced food in its offerings, and this year has partnered with nearby Mulberry Farms in some of its efforts.

Leigh Hallett, executive director of the Maine Federation of Farmers’ Markets said campers can be ambassadors for local markets.

It’s a “win-win” plan, Hall said.


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