First of all, I would like to say that I am not an employee of Northland Adventure, or officially affiliated with the program in any way. I am, however, a friend of Ed Spaulding, and I believe in his vision.
Ed believes that the future of our world hinges upon the successful instruction of youth and adults in community involvement, global awareness, environmental sustainability, and educational opportunity. He created the Northland Adventure Education & Therapy Center, Inc. (a fully-insured, not-for-profit organization with 501c(3) recognition pending) as a way to foster experiences that will expand an individual’s own awareness of self and empower them to be successful as a force of change in our world. It is a brilliant, valuable program that deserves time to develop.
Unfortunately, Northland Adventure may not have that time. Ed was blindsided this spring by a sudden personal tragedy that proved to be both emotionally and financially devastating. Ed planned to invest his life savings into getting the non-profit off the ground, but all his plans were thrown into upheaval by life circumstances.
Against all odds, though, Ed perservered. And his first event, a week-long day camp/enrichment program for children ages 6-10, was a smashing success! The week of adventure combined canoeing with exploration of Vermont's natural habitats, and the young campers learned and practiced beginner canoeing skills throughout slow-moving lakes and waterways. The kids were thrilled, the parents were thrilled, and Ed was assured yet again of his program's value and importance.
But, in spite of his recent success, Ed's financial difficulties continue to plague him. At this point, the resources that were intended for Northland Adventure's first all-important year have been diverted into supporting Ed through his current difficulties. Without our help, Northland Adventure may fail.
Ed had budgeted $8,000 for the remainder of the summer, which included overhead, salaries for staff and wilderness guides, and supplies for his upcoming adventure programs. Because Northland Adventure's 501c(3) status is still pending, grant funding from foundation sources is not yet available. Ed knew this, and was prepared to invest his own savings for the first year's operating expenses. Unfortunately, most of that money is being used to help Ed survive his personal circumstances. Ed needs to raise $7,000 to keep the organization running at it's current level, but any little bit helps.
I've personally worked in the Burlington area human services field for seven years, and this is one of the most promising alternative education/therapy programs I've seen. And, yes, I would say that even if Ed wasn't my friend. But I do know Ed, and I know his program - and both deserve to succeed. I would hate to see an organization as socially valuable as Northland Adventure fail simply due to lousy timing.
Will you help save it?