Thursday, Local 22/44’s parent company, Nexstar Media Group, celebrates 25 years of service. This year, to recognize Founders Day of Caring, our team volunteered at a local camp.

With chainsaws, hammers, and paint brushes in hand, all kinds of handy work was happening at Camp DREAM in East Fairfield.

“There’s always things to move, things to build,” said Eliza Kuchuk, camp director. “Really this day is to make sure the camp is ready for our campers next week.”

The crew from Local 22/44 was on site to help get the grounds prepared and ready for summer camp. That includes clearing trails and building cabins, so 60 campers can enjoy a summer full of swimming, canoeing, and arts and crafts. Camp DREAM is the summer highlight for the DREAM program, whose mission is to close the opportunity gap for under-served youth.

“The idea of DREAM is not to be a flavor of the month program,” said Mike Foot, DREAM program director. “We start with our kids when they’re 5 or 6 and stick with them until graduation. When you peel back all the summer camp and mentoring, and enrichment and adventure trips and all that, underneath it is really these powerful relationships.”

DREAM depends on volunteer groups to not only build and maintain the camp, but also donate camp equipment. This also helps provide the overnight camp experience free to children.

“It’s been such a hard year for everyone, I think just stepping out of their day to day getting some solitude in the woods,” said Kuchuk. “Knowing that free nonprofit camps aren’t that popular, we really just wanna offer that for our kids.”

DREAM serves 450 kids year round throughout Boston, Philly, and statewide in Vermont.