Philanthropy camp offered at Gould
Leadership, ethics and philanthropy studies will mix at Gould Academy in July when Grab The Torch opens a six-day overnight experience for teenagers at their traveling Summer Institute. Grab The Torch is a non-profit that has programs in Colorado, Connecticut and their inaugural in Bethel.
Grab the Torch founder Dave Aldrich said he decided to bring the program to Bethel at the suggestion of Carly Giddings (GTT ’11. ’12) a new resident of Bethel and Gould student along with Larry Stifler and Mary McFadden, who have an unwavering commit to philanthropy in this region for over 30 years. Their recent and most visible project, the Maine Mineral and Gem Museum is a model of how community involvement and non-profit collaboration can have an amazing impact highlighting the natural resources of Maine while supporting economic development in the region. Their daughter Molly attended GTT’s inaugural program in 2009. One of his goals is to highlight the amazing level of cooperation that the Maine community displays in “walking the walk for the greater good in Main.e”
Aldrich said last week the institute would like to include several local youths in addition to Gould students who will participate. Grab The Torch has reserved 10 full scholarships for Maine students. “We’ll make every possible accommodation for deserving and enthusiastic students,” he said. “We’ll have students coming from Minnesota, Connecticut and New York City.”
The camp will build skills in the areas from which the institute takes its name.
Aldrich founded his nonprofit in 2008 after having the idea to combine summer camp with a curriculum featuring those skills. He said society encourages youth to lead in change and community engagement, but often does not necessarily provide a clear strategy for execution. His approach is basic “each student holds a piece of the greater good puzzle, different sizes, shapes and colors. Each student must find their piece, take action and put their piece in place or the puzzle will never be complete”
The program at Gould will include two dozen speakers from a variety of nonprofit organizations, among them the Maine Community Foundation, Burton Snowboards/Chill Foundation, Bethel Non-Profit Collaborative, Conscious Capitalism and Envoys Global Education.
“There will be kids from every demographic,” said Aldrich. “They will have access to the top people in the non-profit sector, including acclaimed speaker, Paul Schervish of Boston College
He said activities will range from panel discussions to walks on the Stifler properties, leadership adventure programs at Bryant Pond to workshops on the lawn at Gould. Raj Sisodia, Co-Founder (along with John Makay of Whole Foods) of Conscious Capitalism will deliver a presentation that will be open to the Bethel community during their stay. GTT has been featured on public radio in Massachusetts, Colorado and Vermont.
The event will take place from July 14 to 19. For more information on the program, registration and applying for a scholarships, visit www.grabthetorch.org.