Chances are if you were in Portland on May 16 or 17, you spotted one or more of the 85 spirited adventurers rappelling down the side of the city’s tallest building, One City Center. In case you can’t guess why so many sane people would lower themselves down thirteen stories, we’ll fill you in – they were supporting Over the Edge, a fundraiser put on by Rippleffect, a Maine-based nonprofit whose work focuses on youth development and hands-on education in outdoor classrooms.
Eleven L.L.Bean employees were on hand to volunteer. This year, David F., an L.L.Bean employee and Rippleffect board member, rappelled for the first time and says, “I’ve witnessed incredible transformations in kids who have never really experienced the outdoors – coming back more confident in themselves and ready to give back to the community. We support the youth leadership Summit on Cow Island, which is geared towards sophomores and juniors from Maine. Students spend a week living, playing and learning on Cow Island and are expected to give back two days to the community later in the summer.”
Every year, more than 2,000 students come to Cow Island, a 26-acre island in Casco Bay, to take part in confidence-building leadership camps that teach conflict resolution, communication and problem-solving skills. With the philosophy of challenging the body as much as the mind, students enjoy sea kayaking, rock climbing, hiking and even zip lining.
You still have a chance to participate! With the great success of this year’s event, it’s been announced Over the Edge will become a yearly fundraiser. Sign up to volunteer or rappel in 2015 by contacting info@Rippleffect.com; and if you’d like to learn more about Rippleffect, check them out on Facebook.