Patrick Barry showed a short video, and gave an update on the status and activities of Camp Pa Qua Tuck at our regular meeting on Wednesday, July 19th.
The mission of the Camp is to help children and young adults ages 6-21 with both physical and developmental disabilities achieve equality, dignity, and maximum independence through a safe and quality program of camping, recreation, and education in a summer-time environment. In a structured, compassionate environment, the children engage in a number of activities designed to broaden their horizons.
The Camp was established about 70 years ago to help kids afflicted by Polio, and redirected toward kids with wider-ranging disabilities when Polio was essentially eradicated in this country. It is now one of the very few places providing extensive recreational opportunities and care for special-needs youngsters. The Camp often takes special needs kids that other similar facilities cannot, and in some cases, welcomes those over the maximum age limit.
The Camp also provides a much- needed respite for caregivers. Patrick expanded on the importance of caregiver respite with examples of initially dubious families that are now regulars at the Camp.
Despite popular belief, the Camp is not always fully booked, and there are usually several open spaces for campers. Patrick asked that we spread the word to those families who can take advantage, but are unaware of all that the Camp offers.
The Camp’s annual budget is about $800K, only half of which is covered by camper tuition fees. The Camp is funded exclusively through fundraisers and private donations; it receives no government funding. All of the fund-raising efforts of the Moriches Rotary Club and a good portion from other clubs in the district are directed toward support of the Camp.They hold many special fund-raisers, like the Spooky Walk and Duck BBQ/Race, which require many Rotary and community volunteers.
Patrick asked that we help find new supporters and sponsors for the Camp, and described some new fund raising strategies and the need for broader PR outlets.
Babylon Rotary has long supported the Camp, traditionally hosting an annual BBQ lunch and interacting with the kids and counselors at the facility. A visit to the camp is always a special experience. The location, facilities and activities provided for these special-needs kids, and the care and dedication demonstrated by the camp staff make this a truly extraordinary place.
For more about the Camp, visit their website:
Patrick is shown above with Babylon Rotary President Frank Seibert.