Families in Orleans County will have help to sign their kids up for camp
Volunteer will be at local libraries to help with application process
Andrew Szatkowski knows personally the power of a week away at camp, a chance for fun and friends and a time to forget about challenges at home.
Szatkowski attended Camp Troutburg, a former Salvation Army camp in Kendall when he was a kid.
“I loved it,” he said. “I literally cried for weeks when I left. I missed the people. It was a Christian camp and we were shown love.”
Szatkowski wants to help other local kids have a similar experience. He has been trained by the Salvation Army to help people complete the application process for sending their kids to Long Point Camp in Penn Yan, a Salvation Army camp for children ages 6 to 12. (Click here for more on Long Point Camp.)
The camp used to accept application forms that were printed, but now it is an online application. That has proven to be a challenge for many Orleans County parents, who don’t have computers or Internet access, Szatkowski said.
He has arranged with local libraries to have application open houses. The libraries have Internet and resources to get the application done.
Szatkowski will be at the following local libraries from 4 to 7 p.m.: Lee-Whedon Memorial Library in Medina on Thursday; Hoag Library in Albion on June 18; Yates Community Library in Lyndonville on June 19; and Community Free Library in Holley on June 25.
The camp is free, and transportation will likely be available through Community Action of Orleans Genesee.
There used to be about 15 children from Orleans County who attended the camp for a week each summer, but that number was down to four last year with the new online application process, said Michelle Figueroa, case manager for emergency services for Community Action.
Parents and guardians need to print out a Salvation Army medical form and have a doctor sign it as part of the application.
They also need to provide medical and dental insurance cards, and proof of address, which could be a utility bill. (Click here to enroll.)
Szatkowski is determined to help families get through the paperwork and submit it all online. He is concerned about local children in poverty or who have families that are affected by the drug epidemic. Those kids need a break from stressful conditions, he said.
The Orleans County kids would be part of camp on July 26-31, which has an Avenger’s theme for the week.
“This is a great environment for the kids, from the physical to the spiritual to the creative,” he said.
Figueroa also said the camp is an uplifting experience for children in Orleans County.
“The big benefit is the children learn their social skills, communication skills – they have fun,” she said. “They’re able to get out of their environment and be placed in an environment where they can do all kinds of things. They can go camping, singing and do arts and crafts. The kids absolutely love it. They seem refreshed.”
Szatkowski said people interested in applying can attend the session at the libraries or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 585-205-0581.