Public supports fund for camp improvements

Staff Reports Posted 16 October 2014 at 12:00 am

RIDGEWAY – For the 61st year in modern history, an Orleans County camp fund brought in a flood of donations this past summer. And as a result of this generosity by Orleans County residents, large numbers of deserving boys and girls got to spend a couple of happy months at Camp Rainbow.

That site on Townline Road, between Medina and Lyndonville, has enjoyed a solid string of improvements since 2000 and is now a busy “day camp.”

Organizers of the Camp Rainbow Fund made their official report in late September and cited the generosity of the Orleans general public for bringing in approximately $5,000 once again. The donations are administered by the volunteer agency called Orleans County Child Welfare Association and go entirely to register scores of selected boys and girls.

“We are delighted to work with the Child Welfare Association in this program to benefit children,” said Pattie Kepner, who is interim executive director of ARC of Orleans which owns and operates the camp. “I know first-hand how the kids benefit, how they make friendships, and the long-term memories they form.”

The annual solicitation of Camp Fund donations covers all of the county and has been an existing charity since the 1950s. It was originally the Journal-Register Camp Fund but became Camp Rainbow Fund several years ago as the local camp gained stature. Each year the Child Welfare Association relies on trained social workers and even people such as school nurses to select deserving campers.

Campers attending Rainbow during July and August arrive by bus at 9 a.m. and divide their time among five programs including arts and crafts, nature science, music, athletics and swimming. And they are given lunch in a cafeteria which was modernized in recent years. Rebekah Feller of Lyndonville was “camp teacher” this past season and was in charge of about 75 campers, some of them with developmental disabilities.

Camp Rainbow added new paint on cabins this season when volunteers held a “United Day of Caring.” Also, Lyndonville Foundation gave $5,000 toward transportation costs. And grant money provided a new swimming pool fence. Also in recent times municipal water has been provided to the camp and numerous up-grades have been made including the pool.