Thursday, September 6, 2018

As Summer Comes to an End

Our 39th summer here at Camp Good Days has come to an end too soon, but what a summer it has been.  The lord blessed us with beautiful weather, and despite some rain storms in August, the camp suffered no damage.

Earlier in the summer, board member and volunteer, Frank Towner, spoke to the new volunteers during volunteer training.  He and his wife, Melanie, met while being volunteers for Camp Good Days.  Frank was part of the inspiration behind the clown in our logo since he, for many years, has dressed up as Crossroads the clown down at camp to help make the children smile.

To start off our summer, we had our Supportive Spouse program for women or men diagnosed with cancer along with their spouse or friend who has supported them throughout their cancer diagnosis.  As the summer went on, we had the rest of our programs: Junior Good Days, B&ST, Childhood USA I and II, our Doing a World of Good Program, our Brain Tumor Family Retreat, and our Teddi’s Team program.  The children had many visitors during these weeks including the St. John Fisher College and the College at Brockport football teams, the NSX car show, after which, the children were able to ride in sports cars around Watkins Glen, and various law enforcement officers with their canines and electronic toys.

We also had our Rochester City School District Leadership program for children going from elementary school to middle school.  There were many wonderful speakers who came to educate the children on what it is like to work in law enforcement including JP Kennedy, the US Attorney for the Western District of NY; FBI Agent, Jeremy Bell; Deputy Chief of the Rochester Fire Department, Willie Jackson; Monroe County Sheriff, Todd Baxter; and United States Marshal, Charles Salina.

This summer, we had hundreds campers across all of our programs from all over the world, and it is crazy to think of how we started, with just 21 campers from Rochester, 21 from Buffalo, and 21 from Syracuse.  We also had some new campers this year in our Doing a World of Good program from Africa! It is hard to believe that over the past 39 years, we have served over 48,300 campers.

At camp, you know you did your job well if the children are smiling during the programs, and then crying when they leave because they don’t want to go home.  They get to make wonderful bonds with their fellow campers, along with the summer staff, and the volunteers in their cabins. Camp Good Days is truly a place where the campers can be around other children who know exactly what it is like to be them.

Coming up, we have our last two programs; our Women’s Wellness Weekend, and our Men’s Prostate Retreat, and then our programs will officially be done for this year at the facility.

We are getting into event season now, and to kick it off, last Thursday, we had the third Teddi Bowl section V football game, this year between Pittsford and Victor high schools.  There was a full stadium at St. John Fisher College, where we held the game, and the campers who were Honorary Coaches and Cheerleaders had a wonderful time.  Coming up, we have our Tour de Teddi bike ride around Keuka Lake this weekend, the Courage Bowl on September 29th at the College at Brockport, and our Wine Auction Dinner at the Holiday Inn Downtown on November 17th.

This summer was a busy, but wonderful summer, and I am excited for our events this fall.  I wish everyone a safe, happy and healthy start to the school year.