Community Comes Through to Reopen Camp

youth participating in game of 9 square alongside a counselor

4-H Camp Shankitunk was able to offer a safe camp experience for youth this summer amidst the Covid-19 pandemic and wishes to thank the community for their generous support, without which; reopening may not have been possible.

A variety of equipment was needed to implement the safety plan that was developed to run camp and after a rough year, fiscally, in 2020, staff reached out to the community for donations and funding opportunities to meet these anticipated needs.

The response was overwhelmingly positive:

  • Community Bank, The Stewarts Holiday Match Program, Private Donors, and Camp Colleagues across the state supported the purchase of additional program supplies to develop cohort bins and reduce sharing of materials between groups.
  • The Community Foundation of South Central NY supported the purchase of tents to keep youth outdoors as much as possible (rain or shine) as well as non-contact thermometers to conduct screenings and donated face shields as personal protective equipment for staff.
  • The A. Lindsay & Olive B. O’Connor Foundation supported the purchase of outdoor handwashing stations, sanitizer jug mounting brackets for all buildings and changing tents for the cabins to reduce youth in shared spaces (along with a private donor who also donated changing tents!).
  • Community members came together and voted 4-H Camp Shankitunk through as a winner in The Southern Tier Tuesday program where $2,000 in funds were utilized on program enhancement including the purchase of a 9-Square in the Air game and flagpoles for each cohort (to increase hands on participation within groups).
  • FAHS Construction Group, Louis N Picciano and Sons, and Upstate Companies along with Tim Bowker and Bob Nieu donated touch-free water bottle filling stations along with their time and talents to install them at camp which provided consistent access to cool drinking water for campers and also saved more than 7000 plastic water bottles from being used. 
  • The New York State 4-H Program, Smith-Lever Operating Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research funded continued work on a Camp in the Box Program for youth who were not able or ready to return to in-person camp programming this summer as well as the opportunity to collaborate with other NYS 4-H camps to increase the reach of that program in the future.

Additionally, many volunteers answered the call to help set up camp in May and assist during check in each week. Scholarship opportunities to camp or “Camperships” remained an important priority, and thanks to the generosity of our incredible donors and partners more than 145 youth received partial to full scholarship support to attend camp this summer. Our return this summer would not have been possible without the support of our community. Thank You all!