March 29, 2022 •
Ben Fink, Compliance Assistant, Volunteered at Akron Rotary Camp
How long have you been associated with the Akron Rotary Camp? I have been associated with Rotary Camp for four years now. I started my first summer in 2017 and worked two summers and two off-seasons. This summer, I am trying to get out and help and see the staff and campers whenever I can.
Who are they and what do they do? Akron Rotary Camp offers a full summer camp experience to children and adults with special needs. They offer eight weeks of overnight and day camp for all ages and ability levels with trained staff to handle every situation. The mission statement of camp is to live in a world where there are only abilities.
Why is this important to you? Camp is a special place for me because stigma and ability level does not exist at Akron Rotary Camp. When you are at camp, you do not see limitations or barriers, but rather, children enjoying the pure joy of the summer camp experience. This is so important to me because I personally believe camp is a truly unique place where people can get out of their comfort zone, make friends, and learn things about themselves in different ways than they would in a typical day. Our campers are only seen as campers and that is a profound and powerful view of how I want to see the world around me.
How have you been volunteering with them? After I worked my summers at camp, I worked a lot of off-season weekend respites and still try to take a weekend here and there to get out there at least once or twice a year. In the past months, volunteering has been tougher, as activities were limited to staff and a short list of campers, but this summer I intend on going down on some weeknights when I am free and help in whatever capacity I can.
Am I remembering correctly that you did a Polar Bear Jump into freezing water? You are remembering correctly! I did a Polar Bear Jump to raise money to send kiddos to camp. The jump is an annual event but proceeds go to Rotary Camp every other year, so you can bet that if it is one of those years, I will be jumping in that frozen water.
How can people get involved with Akron Rotary Camp? People can get involved with camp in any capacity that they want. A good start is by following their social media accounts and seeing what events are coming up. They are always having fundraisers, volunteer opportunities, and community outreach to get involved with. Secondly, if you know any young adults who needs a seasonal job and could excel in a role at camp, please let them know about camp!
Thank you very much, Ben!
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