Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck’s Story

 

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On Sunday, September 9th, the Rotary Club of Moriches held a Million Dollar Duck Race & Barbecue fundraising event to benefit Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck.
To learn more about the events held at Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck, visit their website at www.camppaquatuck.com.

What is Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck?

All people, regardless of ability level, have the right to opportunities found in the world around them. Individuals with both physical and developmental disabilities, as well as their families, should experience year-round recreational and respite care activities in a camp setting. Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck of New York provides this needed service to all. The camp provides opportunities for social and personal growth within a supportive environment. Campers learn to try a variety of creative and challenging activities and experience success. Campers develop enhanced self-esteem which carries over to work, home, or school environments.

Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck … dedicated for the benefit of physically and mentally challenged children of Nassau and Suffolk Counties, stands today, not because of the efforts of one organization, but rather as a culmination of a tremendous wave of effort from many Rotary Clubs throughout District 7260.

The dream of a camp such as Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck was first inspired by the members of the Rotary Club of the Moriches when a donation made in 1941. This donation was to provide staff for children afflicted with Polio at the County Welfare Department Camp at Yaphank. The members of our club made a visit to the camp and seeing the plight of these children, the club was further moved. They arranged a picnic at an ocean beach. The boats provided by the Rotarians and laden with food and picnic supplies crossed the bay. They had a day packed with both fun and heart-warming experiences that the club was determined never to lose contact with these children.

In 1942, Oldfield, a beautiful home in East Moriches, was rented by the club for a camp for the children. Almost simultaneously, it was decided that the club would co-operate with the National Society for Crippled Children in the sponsorship of the sale of Easter Seals. At the same time, the nucleus of a fund was established for the continuation of this work in the county.

In 1943 and 1944, a camp was provided for the children at Wading River in another home rented by the club. In 1945, because of the Department of Health, the club provided in lieu of a camp, transportation for the children to and from a summer school in Huntington. This program was abandoned in 1946 and again the club provided a camp in Yaphank. During this year, arrangements were made to purchase part of the land where Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck now stands. The balance of this land owned by a member of the club was donated at the same time. During 1947 and the early part of 1948, Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck was built, and here again a great community effort was evidenced throughout the district as donations were received in the form of materials, equipment and volunteer labor.

On July 6, 1948, the Rotary Club of the Moriches, welcomed a group of 25 children afflicted with Polio at the first official session at Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck. This six-week session was a huge success in every respect …, which has continued to today.

For over a half century, Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck … The Moriches Rotary Health Camp, Inc, has been changing the dreams of handicapped children into reality. The camp has invited thousands of youngsters to enjoy a session of summer fun at its 37-acre site on the shores of Kaler’s Pond in Center Moriches. At Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck, handicapped children enjoy the joys of boating, arts & crafts, music, adaptive sports and games, swimming campfires and more.

In a supportive environment, campers are encouraged to reach beyond the limits of their handicaps and join with their fellow campers in activities designed to enhance their lives.
Throughout our history, Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck must thank the volunteers, the Rotarians, community organizations and the Paquatuck Squaws for we would not have existed without their help.

Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck is truly a volunteer organization for we have never asked for or accepted government funds.

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