AVERILL PARK, N.Y. (NEWS10) — When Sean Racine set foot on his childhood summer camp, the Boys and Girls Club Camp Adventure in Averill Park, he was hit with a wave of nostalgia.
“Growing up in the city, I had never really seen a lake or anything like this, so I just felt a feeling of awe — an actual adventure, like it says Camp Adventure,” he explains to NEWS10’s Mikhaela Singleton.
Racine is helping Pastor Charlie Muller of Victory Church repair and revitalize the camp while there are no campers thanks to coronavirus gathering restrictions. The Boys and Girls Club made the call not to open the Camp Adventure grounds for the remainder of 2020.
Racine says what he was able to do at Camp Adventure when he was eight until he was 11 changed his life.
“Affording kids to come out here and maybe swim and enjoy the lake, do the activities provided, you know it makes a whole lot of difference to the kid who maybe can’t afford that opportunity. It gives them hope,” he says.
Pastor Charlie put together $10,000 to lease Camp Adventure and continues accepting donations to repair the pavilion, repaint all the fixtures, get the camp new recreation equipment, a new kitchen and bathrooms. He heard the getaway would be losing all its revenue for the year that helps keep the Rensselaer County Boys and Girls Club running on a day to day. Pastor Charlie says now is the time to make good of a bad situation.
“This is a perfect fit for taking something like the coronavirus, which is such a negative, and turning it into positive, you know? There might not be kids here this summer, but it’s going to be ready for the kids for next summer,” he says.
Racine says he and his friends are motivated to give back to the camp that gave them some of the best memories of their young lives.
“I wanted to be here as much free time as I had to help, because after them helping me so much, now I’m actually standing here and making the difference and I think with everything going on nowadays, that’s really what we need is unity and everybody to stand together and build each other up,” he says.
To find out more how you can help the extreme makeover to Camp Adventure, visit the Victory Church Camp Adventure Project Facebook page here.