The Allegany Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Inc. (ACASA) held the 27th AHSSUM Camp the last week of June. Ninety-one campers from Allegany County attended this fun-filled, four-day, day camp at Genesee Valley School. AHSSUM – “A Happenin’ Safe Summer for U and Me” is a no-cost camp promoting positive alternatives for Allegany County youth ages 8 to 12 years old.
This year’s theme was, “Upcycling: Everything Deserves a Second Chance”. AHSSUM Days consisted of activity time, arts and crafts, guest speakers, and swimming. Day one included a plastic bottle fish tank with a live guppy and snail for each camper, and guest speaker Ryan Paulsen from the Department of Soil and Water Conservation. Campers also learned about the importance of using the county’s pill drop boxes to dispose of old medications, rather than flushing pills and polluting the water source.
On day two, Beverly Jones from the Pfeiffer Nature Center in Portville and Holly (volunteer) did an interactive clean water presentation, while DEC Forest Ranger Justin Thaine and retired DEC Officer Paul Kretser led the campers on the BOCES nature walk trail behind the school.
On day three, staff from Quick Center for the Arts at St. Bonaventure brought the Art Mobile, and campers made paper bag trees, paper bead mosaics, and painted rocks. Krista Humbert and Trisha Heary from Cornell Cooperative Extension spoke on day four and campers made harmonicas out of popsicle sticks, rubber bands, paper, and toothpicks. Other crafts throughout the week included sock puppets, bird feeders, and bird houses made from plastic bottles. Campers applied decision-making related to responsibility and consequences, and teambuilding skills to the above activities.
As usual, on day four, AHSSUM campers signed group photos and T-shirts to keep fond memories of AHSSUM Camp alive!
The AHSSUM Camp program works with Allegany County school systems and other human service agencies to offer camp to youth within the county. ACASA would like to acknowledge and thank the guest speakers, Rob Frungillo (for prepping the bottles for the bird feeder craft), Jon Chaffee (for supplying the guppies and snails), Genesee Valley Central School (for the use of its facilities), and Bolivar-Richburg Central School, Fillmore Central School, and Andover Central School (for helping with coordination of transportation to and from camp). A sincere thank you is also extended to the many sponsors of this camp: The Dr. Lyle F. Renodin Foundation – “Affiliated with the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, NY”, Allegany County Youth Bureau, ACASA, and Upstate Farms.
For more information on attending or sponsoring AHSSUM Camp next year, please contact the ACASA Prevention Department at 585-593-1920, ext. 719.