The Allegany Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Inc. (ACASA) held the 30th AHSSUM Camp from July 11th-July 14th. For the second year in a row, Camp was held virtually on Zoom. Each day for two hours, campers from Allegany County participated in guest speaker presentations and crafts. 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. Parents registered their children on-line and supplies were delivered to the participants in-person prior to the start of camp week.
This year’s theme was “Geocaching”. Day one’s theme was “Finding Your Way to Outdoor Adventures”, presented by Forest Ranger Justin Thaine. Campers received their own compass as part of their supplies and viewed a pre-recorded video of DEC Officer Thaine in Plum Bottom State Forest explaining how to use a compass. Following the video, Scout Master Peter Roeske and Eagle Scout son Will Roeske spoke further on the subject and answered questions posed by the campers. Craft time consisted of using graph paper to map out one’s bedroom and coloring a map of New York and facts specific to our State. Day two was “Geocaching 101” and Belfast teacher Bruce Harrington spoke to campers about geocaching’s purpose, benefits, rules, history, and his experience. Day two craft consisted of assembling and painting a wooden puzzle of a flamingo, owl, or peacock. The theme for day three was “Back to the Future”, at which point time capsules were discussed and ACASA staff took turns highlighting specifics about the year they were born. The craft for this day was assembly and painting of a wooden bird house. Day four was “Get Outside and Experience Nature”. Campers viewed a pre-recorded video of Genesee Valley Principal Brian Edmister, co-owner of Healing Waters, who encouraged them to enjoy the outdoors this summer. Other related videos regarding kayaking were viewed and discussed. Campers, on day four, had the option of making a milk box carton boat or an egg carton boat. Most campers made both kinds. Bingo was played on the final day and winners received art supplies or Legos as their prize.
Throughout the week, campers were given an opportunity to find historical landmarks in Allegany County and geocache bags in eight different geocache locations. Campers who posted photos of themselves with their daily crafts on the AHSSUM Camp Facebook page, or emailed photos to ACASA staff, were entered into a drawing to win a Healing Waters kayak trip for a family of five on the final day of AHSSUM.
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, Wellsville Burger King, Wellsville McDonald’s, Saputo Dairy, and Upstate Dairy for various donations, and the sponsors of this camp: The Dr. Lyle F. Renodin Foundation – “Affiliated with the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, NY”, Allegany County Youth Bureau, and ACASA.
For more information on attending or sponsoring AHSSUM Camp next year, please contact the ACASA Prevention Department at 585-593-1920, ext. 719.