St. Vincent DePaul summer camp ending after nearly 90 years

Posted at 7:06 PM, Jul 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-12 09:17:51-04

The St. Vincent DePaul summer camp in Angola will be ended after the final campers leave in mid-August.  It concludes a nearly 90-year tradition that gave children age 8-13 a special way to spend summer.

According to Society of St. Vincent DePaul CEO Mark Zirnheld, the "somber" decision was based on cost and decreasing interest from families for the week-long camp.

The Society was paying the majority of the $600/camper expense and it felt that it would be better off using the money to fund year-round and afterschool programs.

The news has many people very sad because over the years 60,000 children experienced the camp that was started during the Depression-era as a way to help feed and medicate poor children.

In more recent times, it gave urban children from Buffalo and Niagara Falls a chance to enjoy nature, make friendships and have fun.

Five week-long sessions are scheduled from now until the middle of August, at which time, the summer camp will be ended.

A special "Alumni Camper" day is planned for August 6th from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. so that past campers of any age can return to visit the camp for one last time.  Mass will be held at 4 p.m. with a special program to follow.

7 Eyewitness News reporter Ed Reilly spent the day visiting the camp and talking with Society of St. Vincent DePaul officials about the closing.