The event will be held July 29, from 3 to 8 p.m., and is open to the public. There will be camp tours, boat rides, barbecue and treats, camp games as well as music performed by local band Second Toe.
The free event is expected to draw a large crowd of alumni (including past workers from London and China), the general public, as well as prospective campers.
“There’s going to be quite a few campers that haven’t come to camp yet,” said Steven McCluskey, the camp director. “So they’re going to be dropping by and seeing camp for the first time as well, and wanting to meet staff.”
The barrier-free camp for disabled persons of all ages brings in almost 300 campers each summer. Easter Seals Nova Scotia operates the camp, which is owned by the Amherst Rotary Club.
A recently completed building, which was fundraised for by the Amherst Rotary Club, will display archives, have a small kitchen and additional counsellor accommodations. Visitors will have a chance to see the building and history display.
“This is a great organization that has happened through the work, in the beginning, of Rotarians,” said Bob Janes, chairman of the Rotary Club’s Camp Tidnish camp committee. “They worked hard and I just don’t want to see it die. I want to make sure people see this.”
Many of the photos, documents and other items like T-shirts are being pulled from the Rotary archives, but people are welcome to bring old items if they have any.
The camp is totally accessible, allowing campers to have fulfilling experiences.
“So many of them at home are in a care home or a group home,” said McCluskey. “Coming to camp is the best vacation ever. They get to do what they want.”
“We have so many good stories of the parents,” said Janes. “They come and they want to stay or they phone every day, and then the next year, they just drop off and leave! Because they’re just glad and they know they’re in good hands.”
The camp is situated on donated land, with its first building originally a fish shed, and recently converted into the camp’s medical building. Built in 1937, it was known as the “Rotary Fresh Air Camp” for underprivileged boys. In 1958 it held camps for the handicapped and disabled, and later on camps were added for diabetics and intellectually challenged individuals.
Since then, the camp has gained more land and additional buildings have been constructed. Operation of the camp was taken over by Easter Seals Nova Scotia about 30 years ago.
A group of young vacationers formed a fundraising club for the camp in 1967, which became known as the Kool Aid Kids. The group is still active today, having risen over $25, 000 for the camp through various fundraisers each summer.