Camp Haccamo Impacts Lives
The story of Ian Bankes, a young man from Rush, NY, and his experience at Camp Haccamo during the summer of 2015 is truly inspiring. At the age of 14, Ian volunteered as a counselor at the camp, thinking it would be good for his school service hours. However, he had no idea the experience would have such a profound impact on him. Through his work at Camp Haccamo, he found his passion for helping others, and the impact he had on the campers' lives motivated him to pursue a career where he can continue to make a positive difference.
He Didn’t Know it Then, but Ian Bankes Would See the World Quite Differently After Visiting Camp Haccamo with his Mom in 2015. That summer was life-changing for Ian Bankes of Rush, NY. He was 14 and volunteering as a counselor at Camp Haccamo. “My mother introduced me and took me on a tour of camp. I thought it would be good for school service hours, little did I know that after I did that one week I would be hooked!”
Ian’s parents are no strangers to rolling up their sleeves and getting things done. Ian’s mom, Cathy, is a Rush Henrietta Rotarian and also serves on the Camp Haccamo Board and dad, Mark, has volunteered at camp, helping with Carnival Night among other things.
Ian worked hands-on at camp assisting with all kinds of important tasks, which also stretched him beyon
d his usual comfort zones. He was helping kids in and out of their wheelchairs, carefully cutting up food and feeding those who couldn’t do it themselves, assisting others go to the bathroom, and much more.
“The experience at Camp Haccamo was a very important part of my life, it gave me a sense of gratitude and made me realize that I wanted to help others in some way in my career.”
After that first memorable year Ian worked two weeks each season until 2021.
Ian is now 22 and a senior at Nazareth University. He’ll graduate in the Fall with a degree in public health along with a minor in developing children and families.
“Through my work at Camp Haccamo I realized that my passion is to help others achieve a better quality of life, by assisting them with their physical, mental, or emotional needs, he says.”
“I feel that by working at Camp Haccamo, Ian was exposed to a unique environment where he found his passion and his people, both campers and co-workers,” says mom.
Back at camp in 2015, while kids were occupied with fun activities, chatting with old friends, and playing games, Ian looked over toward Kevin, a camper he knew well and had helped earlier in the day, he noticed Kevin was smiling from ear to ear.
“It was that moment I saw vividly how each of us can impact other people's lives, like I impacted Kevin’s,” he said. “I want to go to work every day and feel that same thing.”
Please stay connected: visit us on Facebook (https//www.facebook.com/Haccamo) to stay up to date on activities.
Camp dates this year are July 31 to Aug 4 for ages 7-18, and August 7 to 11 for ages 19-30.
Please encourage families to register now at https://www.camphaccamo.org/applications as spaces will fill up quickly.
Please consider attending the Annual Car, Truck, & Cycle Show Fundraiser (sponsorships available) on Saturday, June 3, 2023, at Greece Ridge Mall (parking lot behind former Sears store). Gates open at 8 am and the event will wrap up around 1pm. More Info HERE
Camp Haccamo is a Special Place Where Smiles Grow.
A hearty “Thank You!” goes out to all the Rotary clubs and donors that help keep Camp Haccamo going: Brighton, Brockport, Fairport, Gates Chili, Hilton, Honeoye Falls-Mendon, Irondequoit, Monroe South, Penfield, Pittsford, Rush Henrietta, Spencerport, and Webster.