Greater Waterbury Campership Fund Update: Number of kids, participating camps down as Campership enters peak season

WATERBURY — The final full month of summer, peak time for the 2020 Greater Waterbury Campership Fund campaign, is underway, with 72 youngsters having been approved for Campership slots.

Overall tuition costs for the summer outdoor-seekers are $38,646, easily covered by the $160,694 that has been raised for the campaign dramatically altered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Not only were the number of applicants down dramatically from a year ago, but several camping facilities that traditionally assist the Campership Fund year after year did not open this summer.

Those who did open had to limit their enrollment, to maintain safety precautions. In years past, the Greater Waterbury YMCA’s Camp Mataucha in Watertown has hosted more than 200 Campership Fund kids in one summer. This year, the popular camp saw 48 children approved from this year’s eligible applicants.

Donations to Campership Fund are accepted year round, and money not spent this summer will be applied to future camp tuition. Supportive donors pushed the total raised to within 97% of the target goal of $165,000.

The Campership Fund celebrated its 50th anniversary year in 2019 and sent 434 underprivileged youngsters to various camps throughout the state at a cost of $157,457.
The United Way of Greater Waterbury volunteers its professional services each year to screen applicants for eligibility. Families who receive SNAP benefits or meet federal poverty guidelines, and with children ages 5 to 18, in Bethlehem, Cheshire, Middlebury, Prospect, Southbury, Thomaston, Waterbury, Watertown, Wolcott and Woodbury, are eligible to apply for camperships.

Every penny raised by the Campership Fund, a 501(c)3, goes toward sending accepted applicants to camp.

Contributions may be sent to Greater Waterbury Campership Fund, 389 Meadow St., Waterbury, CT 06722.

Regular donations totaling $250 received recently included:
• Mr. and Mrs. Jim and Nance Zawadzki, Watertown, $100
• Mr. and Mrs. James and Madeline Orsillo, Prospect, $100
• Ms. Maura Keene, Waterbury, $50