Camp Good Days and Special Times opens Branchport camp

Updated: 07/07/2014 5:15 PM
Created: 07/07/2014 8:27 AM WHEC.com
By: Berkeley Brean

It is not just a good day; it is a great day for campers at Camp Good Days. After devastating floods in Yates County caused a lot of damage, the camp is finally welcoming campers for the summer.

The camp is a place for children who have been touched by cancer to go as they cope. Back in May, floodwaters ripped through the camp, causing damage and delaying the opening of the camp for the summer. Thanks to dozens of volunteers, Camp Good Days welcomed its newest campers for the season Monday.

Dozens of kids from Rochester, Buffalo and Syracuse whose mom or dad has cancer or passed away from it came to camp Monday. Kids like 15-year-old Anthony Fortunato, of Spencerport.

Anthony Fortunato said, “It's nice to talk to kids about what they've been through and what they've learned can help me and vice versa where I can help the kids.”

Anthony's sister is a cancer survivor.  His mom died from lung cancer last year. 

Gary Mervis, founder of Camp Good Days, said, “I'm just thanking God and being blessed.”

Gary Mervis started Camp Good Days 35 years ago after his daughter, Teddi, got cancer. He didn’t think this day would come. Two days of torrential rain clogged up the creek that runs along the camp and the water poured over the banks and flooded the cabins.

Mervis said, “When I got here, we had six to eight inches of this black mud and you felt like you were in quick sand.”

Mervis says they had so many volunteers that they had to turn people away. But all that work got the camp open Monday. 

Fortunato said, “It lets me take my mind off all the stresses from home for like a week and just have a lot of fun.”

If Camp Good Days waited another week, they would run into the new school year and so some kids would not be able to come. They are going to make up the spring weekend camps in the fall.

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