Summer sessions begin at Civitan

As they head to Camp Civitan this weekend, campers can plan to whoop it up since June 4-10 is rodeo week.

Nestled on 15 acres five miles north of town, Camp Civitan provides summer camp experiences for people with developmental disabilities from throughout Arizona and southern Nevada.

Each week at camp is built around themes ranging from a rodeo to Christmas and Halloween. For example, during their final night of Halloween week, campers will tour a haunted house.

Camp sessions run for one week each from June through August with each session attended by about 40 campers ages 12 to 50, said Ed Trapp, Civitan Arizona/Southern Nevada executive director.

“This summer more than 360 individuals will attend Camp Civitan,” Trapp said. “Approximately 90 percent of the campers come from low-income families.”

Trapp said Camp Civitan was designed for people with disabilities and it is fully wheelchair accessible. The camp is staffed by five full-time employees and 45 full- and part-time volunteers from Civitan clubs throughout the area. Eighty-eight percent of the staff time is volunteered.

Marianne Murphy will be back for her 21st season and has spent nine years as director. Prior to that she spent her summers there as activity leader and counselor.

“Volunteers aged 15 and older are needed at each session to act as counselors for our campers and to work as kitchen help,” Trapp said.

The ratio of volunteers to campers is at least one to four in all cases, but campers needing more assistance have a volunteer devoted solely to them. Volunteers will be housed in dormitories with the campers.

“We are also in need of a registered nurse for one or all of the weeks,” Trapp said. “This is a paid position.”

Anyone interested in volunteering or applying for the nursing position is asked to call or write to: Marianne Murphy, Camp Director, 5820 West Virginia, Phoenix, AZ 85035. Murphy can be reached by phone at home (623-245-0467), work (602-254-1995) or by cell phone (602-989-2095).

Camp scholarships

Trapp said camp scholarships are still available for this summer either for local Williams campers or others from throughout the state and southern Nevada.

Trapp said the Ronald McDonald House in Phoenix and its national foundation funded the scholarships.

Anyone who knows of a potential camper needing assistance can contact Trapp at 602-264-0435 or Bob Holland, Williams Civitan president, at 635-4729.

Civitan focus

Since the 1930s Civitan Inter-national’s major focus has been toward helping people with mental and physical disabilities. However, local clubs are involved in a variety of community service projects based on the needs of their communities.

One of these was a major painting project at the camp spearheaded by the Williams Civitan Chapter.

“The monies raised at the March dinner and dance held at the Quality Mountain Ranch gave the Civitan Foundation a great head start on the camp renovation,” said Amy Jackson, Williams Civitan treasurer. “Kay Babos’ painting crew (from Williams) volunteered their time and gave the buildings a facelift.

“Kelly Moore Paints of Flagstaff donated 50 gallons of the 250-gallon paint job.”

Babos and crew was on hand April 24-31. Prior to that, Trapp said camp buildings hadn’t been painted for the past eight or nine years.

“Last weekend (May 5-7), the camp was very fortunate to have the help of the Alpha Phi Omega fraternity from NAU painting,” Jackson said. “This fraternity is coed and focuses on community service. These volunteers are setting a great example for community-based projects.”

Trapp said Alpha Phi Omega volunteered two weekends in addition to the one mentioned by Jackson.

“Ross Pro-formance Plumbing of Williams has donated $3,000-$5,000 in labor to complete the remodeling of bathrooms in the dining hall/staff apartments,” Trapp said. “Jim Ross put in showers that meet safety requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), two handicapped accessible stalls and sinks.”

Adopt-A-Building

Last year various clubs started an Adopt-A-Building program, sending along volunteers to get the site ready to receive campers.

On May 17, members of the Phoenix Breakfast Civitans gathered at Camp Civitan to spruce up the outdoor recreation hall and surrounding area.

Earlier the Phoenix Civitans, a second chapter from the Valley, sent volunteers up to renovate the cabin for teen volunteers. And the London Bridge Civitans from Lake Havasu City tackled the dining room bathrooms.

Other clubs involved in the program include the Colorado River Civitans from Laughlin, Nev., and the Greater Tucson Civitans.

Other grants

“We received a grant of $5,000 from the Phoenix office of US Bancorp Piper Jaffray for scholarships and ADA renovations for the bathrooms,” Trapp said. “We also received a grant of $800 from the Sports for Kids Foundation, which is located in Scottsdale, for scholarships.”

“A $4,000 grant from the Allstate Foundation will help Camp Civitan meet ADA safety requirements.”

Trapp said the Allstate donation will be used to install a fire alarm system and a public address system to notify campers and staff of any fire or health safety issue.

“The Allstate Foundation grant was requested by Allstate agent Mike Cunningham of in Phoenix, and his father, retired Allstate agent William R. Cunningham,” Trapp said. “The Cunninghams have been active in the Civitan organization since 1958.”

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