About Us

Camp Onseyawa was formed to provide a true outdoor living experience to children with disabilities.

 

In the spring of 1955 a spunky little girl by the name of Gail Rietman insisted that she be allowed to go to camp with her twin sister. Camp authorities refused to accept Gail because she had Spina Bifida. Walt, her father, approached Paul Vogt, president of the Geneva Rotary Club and asked if he knew of any camp that would admit Gail -- and thus the seed was planted.

 

Paul Vogt, the out going president, liked the idea of an area camp for the physically handicapped and turned the idea and task over to the president - elect, Neil Marvin. When Neil took office, he appointed Robert Maney to chair a committee to investigate the need and to sound out opinion for the organization of such a camp. They soon realized that the task was too great for one club and turned to the clubs in neighboring counties.

 

Today the camp is supported by funds raised by 23 Rotary Clubs covering a four county area in New York State. Clubs from Ontario, Seneca, Yates and Wayne counties conduct fund raising events so that these children can attend camp with no cost to their family.

 

Camp Onseyawa is open to children age 8-16 with a physical, mental or emotional disability which would exclude his or her successful participation at other camps. Rules for acceptance are the same for everyone without regard to race, color or national origin. Since it's inception the camp has helped hundreds of campers to grow in self-confidence and experience success in physical activities and human relationships.

The camp's program spans a wide variety of daily activities designed to spark the interest of every camper. Program areas include swimming, riflery, handicrafts, ceramics, drama, fishing, boating and much more. It is the aim of our professional program staff to provide fun and teach leisure skills that often become hobbies when the camper returns home.

 

Many of our evenings at camp end around a campfire under the stars and others are spent taking part in a play, being a contestant in a game show, dancing to the music of a live band or just sitting on a bunk talking with a new friend.

 

Camp Onseyawa takes place during the last two full weeks in August each year, at the facilities of Boy Scout Camp Babcock-Hovey on the shore of beautiful Seneca Lake. 


Campers live in tents, sleep in sleeping bags and gather for meals each day in the centrally located dining hall.

Camp Onseyawa is supported by funds raised by 23 Rotary Clubs covering a four county area in New York State. Clubs from Ontario, Seneca, Yates and Wayne counties conduct annual fund raising events so that these children can attend camp with no cost to their family. Camp Onseyawa gets it's name from the first two letters of the name of each county. Legend also has it that by an incredible coincidence it is also an ancient Indian word that translates to "Land of Happiness"

ONtario - SEneca - YAtes - WAyne
  • Bloomfield 

  • Canandaigua

  • Clifton Springs

  • Clyde

  • Dundee

  • Gananda

  • Geneva

  • Gorham

  • Honeoye

  • Lyons

  • Naples

  • Newark

  • Ontario - Walworth

  • Palmyra - Macedon

  • Penn Yan

  • Red Creek

  • Red Jacket (Manchester - Shortsville)

  • Seneca Falls

  • Sodus

  • Victor - Farmington

  • Waterloo

  • Williamson

  • Wolcott

PO Box 614

Geneva, NY 14456

© 2016 by Rotary Camp Onseyawa

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