Coarc's Camp Mahican falls victim to funding cuts
Natasha Vaughn is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media Coarc announced this week it will permanently close Camp Mahican, a 55-year-old day camp in Columbia County. The decision was made after learning that $25,000 in state aide had been lost and there was no intention to replace it with another form of funding. Coarc advocates for and serves as a resource for children and adults with disabilities. It is a chapter of The ARC of New York. “We couldn’t make ends meet without that funding,” said Ken Stall, Coarc’s CEO. “That represented about a third of our funding.” The organization learned late last year that some funding from the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities would be discontinued, Stall said. The camp was supported by three forms of funding: State aid from the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, which was eliminated, funding from Columbia County and a family support contract that has also been discontinued. The loss of state support led to the loss of the family support contract, Stall said. Camp Mahican opened in 1966 as a day camp for children and youth ages 6 to 16 with disabilities. The camp initially ran for almost two full months during the summer. That schedule was eventually shortened to six weeks and later reduced further to three or four weeks each summer. Stall said camp enrollment has been declining for several years. Hudson 5th Ward Alderman Dominic Merante served as director of Camp Mahican for 15 years and was saddened to see the camp shut down. “Camp Mahican is the only camp in the area for children with disabilities,” Merante said. “So for it to close is terrible.” Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.