PUNXSUTAWNEY â€” There were some happy campers at the Punxsutawneyâ€™s Fire Departmentâ€™s Old Home Week carnival grounds Wednesday morning, as a group from Camp Friendship ate food and rode rides at the annual free event.
Every summer during Old Home Week, the fire department and J&J Amusements open the midway up and allow the campers â€” who range from age six up to 44 years of age â€” to ride the rides and eat for free, said April Barrick, co-director of Camp Friendshipâ€™s Punxsy Camp.
Barrick said there are 35 campers at Camp Friendship this year, and thanks to the huge amount of community support, everyone is having a lot of fun.
â€śOur oldest camper is 44 years old this year, and weâ€™ve had campers that were in their 70s,â€ť Barrick said.
She said anyone who would like to camp with The Arc next year should call Stacy Hanzely at 591-6622 or visit www.jcarc.org.
Hanzely said there are also two family support group meetings each month throughout the year.
Camp Friendship is supported completely by the Run-Walk For Someone Special, held every spring in Sykesville.
â€śThat is why I wanted a picture taken of all of the campers saying thank you today at the carnival, so everyone who contributes through the Run-Walk can see where their money is going to,â€ť Hanzely said, adding that they donâ€™t receive any grants or government funding at all.
Barrick also thanked the Gold Wing Riders motorcycle club for donating funds for T-shirts; J&J for the free carnival rides; and the fire department for providing and serving the food.
Hanzely said Camp Friendship and the visit to the carnival couldnâ€™t take place without the help of all the counselors, from ages 11 and up to college, who volunteer their time throughout the week.
The carnival will continue from 6 to 11 p.m. today at the carnival grounds located behind the west side of the Punxy Plaza.