MENDON, N.Y. (WROC) — After 41 years of helping children and families impacted by cancer,
Camp Good Days and Special Times will closed for the first time this summer.

Camp Good Days and Special Times is more than just a sleep away camp, but a place where children and families can meet others that are battling cancer.

The decision to close this summer, one that leaders at the camp made before the New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker closed all overnight summer camps, was one leaders say was hard, but the right choice to keep everyone safe.

Jenesis, a young camp goer, says her favorite things about camp good days, the people.

“Maybe like the people there at camp because it just made it more fun and supportive during camp,” said Jenesis Shaw, camper.

Diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer in 2017, her family found comfort in a camp that for has been free for families like hers dealing with cancer.

“After going through chemotherapy you have all the angst of you don’t want to let your child out of your sight at all. And to the contrary camp was extremely supportive it was very therapeutic,” said Mike Shaw, camper family.

Founded by Gary Mervis, as memorial for his daughter who died from cancer, this is the first time in 41 years it will be closed for the summer.

“We just felt that even though it was very hard decision it was the right decision,” said Gary Mervis, chairman and founder of Camp Good Days.

For the Shaw family, while they will be missing out on the camp activities, they say they will still use the time to connect with other families who are going through the same thing.

“It becomes so much more than just camp, it becomes an extension of home, it becomes a new family of sorts,” said Shaw. “So how we’re gonna spend that time is giving back to other kids and paying it forward.”

While the camp programs wont be going on this summer, Camp Good Days and Special Times is hoping to open up the camp ground for families to use individually, so that the families can at least take some time off this summer and use the space.