In 1962 the seeds of what would one day become Clover Patch Camp were planted. The originators of the program were true pioneers with the strong belief that all individuals, regardless of their challenges, should have the opportunity to experience the joy of summer camp.
The Progression of Clover Patch Camp
Twenty campers are enrolled in a 4-week day camp, named Cerebral Palsy Summer Camp. The camp, sponsored by Sunny View Orthopedic and Rehabilitation Center, is held in the parking lot of the Niskayuna Reformed Church.
The program is renamed Clover Patch Camp and now accommodates day and overnight campers. The program, sponsored by United Cerebral Palsy Association of Schenectady, is held at the Camp Lovejoy site located in the Town of Knox in the Helderberg Mountains.
The program is moved to the Camp Nassau site in Guilderland.
The program is moved to the Pine Woods Day Camp site on Turner Road in Glenville. At this time the campers sleep in Army tents on metal cots. There is a primitive shower facility and four chemical toilets on site.
The program is moved to a permanent home at the current site on Helping Hand Lane in Glenville. The only buildings on the original site are the dining hall and a rustic bath house.
Historical Dates of Interest
The original mission statement (with archaic terminology by current standards) paved the way to the wide breadth of programs available today.
Mission statement: To help the individual campers to function like non-handicapped, modified by their limitations, but stressing their sameness rather than their differences.
Camp finds a permanent home and adopts an updated mission statement.
Mission statement: The philosophy at Clover Patch Camp is to provide individuals with access to the opportunities and experiences of summer camp life, which are so meaningful to the growth of individuals as they move through adolescence to adulthood.
A fully-accessible pool is built on the property.
Camp is accredited by the American Camping Association.
The army tents and cots are replaced with permanent cabins and wooden bunks.
Counselors lounge on the camp dock over the Alplaus Creek during their break:
Clover Patch starts enrolling adult campers in addition to children and refines the mission statement to reflect these changes.
Mission statement: Clover Patch Camp believes that people with disabilities have the right to the same camping experiences that are available to others. The twenty-four hour living experience offers people with disabilities the opportunity to broaden their horizons through informal, enjoyable, adventurous activities. The health and safety of each camper is emphasized in all facets of the program at Clover Patch Camp. Its program offers fun, new friends, and an increased self-esteem through personal experiences.
The dining hall is dedicated, “Stevens Hall”, in honor of beloved camp director, Michael Stevens.
The pool undergoes a total renovation.
The fireplace is dedicated to Miss Karen Eustice, founder of Clover Patch Camp.
The United Cerebral Palsy Association of Schenectady merges with The Center for the Disabled.
A renovation of Brigadoon Lodge is completed creating a staff lounge and nursing facility.
The administrative office and reception area is moved to the newly-constructed building that now houses the camp office, Clover Patch Corner, and the laundry.
The first computer is purchased for the camp program.
The Arts & Crafts cabin is designed and built by the Tech Valley Capital Leadership Class.
The kitchen is upgraded to an industrial grade facility with modern amenities.
The rustic bath house is demolished and replaced with the current fully-accessible facility.
The Nature Trail is developed in collaboration with US Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, Saratoga and Schenectady County Soil & Water Conservation Districts, US Forest Service, US Fish & Wildlife Service, and the Schenectady County AmeriCorps.
The fully accessible nature trail is open to the public.
The Hugh T. Farley Recreation Center multi-function pavilion is built.
The Center for the Disabled merges with Residential Opportunities Inc.
A 9-hole mini-golf course and modern accessible playground are installed.
The mission statement is re-written to reflect a more contemporary ideology.
Mission statement: We as a team are committed to meeting each camper’s needs through continuous improvement and growth. We believe that through our commitment we possess the innovation, integrity, and momentum to strengthen our services and provide each camper with the experience of a lifetime. We strive to create an atmosphere where our campers and staff can develop life skills, self-confidence, and personal freedom by creating new friends, new memories, and new experiences.
Clover Patch Corner is dedicated to the Golub Foundation in recognition of years of support.
The Center for the Disabled is renamed The Center for Disability Services.
The specialized Camp Spectacular program is added to the services offered at Clover Patch Camp.
The bath house, camper cabins, and walkways receive a facelift and accessibility upgrades.
The campfire area is completely renovated by the Leadership Tech Valley class of 2015. Improvements include installation of a new dock, addition of a picnic area, and many accessability and safety improvements.
A History On Film
A History in the News