Camp Rotary

Our guest speaker for April 16, 2018, was Randy Dickinson. He is currently retired but is well known for his advocacy efforts on behalf of persons with disabilities.

Randy served in various professional positions during his career including Director of Camping and Community Relations and later as the Executive Director for the Canadian Rehabilitation Council for the Disabled, now known as Easter Seals New Brunswick.

Randy provided a brief history of Camp Rotary...

Camp Rotary was started in 1952, 66 years ago, at the time of the polio epidemic. Although formed to serve people with disabilities, only those with mild disabilities attended in the beginning years. Over time, the facilities were upgraded so many types of limitations can be accommodated – people with diabetes as well as physically, emotionally, and mentally challenged.

The Camp has professional staff who provide training. Meeting other campers who also face challenges helps campers gain acceptance of their disabilities. The Camp was first started by the Rotary Club of Fredericton but is now administered by Easter Seals New Brunswick. This past summer, 450 people participated in the Camp.

Randy shared his personal story as a former camper and the impact of winning two trophies at the Camp – one for the best camper and one for the best athlete. Randy showed the Club these trophies that had weathered a house fire and stated these awards were among his most prized possessions. Camp Rotary for Randy meant a series of “first times” in his life and ended up shaping his career. Randy was awarded the Order of Canada in 1999 for his community service.

Christine Moffett thanked Randy for his most inspirational talk.