Here is Love, Everyone Has Potential
Genesee Valley Rotary Camp (GVRC), is a one week summer camp for young people (ages 8 – 21) with various disabilities. GVRC is a not-for-profit organization that became incorporated in 1963 and has served children and young adults from four surrounding counties (Livingston, Steuben, Wyoming, and Allegany) ever since.
The camp experience is provided free of cost through the efforts and financial support of the Rotary Clubs of the Genesee Valley and through private donations.
The camp runs every summer during August and is located in the beautifully rustic setting of Camp Sam Wood, in Pike, NY. GVRC services approximately 100 campers and employs about 60 staff members each summer.
GVRC currently serves the following Western New York towns: Dansville, Wayland, Geneseo, Avon, Perry, Mt. Morris, Livonia, Lima, Fillmore, Pavilion, Nunda, Belmont, Caledonia – Mumford, Cuba, Friendship, and Wellsville.
Our staff comes from a diverse background— from special education teachers to high school and college students interested in working with children with disabilities. The current Directors are Brian Bartalo from Brockport, NY, and Co-Director, Mark VanDurme, from Dansville, NY. Send the directors an email.
The safety, health and well being of the campers at GVRC is our foremost concern. Our Health Director is a full-time Registered Nurse (RN). She is on site 24/7 during camp to provide medical care for the campers and staff.
A local pediatrician meets with every child at the start of camp and is available during the week. Wyoming County Community Hospital is a short distance away.
There are handicap accessible trails from tent sites to the bathrooms, swimming pool, recreation and dining areas. Special dietary needs are accommodated by our kitchen staff.
The Camp Director for GVRC is Brian Bartalo. At camp he is known as “Mr. Bart”. Bart has been associated with GVRC since 1981. His father, Don Bartalo, was then a Rotarian from Dansville, NY, on the board of directors and he sent young Brian to camp to work that August and he hasn’t missed a summer since. Mr. Bart has held many positions at GVRC including: counselor, lifeguard, specialist, assistant director, and camp director. Mr. Bart has been a director at GVRC since 1988. Bart says that his connection to GVRC is one of his life’s greatest joys and accomplishments. Bartalo says, “GVRC has defined who I am, it is in my blood and is an extension of my family. I can’t imagine my life without camp each summer.” In the camping “off-season” Bart lives in Brockport, NY with his wife Marcia and their two sons; Jakob and Nathaniel. Marcia is a veteran of GVRC and is currently the kitchen director for the camp. The two met as counselors at GVRC in the summer of 1984 and have been together ever since. Bart’s sons Jake and Nate are both staff members at GVRC as well. Bart is a former special education teacher and varsity swim coach and is the principal of Hilton High School in Hilton, NY.
The Camp Co-Director for GVRC is Mark Van Durme. Mark has been involved with GVRC since 1975, when his father, Nick, who at the time, was president of the Dansville Rotary Club, convinced Mark that he should take his archery skills to GVRC. After being the Archery Specialist for a number of years, Mark moved on to Head Counselor for Special. After about ten years in Special, he then moved to the kitchen for a few years washing dishes and acting as the resident “fix-it” man. He assumed his responsibilities as Co-Director in 2003. Mark is very proud of the fact that his two children, Jonathon and Jamie, have “grown-up” at GVRC. He started bringing them in 1986, when they were four and two, respectively. They continued to come every year for the next 18 years. Military service, job responsibilities and having families of their own have limited the years Jonathon and Jamie can work at camp. However, not a year goes by that they do not check in to make sure all is well at camp. Mark calls his week at GVRC, his “get my head screwed on straight” week. “No matter what life throws at me, seeing the smiles and hearing the laughter of all the campers, puts everything else into perspective.” Mark is retired from NYSEG and lives in Hornell, NY.
Janet has been a nurse for thirty years. She has had experience in maternity and pediatrics and has worked in a local emergency room for the past twelve years. She started working as camp nurse at GVRC in 1991, and has been the Health Director since 1997. Her Husband, Howie, is the riflery instructor and both her grown boys are camp counselors. She has four grandkids that she hopes will all come work at GVRC.