The Resource Center Volunteers At Camp Merz

MAYVILLE – Staff and participants from The Resource Center’s “Passages” Personalized Recovery Oriented Services Program in Jamestown recently put in some volunteer hours at Camp Merz, the Boy Scout camp located on Chautauqua Lake in Mayville.

“We’ve never done an off-site project before,” said Molly Hanft, mental health clinician with the PROS program, “so this gives them an opportunity to network and see what the area has to offer.”

As part of the United Way of Southern Chautauqua County’s “12 Months of Caring” volunteer initiative, PROS participants and staff put brushes to walls and painted the camp’s newly renovated food pantry. They also helped unload the food truck to fill the pantry in preparation for the scouts’ arrival for summer camp. After finishing the work, the Passages folks had the opportunity to tour of the camp and walk the trails.

Everyone who took part enjoyed the experience.

“You’re helping out the community and you’re helping yourself. It gives you motivation, drive, self-confidence and ambition,” said Raymond Lilley, PROS participant. “It’s rewarding, and you get to know yourself better. It was interesting to paint and fun to be there.”

“It builds social skills, confidence and endurance,” said Marie McMaster, another PROS participant. “It gives you a sense of purpose and keeps you going.”

Both said they’d like to volunteer at Camp Merz again.

“This is good exposure for the program and a great way to give back to the community,” Hanft said.

The Resource Center operates PROS programs in Dunkirk and Jamestown. PROS supports people with mental health challenges in their efforts to improve functioning, increase employment, attain higher levels of education, secure preferred housing and become integrated into the community. For more information on the PROS programs, or to volunteer, phone 661-1511 (Jamestown) or 366-7660 (Dunkirk). The programs are located in the Carl Cappa Building on East Second Street in Jamestown and at 51 E. Third St. in Dunkirk.