April 8, 2011: Ashford, Conn.—For most college students, spring break means taking time off school, visiting a warm vacation spot or spending a week at home watching TV. For several members of Gamma Mu chapter at Bradley, it marks a week-long trip to the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in Ashford, Conn.
The Association of Hole in the Wall Camps has been the Fraternity’s national philanthropy since 1995. All around the world, camps provide a safe summer camp experience for children with serious illnesses and life-threatening conditions.
In 1988, Paul Newman, Ohio ’43, founded the original Hole in the Wall Camp—the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in Ashford—to give chronically ill children a chance to “raise some hell” and experience summer camp at no cost to their families.
During Bradley’s March spring break, 10 Gamma Mu chapter members volunteered at Newman’s original camp. The men worked for an entire week on various projects, including chopping firewood, painting, organizing storage areas and generally getting the camp ready for summer.
George Kontos, Bradley ’08, is a senior and has volunteered at camp for three consecutive spring breaks.
“It’s a really fun time at camp,” he said. “The work is hard but it feels good knowing that kids will be benefiting from what we’re doing. Plus, we have a lot of time to enjoy the camp and to appreciate our national philanthropy firsthand.”
As a testimony to how special camp is, eight of the 10 members who volunteered had been on the trip in the past. Two of the members were first-time volunteers and are already thinking about next year’s trip.
“I am looking forward to going again next year,” said President and first-time volunteer Michael Zeniecki, Bradley ’09. “It’s too bad the seniors won’t be there, but I know we can get another group together for next year.”
For Gamma Mu, it does not matter who attends the trip but rather ensuring that the camp receives the community service it deserves.