July 27, 2018 -- Camp Morty, a program which offers a traditional camp experience for underprivileged children residing in Westchester County, celebrated “sibling week” this past week. “Sibling week” is an opportunity for brothers and sisters who are separated in the foster care system to reunite and have a weeklong experience centered on having fun.

County Executive George Latimer, who joined the children this week for some fun and games, praised the program and its importance: “What happens at Camp Morty is special – especially sibling week. To see these children, who have been through so much, be able to try to put that all aside for a period of time and just enjoy the company of their family, others going through what they are feeling, and the wonderful staff whose number one goal is to make them feel at home is inspiring.”

Camp Morty, celebrating its 11th summer season, is a sleep-away camp which is housed at Sal J. Prezioso Mountain Lakes Park in North Salem. The camp’s mission is solely dedicated to providing the camp experience to children who come from homeless shelters, the foster care system, and public assistance. The camp is funded and administered by the Westchester County Parks Department, Department of Community Mental Health, Department of Social Services, and the Westchester Parks Foundation.

Department of Social Services Commissioner Kevin McGuire said: “Kids who go into foster care are a lot of times, unfortunately, spilt up. Sibling camp is an opportunity, at least once a year, for them to get back together and be family.”

Department of Community Mental Health Commissioner Michael Orth said: “What makes Camp Morty so important is the care that is provided. Not only is it a chance to experience the outdoors, but it’s also a chance to build friendships and camaraderie. The campers there need this type of environment and it’s a privilege to help to provide it.”

Department of Parks and Recreation Commissioner Kathy O’Connor said: “Sal J. Perzioso Mountain Lakes Park is a beautiful park with a scenic view and ample space to provide an opportunity for the campers to experience what Westchester has to offer. Camp Morty allows us to do something beautiful for these children and give them an opportunity they may not have elsewhere.”