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Camp Hough

A 'silver lining' at Silver Lake children's camp

By Joanne Beck


GLOW YMCA made a tough decision when it opted to sell the rustic Silver Lake Camp Hough more than a year ago, Chief Executive Officer Rob Walker says.

But it has all fallen into place with the purchase by Peter Zeliff Jr. and wife Susan, Walker said. The Zeliff couple plan to offer the nearly 11-acre site to veterans and their families, and have agreed to allow a weekday camp for children during the summer.

“We are so thrilled, absolutely thrilled, that our donors and supporters were so gracious to them. We're very proud that it's going to be used in a way that we hoped it would be used. And that's through the Warrior House, which is another not-for-profit that's going to invest in it,” Walker said Tuesday to The Batavian. “You know, it was a tough decision, but a necessary one for us as an organization. But with that there's a silver lining here and that it's going to stay, more importantly, a children's camp, and it's going to stay with an overnight opportunity for military families. And that's pretty powerful.”

Operational revenue losses, coupled with a COVID-19 pandemic shutdown, created a financial gap that YMCA officials had to address, he said. After conducting some studies, GLOW YMCA partnered with Greater Buffalo Niagara’s branch to provide another option for kids wanting a full resident camp experience, he said. That will be available at Camp Weona in Wyoming County.

“As a whole, the industry really struggled, especially, like I mentioned, after COVID. It's just been a slow kind of decline,” he said, explaining Camp Hough’s new role. “Importantly, too, in addition, because of (the Zeliffs’) perspective and joint respect and cooperation in this, making sure the asset is used in the best possible way, they are allowing us to run a YMCA summer day camp on the property.”

Even though YMCA is no longer the owner, the nonprofit, in partnership with the Village of Perry, will run day programs Monday through Friday at the Silver Lake campground as of June 27, he said.

The proceeds from the Camp Hough sale will be reinvested into the Batavia-based YMCA’s expansion and work at the Healthy Living campus, he said. Abatement has begun, evidenced by construction flags, with ongoing demolition at Cary Hall.

“They're in the final stages of asbestos removal. They're taking that stuff out,” Walker said. “They've been working at that for about a month. And that's expected to come down next month.”

The Batavian will provide more details about the YMCA project in the near future. Meanwhile, the Zeliffs plan to offer the Camp Hough property, with 480 feet of waterfront, to veterans and their families as a camping retreat. Mrs. Zeliff did not return a call made to her for additional comments as of Tuesday evening.

For more information about Warrior House, go to or see the related article here

2014 File Photo of Camp Hough.

Sponsored Post: Jumping into Summer Fun!

By Lisa Ace

Jumping into Summer Fun!

SPLASH! Ten-year-old Aaron jumps into the water, rejoining the game of pass-the-ball. While many of Aaron’s friends back home have had to wait out the hot weather, Aaron has been having a blast swimming in the pool, boating on Silver Lake, and playing many other games. Since he came to YMCA Camp Hough last week, he’s made a tie-dye shirt, tried archery for the first time, and befriended all the other boys in his cabin. As Aaron resurfaces out of the water, he laughs and tosses the ball over a roaring counselor, just getting it to his new best friend.

Aaron is one of many boys and girls spending part of his summer at YMCA Camp Hough on the shores of Silver Lake. Camp Hough hosts week long resident camps for children ages 6 to 14. A day camp bus leaves each morning from the Wyoming County YMCA in Warsaw. Most campers come from the GLOW region, though others travel quite a ways for the experience. Some parents send their kids to camp to help them grow to be independent, and some parents like the focus on YMCA values at a kid-accessible level. Other parents will send their children to spend time outside, knowing that they will have so much fun. Counselors also value the time spent mentoring the kids outdoors.

“It can be an incredible experience to help challenge a child and watch them grow over the week,” says Aquatics Director William Ferriby. “Whether it is helping a day camper practice swimming for the first time or teaching a group of 13-year-olds learn to work together with kindness and respect, it is an incredibly rewarding experience.”

Aaron is out of the water now, putting on more sunscreen for his next activity hour. He doesn’t think as much about becoming independent or learning responsibility. Aaron is more interested street hockey. No matter what, both Aaron and his family are excited about all that he is trying and learning, out of the indoors and under the sun at YMCA Camp Hough. For information on how your child can have the same magical experiences as Aaron contact, YMCA Camp Hough at 585-201-3495 or visit

GLOW YMCA Kickstarts Camp Hough off with Golf Tournament and Open House

By Valerie Brey
Last Saturday May 31st YMCA Camp Hough, located at Silver Lake, had its annual open house. There was a great turnout of parents and their kids at the event making it a great success. At the open house team members of the YMCA showed parents around the camp facilities and spoke about events were held each week. Parents and children were even able to participate in rock climbing, archery, a camp craft, and roasting s’mores while touring the facility. Families were pleased with what they saw and registered their children while there. On Monday June 2nd the GLOW YMCA held its annual golf tournament at the Silver Lake Country Club. This event also had a great turnout and had a beautiful day to play 18 holes. People had a great time reminiscing with each other and even meeting new people. The golf tournament is held every year to help fundraise money for camper scholarships and to buy new equipment. YMCA Camp Hough starts June 29th and runs through the middle of August having a total of 7 weeks during the summer. For more information go to or call 585.237.5160

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