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Behind the Scenes at Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck Spooky Walk

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Club Boogie

Club Boogie

Club Boogie

Sal Donofrio, Staff Writer

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Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck in Center Moriches had another successful Spooky Walk fundraiser this year. As a volunteer, I took a behind the scenes look.

Operating as a summer camp for disabled children, Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck is owned by the Rotary Club of Moriches. But a smaller group of volunteers, the Paquatuck Squaws, fundraises for the camp. Fundraisers such as the Inlet Ride and the Spooky Walk both benefit the camp, but it was Marcella Weiss who had the idea that the campground would be the perfect spot for a haunted walk.

Ms. Weiss joined the Paquatuck Squaws 30 years ago after she asked her neighbor about the music, the laughing and the kids across Kaler’s Pond, and began Spooky Walk one year later. The first year, the admission price was $2 and raised $800 total.  During a recent interview, Ms. Weiss said that the fundraiser made over $100,000 this year. She attributes the popularity of the fundraiser to “how good we are.”

Additionally, she shared that the Spooky Walk really expanded out onto social media this year. Attendees have always been encouraged to use the #spookywalkli and tag the account @spookywalkli, but this year, Instagram and Facebook ads advertised the Spooky Walk even more.

The community also plays a major part in the fundraiser, helping in any way they can, whether it be donating food to volunteers.   Specifically, the Village Music Shoppe provides DJs at the food tent, along with the fire department and local ambulance turning out just in case of an emergency. “The community makes it better and better,” said Weiss.

The Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck Spooky Walk is one of the longest walks on Long Island, lasting between 45 minutes to an hour.  There are four different buildings and eight different outdoor areas. At the end, you are welcomed with a food tent and music.

For the 400-600 volunteers, there is a sense of pride and ownership, at the end of the four nights, there is a “Best House” trophy and a “Scariest House” trophy. Club Boogie is most certainly a fan favorite as it won Best House for the fifth year in a row, with Psycho Circus winning Scariest House for the past two years. Nicole Jakob, house leader of Club Boogie, said that she really enjoys that people enjoy the house that much.  She said, “To help the camp do this well is amazing.”

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