About the Camp

Rotary Camp Florida
Rotary’s Camp Florida is an 21 acre, non-profit organization that caters to children with special needs and challenges. The camp is located in Brandon Florida, nestled between two lakes, and canopied by grand oak trees. Although the camp is secluded, it is only minutes away from I-4, I-75, numerous shopping amenities, and five different hospitals.

The camp offers both day and overnight rentals, as the facility has a host of necessary structures to aid in our goal of supplying a pleasant and satisfactory visit. Rotary’s Camp Florida consists of: air conditioned cabins that sleep a total of 50-100 individuals, kitchen, dining hall, assembly hall, library, pavilion, fire pit, boating, and a pool.



Rotary’s Camp Florida, Inc. was founded to acquire, operate and maintain a year-round camp facility for children with special medical needs. The spark originated when it was learned that a not for profit corporation providing support for children with cancer needed a permanent home for its programs.

Several representatives of this charitable group were presenting a program to the Brandon Rotary Club 1991. Hearing of the need for a permanent home for such a camp Rotarians banded together to find a solution.

It was learned that the United Methodist church owned a camp facility in the middle of Brandon. The facility had been closed for three years. The church was looking for a buyer. The Rotarians studied the situation and determined to buy the facility and turn it into a camp for special needs children and adults. Rotary’s Camp Florida, Inc. (RCF) was formed.

Time was extremely short to acquire the land and remodel the camp to accommodate the special needs campers. Initially, only the then 17 Rotary Clubs in Hillsborough County were approached to support the venture. A local bank agreed to loan the money to buy the camp. Twenty eight Rotarians personally guaranteed almost $600,000.00 in debt to buy the camp. Each of the 17 Rotary Clubs in Hillsborough County contributed $100.00 per member to fund the first year’s operating budget.

The purchase was closed on December 16, 2001. Then the work began. All of the old shingle roofs were removed. Insulation was added and new tin roofs were installed. All of the old jalousie windows were removed and replaced with single hung windows. All of the cabins, the dining hall, the assembly hall and all other buildings were air conditioned. An extensive system of sidewalks was installed to accommodate campers in wheel chairs or on crutches.

The summer of 1992 saw the first campers enjoying RCF. The camp programs are conducted by each special needs group. They rely heavily on volunteers. Each group provides its own full medical staff, including medical doctors, R.N.s and others that are on duty 24 hours a day. A fully equipped infirmary ensures total medical care, including life saving therapies.

Support networks and life-long friendships are formed at RCF. Children and counselors who are off treatment serve as role models and offer hope for those currently undergoing painful therapy. For many of the children, this is their first and only chance to participate in normal life experiences during their struggle with cancer. In the 15 years since Rotary’s Camp Florida first opened its gates, over 20, 000 children and adults have enjoyed the use of the facility.

Standing in the center of the Camp, with private lakes on the east and west sides, and surrounded by hundreds of oak trees, you get the impression that you are in the middle of a forest, far away from civilization. However, Rotary’s Camp Florida is located in Brandon, Florida, in the geographic center of Hillsborough County. Within ten minutes drive are located five major hospitals, all capable of providing the care needed for the children. The importance of this location was brought home last year.

The campgrounds and facilities are owned by Rotary’s Camp Florida, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation. The corporation operates under the supervision of a Board of Directors with members coming from the various Rotary clubs and Districts.

At this time, our greatest need is to construct a modern dining hall. The dining hall will include a medical dispensary so that the children can receive their medications at each meal. It is anticipated that the construction cost for the new dining hall will be about $1,500,000.00.

Our second largest need is for the construction of four more cabins. Currently, we can accommodate 110 campers and counselors. We want to increase that to 200.


Rotary’s Camp Florida (RCF) was founded to acquire, operate and maintain a year-round camp facility for children with special medical needs. In addition to children with cancer, RCF hosts groups supporting children with Diabetes, Muscular Dystrophy, MS and other debilitating diseases. Further, RCF makes its facilities available to special needs adult groups providing support for breast cancer survivors.

The need for RCF was first made known to a local Rotary Club that had provided substantial support and contribution to the Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases. Each year, Karen Moffitt and Dr. Judish would visit the club to give a report on the hospital, the children and a special camping program operated for children with cancer..

At the conclusion of her presentation in January, 1991, Karen casually mentioned that the Center was losing the facility it had previously used. Several members of the club were real estate brokers and knew that the United Methodist Church owned an old summer camp right in the heart of Brandon. They had closed the camp because it was not economically feasible to operate it.

A small group of club members met at the camp in March 1991. The Center thought that the camp would be perfect for their needs. But they did not want to own the camp. The Methodist Church was willing to sell the property for charitable purposes, for the land value, throwing in the buildings. This worked out to be $440, 000.00.

As the camp had been built in the 1950s, and was not designed for special-needs children, substantial work and repairs were required. The cabins needed air conditioning. This meant replacing every window and door. It was also necessary to replace the roof and insulate the cabins. The electrical system had to be completely redone. Sidewalks were needed throughout the property. A committee was formed to study the feasibility of buying and operating the camp.
The property on which RCF sits was purchased and remodeled with the proceeds of a $558,000.00 loan from Fort Brooke Bank. Twenty eight Rotarians personally guaranteed the loan. The then 17 Rotary Clubs in Hillsborough County contributed $100.00 per member, v for over $110,000.00, to cover the first year’s operating budget. Since then, Rotary Clubs from throughout Florida and individuals have contributed to the Camp. It is the hope that Rotarians and others throughout the world will also support this most worthwhile endeavor.

The first group of campers came in June, 1992. That Summer saw five special needs groups use RCF. Today RCF is used by many groups and is in use almost year-round.

Tax and Ownership Status

Rotary’s Camp Florida, Inc. is a registered 501c3 Florida Corporation.