By Monroe Courier on July 16, 2017

The Center for Family Justice launched a safe, healthy and fun summer camp experience to nearly 40 local children who have been adversely impacted by the generational cycles of domestic and sexual violence and child abuse.

Camp HOPE Connecticut started on June 26 as the first summer camp and mentoring program in New England for children who have experienced primary or secondary abuse and trauma. The camp includes two locations, including one in Monroe.

This groundbreaking camp, which offers a clinically-proven curriculum designed to help children overcome trauma to lead more hopeful lives, is being offered by CFJ in collaboration with the Central Connecticut Coast YMCA at YMCA Camp Hi-Rock in the Massachusetts’ Berkshires (for overnight camp) and the Lakewood-Trumbull YMCA Camp Tepee in Monroe (for day campers). The day camp version at Camp Tepee started on July 10.

“We are thrilled to bring this extraordinary experience to children who have experienced trauma they did not deserve,” said Debra A. Greenwood, President/CEO of CFJ. “By founding a Camp HOPE in our region, we are taking an important step toward giving kids back part of the childhoods they have lost to abuse and trauma. We are also giving them hope they can lead safer, healthier lives free of trauma and abuse in the future.”

Camp HOPE Connecticut is modeled after several other Camp HOPE programs which have launched throughout the United States during the past several years. The first Camp HOPE opened in San Diego in 2003.

Clinical research has shown the camps give children a greater sense of optimism and resiliency. CFJ was recently recognized with a prestigious national award for innovation by the National Children’s Alliance for bringing Camp HOPE Connecticut to children from the six communities it serves including Bridgeport, Easton, Fairfield, Monroe, Trumbull and Stratford.

Camp HOPE Connecticut depends on its partnership with the Central Connecticut Coast YMCA, which is offering its accredited camp facilities and support from its expert staff to help CFJ provide this program to children ages of 7 and 11.

Children will attend Camp HOPE Connecticut for free, but CFJ has been actively raising funds throughout the year to provide camperships to deserving children. It costs approximately $1,000 for CFJ to send a camper for a week of overnight camp and $500 for a week of day camp.

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