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Bridgeport Center Combats Violence, Trauma With Summer Camp Fun

Camp HOPE Connecticut will offer summer fun for about 40 children this year.
Camp HOPE Connecticut will offer summer fun for about 40 children this year. Photo Credit: Contributed

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Children across the region who’ve suffered trauma will have a welcome respite this summer thanks to a new camp launched by The Center for Family Justice.

Camp HOPE Connecticut is the first summer camp and mentoring program in New England specifically tailored for children who have experienced primary and secondary abuse and trauma.

The camp, which is free to campers, aims to help break generational cycles of domestic and sexual violence and child abuse by giving about 40 local children a place to have fun while boosting their optimism and resilience.

“We are thrilled to bring this extraordinary experience to children who have experienced trauma they did not deserve,” said Debra Greenwood, CFJ’s president and CEO. “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.”

In June, children from the center’s key communities — Bridgeport, Easton, Fairfield, Monroe, Stratford and Trumbull — traveled to Camp Hi-Rock in the Massachusetts’ Berkshire Mountains for an overnight camp. A July day camp session took place at the Lakewood-Trumbull YMCA’s Camp Tepee in Monroe.

The program, first started in San Diego in 2003, offers a clinically proven curriculum. CFJ is partnering with the Central Connecticut Coast YMCA to offer it for the first time to local kids.

“Summer camp is an excellent way to ensure kids stay engaged socially, physically, and academically throughout the summer,” said Tim Bartlett, Central Connecticut Coast YMCA senior vice president and COO. “In our camps, kids are in a welcoming environment where they can belong, they’re building relationships, developing character and discovering their potential.”

To learn more or support Camp HOPE Connecticut, visit www.centerforfamilyjustice.org .

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