Camp HOPE Connecticut

Why Camp HOPE?

Our goal is to give back to children and teens the childhood’s they have lost.

The impact of being a primary or secondary victim of domestic or sexual violence or child abuse is devastating and can have profound long-term consequences. Children exposed to trauma have been deprived of the safety and security that should be a rite of childhood. They are also at a higher risk for residual , social and behavioral impact.

Camp HOPE America is a growing national network of camps created to respond to this kind of trauma in a sensitive, therapeutic way.

Clinical research shows the Camp HOPE model helps children and teens overcome obstacles in a safe, supportive environment; improves self-esteem; and makes them more emotionally resilient.

Watch – Casey Gwinn discuss the science of Hope!

The Camp HOPE Connecticut Experience

Set at Camp Hi-Rock, operated by the Coastal Connecticut YMCA, Camp HOPE Connecticut will be based at one of the region’s finest accredited overnight camps. Campers will live in log cabins set on a tranquil private lake in the Massachusetts’ Berkshires, flanked on one side by the Appalachian Trail. Children will enjoy an array of summer recreational activities including hiking, swimming, sailing, jet-skiing, obstacle courses, arts and crafts and evening campfires.

What distinguishes Camp HOPE is its therapeutic approach to the summer-camp experience.

Specially-trained counselors, led by The Center for Family Justice (CFJ) team members experienced in working with traumatized children, will engage campers in a curriculum developed to help them overcome adversity and improve their outlook. Children will be assigned to age appropriate HOPE circles, where peer-to-peer support is encouraged. Daily camp activities are designed to promote creative thinking, good decision-making, problem solving, team work, mutual support, trust and goal-setting.

HOPEful Results

A peer-reviewed clinical study published in the September 2016 edition of the journal Child and Adolescent Social Work determined that the Camp HOPE model is a successful intervention for children exposed to trauma and domestic violence. A study of more than 200 children who attended Camp HOPE in California and Oregon, reported they left camp with a greater sense of optimism, gratitude, grit, social intelligence and self-esteem. This is hope personified: It changed the way children see themselves and their futures.

Giving HOPE

In its first year, Camp HOPE Connecticut plans to bring this trauma-informed camping experience to benefit 25 to 50 children. This includes children CFJ serves in the communities of Bridgeport, Fairfield, Easton, Monroe, Stratford and Trumbull. For many campers, this will be their first experience attending a summer camp.

To offer the Camp HOPE experience free of charge to deserving children and teens CFJ is grateful for donor support.

How you can help:

  • A gift of $1,000 will provide a week of camp to a deserving child who has experienced trauma.
  • A gift of $500 will help underwrite the costs of providing a camper with a camp trunk packed with essential supplies and gear and underwrite their transportation.
  • A gift of $200 will pay for activities and supplies.

Make a donation in support of Camp HOPE by specifying Camp HOPE Connecticut as the honoree when making a donation.